Delivery & Returns

DELIVERY

For latest shipping updates, including the impact of industrial action by Royal Mail, please see here for more details.

NB. For overseas customers, if tax is applicable (e.g. EU), then it will be reflected in the product prices shown

EU orders: EU orders under an order value of 150 Euros (approx £125 depending on prevailing exchange rate) will be sent on a tax paid basis. For more detail see further below 

General delivery info (all countries):

  • I¬†ship most orders twice a week (currently Monday & Thursday mornings)¬†¬†
  • I¬†currently ship EU orders (on a premium shipping service) once a week on Monday mornings¬†(this will hopefully increase based on order volumes), so bear this in mind when ordering or choose the standard option
  • during sale periods, order processing may take longer, so please allow extra time for your order to be despatched
  • there will be no shipments on UK public holidays so please allow extra time in these cases
  • delivery¬†delays are still to be expected due to COVID-19/peak times. Service updates from Royal Mail can be found here -¬†please check your country status before ordering, as the situation is constantly evolving¬†
  • standard delivery and express delivery options are available for most countries
  • delivery timescales with standard services are variable and aren't guaranteed¬†- please allow up to 3 weeks (UK) / 6 weeks (rest of world) for your order to arrive, though orders usually arrive faster than this
  • standard services are tracked with an online confirmation. We bear no responsibility for orders which have a proof of delivery provided by the carrier where the recipient hasn't received them
  • for¬†a faster / guaranteed delivery, select the express/premium option at checkout - contact me for a quote for other countries not shown at checkout
  • ensure your address is written correctly as I cannot be held responsible for orders not arriving due to incorrect details being provided
  • If your order is¬†returned to me due to a failed delivery attempt / incorrect / incomplete address and you:
    • request a refund, the refund will only cover the cost of the items - the shipping cost will not be refunded
    • wish for it to be re-sent, an additional shipping fee will be charged
  • If you are having an order shipped to a business address, provide the company name and ensure someone is available to sign for your parcel
  • good hygiene practices continue with making products and preparing orders (Good Manufacturing Practice has always been fundamental - even prior to COVID-19!)

UK delivery (incl Northern Ireland):

Standard delivery: for all orders is by Royal Mail Tracked 48 - fully tracked service. Delivery aim - usually 2-3 working days from despatch (but could be longer in some cases)

Express delivery: Royal Mail Special Delivery - guaranteed next day delivery and full tracking, (orders will still only be shipped on a Monday or Thursday).

Delivery method Cost
Local delivery (Berkhamsted only) FREE
Standard delivery: Royal Mail Tracked 48  FREE
Express delivery: Royal Mail Special D (Monday / Thursday only) £5.95  

 

International delivery:

Standard (Tracked via Royal Mail) and premium/express (via DHL Connect in EU / DHL express in ROW) delivery options are available for most countries.

All orders placed by customers in countries outside UK & EU are despatched on a DDU (delivery duty unpaid) / DAP (delivered at place) basis. This means you are responsible for any possible local taxes / customs duties and associated (handling) fees which will need to be paid directly to the delivery carrier before they deliver your parcel. 

European delivery:

When EU customers place orders through this store up to an order value of 150 Euros (approx £125 depending on prevailing exchange rate, after discounts applied and before tax, shipping), VAT at your local rate will be collected at checkout via the IOSS scheme. There will be no further charges to pay upon delivery, and accelerated customs clearance! If you wish to place a higher value order (over 150 Euros), please get in touch as I can organise this - you won't have to pay tax on delivery either.

Other European countries outside of EU will need to pay local taxes / associated handling fees when your parcel arrives in your country.

EU delivery options: DHL Connect or Royal Mail Tracked. I have recently re-introduced Royal Mail shipping to EU and I'll be monitoring for service reliability following Brexit.

Delivery method Cost
DHL Connect (around 1-2 weeks from despatch, not guaranteed) - EU countries £11.95 - £13.95*
Royal Mail Tracked (around 2-3 weeks from despatch, not guaranteed) - EU countries £5.95 - £7.95
Royal Mail Tracked (around 1-2 weeks from despatch, not guaranteed) - other European countries £7.95

 * £11.95 in Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland. Other EU markets are £13.95

Delivery to rest of the world:

Automatic checkout through the website is currently available for:

US, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, South Africa

For other countries, please contact me before ordering for shipping rates as these vary depending on destination, weight and shipping method. 

Delivery method Cost
Standard shipping: Royal Mail Tracked (1-3 weeks) from £7.95
Standard shipping: Other carrier - tracked (select countries) from £9.95 
Express shipping: DHL Express (2-4 working days - US/Canada)* £18.95*
Express shipping: DHL Express (rest of world) from £25.00*

 * a surcharge may be applicable for DHL shipping to remote destinations / some countries. If this is the case for your location, I will contact you before your order is processed to confirm if you still wish to proceed. If I don't get a response within 48 hours, unfortunately your order will be cancelled and refunded.

 

RETURNS

As a small, independent business, customer service is extremely important to Apothaka¬ģ¬†and I want you to be delighted with my products, which is reflected in my return policy.

If you're not happy with your purchase, you can return unopened items for a refund or exchange within 14 days of receipt. I'm unable to refund items that have been opened. Contact me at hello@apothaka.com within 48 hours of receiving your order, quoting your order number and your reason for returning any items. Please wait for an acknowledgement which will explain how to return your items.  Orders can also be cancelled and refunded prior to them being shipped if you contact me to request this, though this won't be possible once the order has been processed.

To qualify for any refund or exchange, the products must be returned and received unopened in their original packaging and in the same condition of dispatch/receipt. For refunds, I will refund the original price paid and the cost of the standard delivery if you paid for delivery (but not any additional cost of premium delivery option chosen).

Please note that unless the products are deemed faulty / damaged, the cost for returning products is the responsibility of the customer. All returns must be sent by Royal Mail Signed For delivery so that you can obtain a tracking number. The items can't be treated as returned & eligible for a refund / exchange until I have received them and checked the condition of the items. 

Replacements / refunds will be processed within 14 days of receipt and checking of the returned items. Refunds can only be made via the original payment method. If gift cards have been used for payments, the refund will be applied back to the gift card. Refunds for products given as a gift can only be given to the original purchaser.

If a free gift was included this must be returned with your item or the value of the gift will be deducted from the refund. 

If you used a promotional/discount code and your order no longer qualifies, the promotional/discount value will be deducted from your refund. 

If your order value after returning your item(s) no longer qualifies for free shipping, delivery charges will be deducted from your refund.

Gift cards, samples, sale items and free items are non-returnable.

International customers please note: refund values are given based on the UK Pound Sterling amount originally paid (NOT the customer's local currency equivalent). I cannot be held responsible for any resulting currency fluctuations that occur between the order confirmation and the processing of a refund.

Damaged or missing items:

I always ensure that orders are carefully checked and packed in a condition suitable for posting, and that they should reach you undamaged. However, if this is not the case, please contact me at hello@apothaka.com within 48 hours of receiving your order, quoting your order number and details of the problem. If your order is damaged, please send photos and keep the original packaging materials so that I can investigate the issue with the postal service or the relevant carrier. Please wait for an acknowledgement which will explain how to return your items.  

To qualify for a refund or exchange on faulty / damaged products, the products must be returned unused (with the seals intact) in their original packaging and in the same condition of dispatch/receipt within 30 days.

I will cover the costs of returning any faulty / damaged items. All returns must be sent by Royal Mail Signed For / tracked delivery so that you can obtain a tracking number. The items can't be treated as returned & eligible for a refund / exchange until I have received and checked them. 

Replacements / refunds will be processed within 14 days of receipt of the returned items.

Lost items:

Delivery times / customs processing times are highly variable (especially during COVID-19) and out of my control so please ensure you allow up to 6 weeks from the shipping date for parcels sent via standard delivery before contacting me in the unlikely event that you haven't received your order (unfortunately I'm unable to take any action before then).  

List of charities Apothaka donated to since launch:

The Joseph School ‚Äď Haiti

50% of Haitian children don't have the opportunity to attend school. The Joseph School believes that through education students will teach and empower hundreds‚ÄĒ transforming the future of Haiti.
The money went towards health assessments & medical needs, a food programme which provides locally grown food for the students’ meals, and some desperately needed books.

DENS - Dacorum, Herts

This wonderful local charity supports and empowers those in my area that face homelessness, poverty & social exclusion, by providing access to temporary accommodation, food and provisions as well as supporting them with the development of skills and confidence to build a better future.

NHS Health heroes (Healing Hands ‚Äď Hemel Hempstead & Kings College ICU staff)

Apothaka donated a number of larger hand cream samples to a local initiative in the area, Healing Hands, which gets much needed skincare products to front line NHS workers. A batch went to Hemel Hospital and in total, Apothaka has donated over 70 samples, including some to local NHS staff in Berkhamsted and to King's College ICU staff (thanks to Yasmine @peels_masks_and_scrubs who has been doing an amazing job of getting goodie bags to the wonderful staff there)

Young Minds UK

My incredible daughter raised over £1,000 for Young Minds a few years ago when she did a 5-mile run, aged 8. Given how the pandemic has affected the mental health of so many, it felt like the right choice to support Young Minds this year.

Stephen Lawrence charitable trust (now called Blueprint for all)‚Äď London

Blueprint for all (formerly Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) works with young people and communities to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background can thrive.

Their programmes provide inspiration, opportunities and support to talented young people, enabling them to succeed. They work with innovative organisations and businesses to address disparity of opportunity, so everyone’s talents, skills and perspectives are valued. And we empower communities across the UK to tackle inequality and discrimination for long term, sustainable change.

Incredible Brilliant Youth - London

Incredible Brilliant Youth is a fun, innovative youth organisation that was set up in July 2012 to help empower and improve the confidence of young people aged 11-30 through courses, workshops and talks on self esteem, beauty, education and employment. To date they have worked with over 2000 people across the South of England.

After the success of the IBY Complete Hair and Makeup Artist course in the Summer, all six graduates went on to paid work on photoshoots, adverts, TV shows and films. How amazing is that, especially in an industry that's been hit so hard by COVID19?!

Emergency Medical Aid for Ukraine

My Slovakian friend, Michaela Ruby is working closely with an amazing Slovakian charity ADRA which is based at the border helping with emergency medial aid purchases and transport to Ukraine. Apothaka, together with Luneia Skincare donated a proportion of sales from a collaboration to these efforts.