Book & Greeting Card Ordering Information

This is a one–person show so you receive personal service.  The answers to a huge range of questions are found on these pages, but don't hesitate to contact me if you have any unanswered queries.  Sometimes the phone gets a bit busier than I can handle (eg just prior to Christmas), however a message can always be left so I can return your call when peak hour has passed.  Or you may prefer to send me a query by email, and I can respond at a time when you might not want to receive a phone call (eg in the middle of the night).

Queries answered on this page:

Will I get a discount if I order a large amount?

  • There are very generous discounts that kick in as soon as you order more than 1 book, and the discount increases as the order size grows.
  • There are also discounts for purchasing 5 or more packets of greeting cards.
  • These discounts are calculated automatically when you place your order.
  • If you are purchasing more than 10 copies of 'Life as an Australian Horseman' and/or 'A Million Acre Masterpiece') or 10 or more packets of greeting cards, please email me for a personal quote as an even more generous discount may be available and/or special items such as outback greeting cards may be available for free.
  • Overseas orders;  If you are ordering more than 1 book to be sent to the same address in another country, your order may be eligible for a small refund of the postage the online ordering system calculates, if you are in one of the most expensive postal zones.  For more information contact Fiona Lake or refer to Book discount & postage information

 

Australian corporate gifts

'Life as an Australian Horseman' and 'A Million Acre Masterpiece' are genuinely memorable Australian corporate gifts, regularly purchased by businesses all over the world.  Perhaps the most telling compliment is the fact that many recipients have so enjoyed 'Life as an Australian Horseman' and 'A Million Acre Masterpiece' they have then ordered copies of books themselves, to give to others.   The books are a unique record of an aspect of Australian life that fascinates people all over the world.  Because the books consist mainly of full-page images supported by brief captions, they can still be enjoyed by people whose first language is not English.  'A Million Acre Masterpiece' also includes a glossary which explains many of the quirky words and expressions mostly exclusively used in remote Australian outback regions (unfamiliar terms to most Australians).  The quality of the outback images and captions in these books is second to none - no other similar books have ever been published.

Books are ideal corporate gifts because many recipients keep their books on a coffee table or reception desk for others to enjoy, for many years.  A 'thank you' inscription added inside the book could be viewed by many other people (potentially good business contacts) over a long period and it will also remind the owner where it came from.  Good books are kept for decades and can be appreciated by many people not just the original recipient.  This is in contrast to most other corporate gifts which are either eaten, drunk, experienced or hidden away in a cupboard to gather dust - or disposed of altogether - a short time after receipt.   Books are very easy to pack and mail with little risk of damage, quarantine bans or customs/import duty issues.  Generous discounts are available for corporate orders, especially repeat sales, and sometimes additional items such as carrybags and greeting cards can be supplied free of charge with large orders.   Contact me with your business details, quantity and delivery requirements if you would like a personal quote.

 

What does ‘signed’ book mean?

One of the prime advantages of buying your book direct is that you can ask for it to be personally signed by the author. Signed books are more highly valued by collectors and they make a gift more special.  Around 99% of people who buy books from me, ask me to sign them.

It is usual for me to write ‘best wishes’ with my signature and date in the front of the book. Indicate ‘yes’ on the order form if you’d like me to sign your books for you. If you would like someone's name written in too, please let me know when ordering (make sure the name is clearly printed & spelt correctly - there's often several different ways of spelling names).

Particularly personal messages:

Please bear in mind that particularly personal messages are much better if handwritten by the person who is giving the book. Please don't ask me to write 'love from mum' for you because I know your son or daughter would much prefer to see your own handwriting! Everyone's handwriting is unique - it's an important distinguishing feature that friends and family remember about you. Sorry but I do not write especially personal messages into books unless I know the person well myself (and pick my own words), nor do I write personal messages with someone else's name under them. If you're having books sent direct to someone else, I recommend you send a card to them with a personal message in it (many people stick them into the front of the book, or use them as special bookmarks).  Or you could write a personal message into the book when you visit at a later date.  However if I'm sending a book as a gift for you, direct to the recipient, there may be no time for you to mail a card.  Here's something that can work really well: I print out your personal message onto a sheet of paper, in a nice handwriting-style printer font, and include it in the front of the book.  You can of course type it up on computer yourself and lay it all out on a page in the exact font you'd like, and email it to me. I print out your book inscription and voila, into the front of the book it goes.

Bear in mind that if you want perfect printing, it's best to write the message yourself (try to be neat though I do, I don't claim to have beautiful handwriting!)

Books cannot be pre- or post-dated either; however of course the month and/or year can be left off when I sign your books.

Whether or not you ask me to sign your book, if you are giving it as a gift I encourage you to handwrite a personal message for the person you are giving it to. Handwritten messages in books become increasingly special and appreciated as the years pass - especially when the message writer is no longer around.

If you have any queries about book signing, please don't hesitate to ask.  I think it's something that can make a gift all the more special, so I put effort into getting it right.

How long will it take for my order to be delivered?

The short answer is usually within 7-14 days, to anywhere in the world.  HOWEVER, sometimes delivery takes much longer due to factors beyond my control, such as customs clearance delays and natural disasters.  For details, refer to the explanation below.   If you do have an urgent deadline to meet, you may like to ring me to check the estimated time of arrival.

Quieter times of the year: orders received each week are usually sent out by 5pm on Friday of that week (apart from orders that customers have advised are urgent, due to event deadlines, special occasions, travel plans etc - I've been guilty of leaving a purchase to the last minute myself, so I sympathise.)  However the dry season is also the time of year that I have to travel away for short periods on business (eg taking photographs), and orders can't be sent out when the office is closed (see below for more info, under 'office closures').

Extra busy periods, eg in the weeks leading up to Christmas: orders are usually packed and sent daily because of the huge volumes being processed.  Orders are mailed out strictly in the order in which they are received, with the exception of online orders, which receive priority (as no administration is involved, such as banking and cheque clearance time).  

I recommend ordering online, because online orders receive priority; and supply a current email address because it ensures any order queries can be very quickly attended to.  During busy periods I often email queries in the evening or very early in the day, times when you may not welcome a phonecall.

Delivery delays are uncommon however sometimes they do occur and unfortunately I have no control over them.  The number one cause of overseas delivery delays are customs clearance delays, occasionally stretching into weeks.  Other human factors are less common - delivery to the wrong address and postal and transport employee strikes.   Natural disasters causing delays include cyclones and flooding in north Queensland (most commonly in February and March) and airline flight interruptions due to volcanic ash.

When specific events are known to have occurred it is not feasible to immediately chase up the precise whereabouts of airfreight. It is a waste of my time and that of the postal service and does nothing to hasten delivery (in fact, if everyone ran around instantly enquiring, it would actually delay postal deliveries more). Instead a reasonable margin of delivery time will be allowed prior to a search being initiated.  Time allowed is usually double the usual average delivery time for parcels previously mailed to that location, but sometimes a longer pre-search time is allowed, depending on the previous reliability of delivery to that destination.

Parcels sent by ordinary Australia Post air services are not tracked - if you wish to pay for a completely trackable airmail delivery services, please ask for a quote (further information below).

I have mailed thousands of parcels and delivery issues are very rare.  To date I only have had two parcels disappear altogether.  The first was sent to a country well known for parcel theft and the second to an Australian address.  Presumably the latter parcel was stolen within the delivery system here in Australia, as it was addressed to a P.O. Box not a street address.  In both cases the order was replaced free of charge.

Delivery within Australia:

Small (4 books or less) domestic orders are sent by Australia Post's efficient 'Express Post' system so usually only take 2–7 days to arrive, depending on the frequency of your local mail delivery. Larger domestic orders (depending on the destination, 5 books or more) are usually boxed and sent by ordinary mail, to help minimise the increased damage risk associated with a parcel of a much heavier weight.  Full boxes weigh around 15kg so depending on the destination, these are usually sent out by bus freight - again, this is to help minimise the risk of parcel damage.  Ordinary parcel post can take longer to be delivered however it is preferable to increasing the likelihood of damaged books.  There's no point in books arriving faster if they're been marked or squashed in transit.  If your large order is urgent and you would prefer to waive the bulk discount in order to have it all individually wrapped into a number of smaller parcels and sent to you by Express Post, please let me know when ordering, so it can be arranged.

Please note that Australia Post usually has an extra day off in-between the Christmas/Boxing Day public holidays and the New Years Day public holiday - to compensate for the very long hours Australia Post employees and contractors work over the first 24 days in December. On the Australia Post holiday (usually New Year's Eve), only LPOs (Licenced Post Offices) and some corporate post offices are open. There are no mail deliveries and no mail sorting on this day, and standard post offices are shut. This means that in most years, there are only a couple of actual mail days between Boxing Day and the 2nd of January. So mail that is not delivered by Christmas Eve will usually not be delivered until early January.

Delivery to overseas addresses:

These orders are sent by Australia Post's standard airmail service, which usually only takes 7-14 days to reach the most common destinations. 

BUT there are big variations between countries, so it is best to enquire if you have a deadline.  For example, orders sent to New Zealand usually only take around 7-10 days to be delivered.  Deliveries to the U.S., Canada and U.K. usually only take around 14 days.  Whereas delivery to some European countries can take 30-60 days or more (eg. delivery to Italian and German addresses), the same as for delivery to South American and African Countries.  Generally, pre-Christmas delivery to countries other than New Zealand can no longer be guaranteed for orders placed less than 6 weeks prior to Christmas Day. Unfortunately in recent years some orders mailed in December have not been delivered until late January or even early February. The most likely explanation for this delay - which has been experienced in the U.S., Canada and some European countries - is that customs inspections have tightened up so much that a huge backlog of parcels to be examined builds up over Christmas, that takes customs inspectors weeks to clear (combined with after-Christmas holiday breaks for postal staff, and probably customs clearance staff as well). So if your order needs to arrive overseas prior to Christmas, you must place your order by early November - preferably by October, to be on the safe side. For New Zealanders - order by early December to ensure delivery prior to Christmas.

If you would prefer your order to be sent by the priority airmail service (trackable, also), please let me know when ordering, and be aware that the cost is approximately twice the cost of ordinary airmail.

Delivery to some specific countries is slower, all year round, due to sluggish local sorting and/or delivery systems. Some orders have taken 4-8 weeks to be delivered in some African and South American countries, for example Botswana, Argentina and Brazil. If you have had problems with mail disappearing or being delivered very late, you may prefer to pay the extra cost for the traceable, priority airmail service. Please enquire if you have any concerns or a significant deadline to meet. Unfortunately I cannot offer compensation for mail that has disappeared en route to certain countries, unless it has been sent by a fully trackable airmail service.

If your order is to be delivered to a country where English is not the main language,you may like to email me a word document with the delivery address written exactly how locals would write it in the country of delivery, if you are able to.  For example with the correct accents if sending to a country such as France, or in the script of the language most commonly used in the destination country, for example Mandarin, the official language in China.  When writing an address using characters such as Chinese Mandarin, it is best to alternate one written line of the address written in the language of the destination country, eg Chinese Mandarin, with the line written in English directly underneath, and so on down to the region and country at the bottom.  I can resize the font used on the address label to the ideal size and tape it to the parcel.  To me this simply seems like good manners, rather than presuming everyone can speak and read English easily, and it must surely be appreciated in the destination country and make delivery quicker and easier for postal staff.

What do I do if my parcel hasn't arrived within a reasonable length of time?

Firstly check (the blog, or by emailing or ringing me) to make sure that the office was open when your order was placed, because orders placed while I'm away aren't sent out until I return.

If your order hasn't been delivered within a reasonable length of time, the first thing to do is check with the post office that usually delivers or holds onto your parcels for collection.  The most common reason for Australians not receiving their parcels is that the parcel arrival notification card has not been received by the parcel addressee, or the notification card was accidentally thrown out by the recipient, with their junk mail.  If the post office checks their shelves and records and cannot find your parcel, contact me and a search will be initiated, after a reasonable length of time, as explained above.  As mentioned - to date, only 2 parcels have vanished completely, out of thousands mailed out all over the world.

Office closures:

This is a one-person business so you receive personal service.  However it means that when I am away, the office is closed.  Please refer to this page of the Blog for office closure notifications.

Orders are sent out as soon as I return, in the order they were received. If you have an urgent deadline please email or telephone me. It is best not to leave ordering for a special occasion until the last minute.

Due to the volume of orders received before Christmas, all and overseas-delivery orders should be made by the end of October, to assist timely delivery and to help reduce the overload on postal staff - see more details above.

Can I order now and have the books sent at a later date?

Unfortunately due to the volume of orders received, delaying the mailing of a specific order until a customer-specified date is highly likely to go awry - and end up being accidentally sent later than specified. If you have a particular reason for placing an order with a delayed mailing time, then I will do my best to help. But please be aware that I am not able to guarantee your order will leave exactly on the date specified.

How can I make sure my order arrives as soon as possible?

If you wish to make sure your order is received and processed A.S.A.P. then order online. During busy periods online orders are often processed on the same day they are received as much less administration is involved. Sometimes people who order online receive their order in the next morning’s mail, when they have a quick local delivery.

During quieter periods, orders are usually mailed out on Friday of each week. If you have a deadline, please let me know when ordering, so there is no delay.  And don't forget to check this Blog page, to ensure I am not travelling at the time of your order.

Online ordering is also the most secure way of paying with a credit card. If you pay online you are taken directly to the National Australia Bank Secure Internet Payment Service (NSIPS) website which uses the industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. Your card numbers are encrypted so that hackers (people illegally intercepting electronic information) can’t decipher the numbers. All your card details go direct to the bank so I don’t get to see these numbers at all, and I have no record of your card details on file. The bank just sends me a message to let me know whether the payment has been accepted or declined. Paying a reputable retailer via a secure online website like this is actually safer than handing your card over to staff in shops.

In addition, everyone who orders online is entered into the annual prize draw.

When do I pay for my order?

For administrative efficiency, all orders must be paid in full before they are sent.   Some exceptions are made for large corporate orders, by prior arrangement.

What payment methods are accepted?

You may pay with a credit card, or if within Australia, a cheque or money order.  Direct bank debit is accepted by arrangement for orders over $300.00, by prior arrangement.

Credit card payments:

MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Payment can either be made online, by mail or by phone. I prefer that credit card numbers are not emailed to me - while the risk is low, ordering online is far more secure.

For fraud prevention reasons, only the actual owner of a credit card can make a purchase using that card. If someone else is paying for your order with their credit card, then they must place the order for you. For security reasons I cannot accept orders paid for with someone else’s card. I also need the complete contact details of the person placing the order, not just the postal address of the person the purchase is being sent to.

Cheque and money order payments:

Cheques and money orders are accepted from Australian Post Offices and Australian banks (in Australian dollars). Please make cheques or money orders payable to Fiona Lake. Bank clearance usually takes several business days and orders can't be sent until the transaction is finalised. Unfortunately cheques and money orders can't be accepted from residents in other countries due to high bank charges, exchange rate complications and clearance delays, so MasterCard or Visa card are the only payment options for overseas orders.

Who is charged the Australian Goods & Services Tax (GST)?

GST is not charged on postage or goods mailed direct to an overseas address.

10% GST has to be charged on postage and goods mailed to an Australian address. If the purchase is a legitimate business expense the purchaser can claim the GST back from the Australian Tax Office through their next Business Activity Statement (BAS).

Overseas orders — import duties

Some countries charge import duty on books and gifts over a certain value, however most do not. But if your purchase is a gift then please let me know on the order form so that your parcel is clearly marked as a gift on the customs declaration form.

Please note that any import duties levied by the destination country are the responsibility of the person that the freight is addressed to.

As far as I know, no book purchasers living in other countries have ever been charged any import duties on orders I've sent them.

Overseas orders — currency exchange rates

If you live outside Australia, you simply place your order online and pay the total in Australian dollars. When the transaction is processed, the banks involved convert the Australian dollars into the currency of the country you bank in. So the currency exchange is not something you (or I) have to be tangled up in. My bank charges me a small fee (approx 1%) for currency conversions every time payment is accepted from a credit card that is not Australian, but this cost is not passed on to you. Please note, most credit card companies do charge cardholders a fee for purchases made in other currencies, eg MasterCard charge their Australian customers 2.5% for purchases made in currencies other than AUD. This is information that would be spelt out in your credit card provider's terms & conditions. However, remember this overseas transaction rate is not likely to amount to much - for example 2.5% of $100 is only $2.50.  It's only if you're doing a large amount of international shopping that it starts to add up to a noticeable amount.

How exactly does currency exchanging work?

For example - if you are in the U.S. and you place an order worth $90 Australian dollars, the bank I use (the National Australia Bank) then asks the bank that issued your credit card, for $90 Australian dollars (AUD). Your bank pays the National Australia Bank $90 AUD, which is credited to my account. Your bank then charges your credit card account with the amount of US Dollars that it had to use to buy $90 AUD.    If the AUD exchange rate for your country's currency is higher, then purchases will cost you less when converted, and vice versa. Exchange rates constantly fluctuate, however the value of the Australian dollar is not usually very volatile, and the value usually rises far more slowly than it falls. Currencies are exchanged at the official rate that applied when the transaction was made.

There is a link to a currency converter in the shopping cart/order page, so when the total of your order appears on the shopping cart/order page you can just click on the currency converter and enter the total to be exchanged, to view the approximate amount you will be charged in your country's currency, at that time. Or you can type AUD and the code for your country's currency (eg 'AUD into USD') into Google or one of the many other online currency converters.  Note that exchange rates credit card companies pay out on for international transactions may be slightly below rates paid by banks and other more competitive currency exchangers.

Comprehensive lists of the standard 3-letter currency codes used for all countries can be found at Wikipedia (with other code information) and XE Currency Exchange (in order of code or country). The currency codes for the countries I most often receive orders from are: EUR - Euro, GBP - Pounds Sterling [UK], DKK - Danish Krone, NZD - New Zealand Dollar, CAD - Canadian Dollar, USD - US Dollars, ZAR - South African Rand, ARS - Argentine Peso, BRL - Brazilian Real.

Can I pick up orders in person?

This is a mail order business so sorry, orders can't be picked up in person. If people were calling in work would be constantly interrupted, so staff would have to be employed. This would necessitate raising the price of books, cards and photographs by at least double, in order to raise the money required to pay wages. I don't have a retail outlet or art gallery - this website is my 'shop' - open 24/7, worldwide. Postage is included in the cost of books and cards sent to Australian addresses, so in-person sales (eg at book launches, art exhibitions and tradefairs) are the same price, anyway.

Giving books as presents

Good quality books are appreciated, looked after and kept for years before being handed on to the next generation to enjoy.  Unlike most other gifts which are eaten, thrown away or put away in a corner to gather dust.

'Life as an Australian Horseman' and 'A Million Acre Masterpiece' are genuinely unique and memorable Australian gifts.  You will not find anything similar anywhere because nothing similar has ever been published.

  • All 3 northern states/territories are included.
  • The person who was there taking the photographs wrote the captions so they are authentic, accurate and contain interesting first hand knowledge.
  • A huge number of images are included and they are all top quality. 
  • Most people refer back to these books over and over again over a long period of time because there is so much detail included in the images, far more than can be taken in during just a few read-throughs, and different details will be noticed on different days (depending on mood, circumstances, weather etc).  
  • A personal note from you, written into the front of the book, reminds the recipient who gave them the book, when and why.   
  • Books are easy to pack and mail to anywhere in theworld, with lreativey little risk of damage, quarantine or customs/import duty issues.

A huge range of people, of all ages, in all walks of life and all over the world, have been enjoying the books 'A Million Acre Masterpiece' and 'Life as an Australian Horseman'.  Refer to 'Testimonials' if you would like to read a few of the comments people have sent me.   

Can gift purchases be sent direct to recipients?

Sorry I don't do gift wrapping, I was behind the door when neat-wrapping skills were being handed out.  But I can send your purchase direct to the recipient/s. Just fill in the recipients names and addresses into the 'shipping address' section of the online order form. Books sent to other countries are sent inside a free screen-printed carrybag (much more useful and more appreciated than wrapping paper, which is simply thrown away after use). Most pairs of books sent to Australian addresses are also sent inside a calico carrybag ('tote'), when stock allows.

I receive many orders from customers who would like their purchase sent direct to the person they are giving the book to - either somewhere else in Australia or overseas.

Having a book sent direct to the recipient has a few handy benefits:

  • saves you time (otherwise spent re-packaging, and in post office queues)
  • the recipient receives the gift sooner
  • you save money too (you're not paying for a second lot of postage.  And if being sent overseas, GST is not charged on goods sent directly to another country, and the overseas postage rate I charge is well below standard postage rates).

There is no extra cost charged for packing or mailing gifts direct to recipients.

Please note that for all sales that are not face-to-face sales (i.e., they're mail, phone & online sales) I do need the complete mailing address of the person placing the order & paying for it, even if the purchase is being sent elsewhere. This is primarily for financial security reasons - to help ensure that no-one else is using your card or cheque book fraudulently. But providing your postal address also means that if the parcel is undeliverable to your gift recipient, for some reason, I am able to send your purchase on to you.

If you want a particularly personal message written inside the book I recommend you do this yourself, or mail a card direct to the recipient with your personal message inside it. They can then keep your card inside the book (cards often end up being used as much-appreciated bookmarks).

I can include a note advising the recipient who the present is from, if requested, however I recommend that the gift giver notifies the recipient in person, prior to delivery (the gift can of course be kept anonymous if you prefer, also).

Can you help keep my gift a surprise?

If your purchase is a gift, please tick ‘gift’ so I know not to let the cat out of the bag if I have to ring up with a query.

Online order receipts are emailed direct to you, they are not sent with the books. However please note that by law the value of all goods being sent out of Australia must be clearly stated on the accompanying documents. This means that if Uncle Cyril in London reads the fine print on the customs declaration form, he’ll know how much you spent on him.

How do I get a tax invoice/receipt?

Online orders:

An automated order confirmation notice with GST and purchase details will be sent to you within minutes. If you do not receive this order confirmation notice, my website may not have been notified that your payment has been processed by the bank. So please contact me so I can manually check banking records to ascertain whether a payment has actually been processed. If you do not contact me, I may not realise that you have placed a completed order and it will be sitting in an 'unpaid' folder, and not sent out.

Please ensure you enter your email address precisely when ordering - because if the email address you provide is not correct, your emailed order confirmation notice cannot be delivered to you.

Orders by mail & phone:

Please note tax invoice/receipts can are not supplied for orders that were not made online unless the order total is over $300. If you need a tax invoice/receipt, then ordering online is the best idea.

Can I return my purchase for a refund?

If you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason you may return the books or cards to me for a refund*, without explanation, providing they are in perfect condition and sent back within 5 days (they must be suitably packed, because if damaged on the return journey, they cannot be refunded). * Books signed with special messages are however exempted because they cannot be resold; and books with a date written into them must be returned before the end of that month.

The cost of the books or cards will be returned to you immediately providing the goods are still in saleable condition, however because the refund is due to a change of mind any postage paid, in either direction, cannot be refunded.

In order to receive an immediate, cost–free replacement of goods damaged in transit, damaged goods must be returned with the original packaging material within 5 days. Please refer to Refunds & Returns for further information, prior to returning an order for any reason.

Everything leaves here in good condition and fortunately I’ve had very few items damaged in transit over the years. But of course occasional postage accidents are inevitable.  If your purchase is damaged I will make every effort to rectify the situation as quickly and easily as possible.  Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns.

Tips to ensure your order is delivered as soon as possible:

  • For fastest delivery & prize draw entry, order online: Order books online OR Order cards online. Online payments are securely processed directly through the National Australia Bank.
  • If ordering online, when you have typed your credit card details into the bank payment form, please do wait a moment until the bank completes the payment processing. If you wander off elsewhere before the bank has sent a message to my website to advise your payment has been accepted, then your payment has to be matched up manually with banking records. This is no great drama but it does add processing time on, particularly during extra busy times (such as before Christmas), when there is not enough time to check banking records to ensure orders recorded as 'unpaid' are actually unpaid.
  • If your credit card payment is declined by the bank please contact me to let me know what you’d like to do, eg pay by another method.
  • Use the speediest payment method. Apart from extra busy times and when I am away, the following processing times apply:
  • Online Orders -
    The order can be mailed the next business day, or possibly even on the same day, during the busiest periods.
    Phone Orders - Paid by Credit Card -
    The order will usually go within a couple of business days.
    Mail Orders -
    A letter may take 7 or more days to arrive here from southern or Western Australia, and 1-2 weeks or more from overseas. Credit card payments will only take a couple of days to process however if you’ve mailed a cheque you will need to wait a few more days until it has been banked and then cleared, plus the time it takes for the order to reach you. All up an order paid for by a cheque in the mail may take a couple of weeks to reach you. If you have a specific deadline, please remember to allow for this extra time, if you are ordering by mail.

The importance of providing precise delivery addresses, especially for overseas orders:

Postal Offices will generally hold a parcel for several weeks, putting a 'parcel to be picked up' card in the addressee's letter box, post office box or mailbag at least several times, before returning unclaimed parcels to the sender.  Out of the thousands of parcels I have sent, less than a handful have been deemed undeliverable and returned to me.  So there's more than a 99.9% chance that your parcel will be delivered first time, without a hitch.  Just to make sure, especially if you are sending freight overseas:

  • If you are sending a gift to someone, it is a good idea to tell them you're sending them a parcel so they know to go and pick it up (or ask their post office to hold onto their mail, if they're going to be away from home when it arrives).
  • If you are arranging for a parcel to be sent to you but care of someone else, explain this to me when ordering and also to the person whose name and address will be on the parcel.  Usually I will write your name and the address owner's name on the parcel.  It may be necessary for the owner of the address to pick the parcel up (it depends on how strict the post office staff are).
  • If you are sending a parcel overseas, I highly recommend you provide me with the name and address written in the language and style used in the country of delivery.  If it's in another script (eg Mandarin Chinese), then ideally the address appears one line at a time written as it would be locally, with the English translation directly underneath (to help Australian postal staff get it on the way to the right country).  This speeds up delivery and helps avoid delivery mistakes.  If you email the address to me as a word doc, I simply print it out and tape it to the parcel.
  • Goods that have been returned undelivered although they were correctly addressed, which contain damaged items, will be replaced free of charge.  (It's not unusual for freight to be damaged if it has travelled twice as far as it was meant to.)  However customers are required to pay the full cost of a second lot of postage for parcels sent to Australian or overseas addresses that have been returned undelivered although they were addressed exactly as requested.  So please ensure the addressee's name and address details you provide are current, precise and complete.
  • Some countries have postal systems that are well known to often have delivery issues.  For example, I have had a parcel returned all the way from Italy although it was correctly addressed and have had a few that took more than 2 months to arrive - probably due to customs delays.  C'est la vie - these glitches aren't common, and unfortunately they are beyond my control.  

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