Duck Cottage Books- Used, Out of Print and Scarce Books

Our Business Terms




IMPORTANT! Shipping to the EU: since the UK left the EU, shipping to the EU for small businesses has become more complicated.  If you order from this site for delivery into the EU, you will be charged VAT and any other relevant taxes when the book is delivered, and there is likely to be a charge for collecting the charge, as well as customs delays.  To avoid this you might prefer to order the book via; ABEbooks use the IOSS system to show prices at their tax-inclusive prices so that your book will arrive through the post without delay or extra charges.  You can find Duck Cottage Books on ABEbooks at  /duck-cottage-books-harleston/54530050/sf

Covid-19 Update: as Post Offices and Royal Mail return to normal we are going back to using Royal Mail as our first choice for shipping.

Urgent orders: if you are in a hurry for your order please make a note in the box on the check-out page. Your order will be dealt with by a real person and we do all we can to meet your deadlines.

Shipping Costs: shipping for parcels up to 2 kg in weight is FREE within the UK. All shipping costs are calculated assuming that your books are sent by Royal Mail or ParcelForce.  Our software will give you a price for packages up to 5 kg; if you are ordering a very heavy set or collection of books, please email for a price.  If you order more than one book we may be able to offer a discount but cannot offer one that is calculated automatically, so by all means get in touch before paying for your order.  The calculated shipping price is based on the weight of the book(s) ordered and will be shown at check-out.  It may very occasionally be difficult to offer safe delivery to some destinations by the standard methods and charges, and we reserve the right to offer alternative delivery methods and prices when this is the case.  Naturally we will cancel and refund in any case where alternatives have to be offered but none is acceptable to you.

Within the UK we offer free shipping via Second Class post for books weighing up to 1.800g (ie packages up to 2 kg packed weight), with the option of First Class (prices below) or a tracked service via ParcelForce (48 or 24 hour services), for packages up to 5 kg.  For very heavy orders (over 5 kg) contact us before paying for your order and we will quote for options.

For your privacy, we do not use software to detect your location, so you need to enter the destination country to see the shipping options. For deliveries outside the UK the shipping options will be shown on the ‘Basket’ page as soon as you enter your destination country; use the Change Address link to set the correct country. You do not need to enter a full address to see shipping options.

UK Prices are:

Standard: free up to 1.800 kg (2 kg packed weight), using Royal Mail Second Class.  All parcels up to 4.600 kg (5 kg packed weight) cost £7 via Parcelforce 48 (tracked and signed for).

Expedited: up to .800 kg (1 kg packed weight) costs £1, from .801 kg to 1.8 kg (1 kg to 2 kg packed weight) £2.50, in both cases using Royal Mail First Class. All parcels up to 4.600 g (5 kg packed weight) cost £10 via Parcelforce 24 (tracked and signed for).

Within Europe

All orders are sent by Royal Mail Tracked, Printed Papers service (packages up to 5 kg packed weight). Books weighing up to .800 kg (ie up to 1kg packed weight) £9, .801 kg to 1.800 kg (packed weight over 1 kg up to 2 kg) £12.50, 1.801 kg-2.800 kg £16.00, 2.801 to 4.600 £25. Heavier parcels priced on request.

Everywhere Else

All orders are sent by Royal Mail Tracked, Printed Papers service (packages up to 5 kg packed weight), although postal regulations in the destination may further restrict the weight of parcels that can be sent at the Printed Papers rate. The limit to Canada, for example, is 2 kg.  If there is a problem you will be contacted when we receive your order and we will offer prices for alternatives. Printed Papers rates for books weighing up to .800 kg (ie up to packed weight 1kg) £15, .801 kg to 1.800 kg(ie up to packed weight 2kg) £20, 1.800g-2.800g (ie up to packed weight 3kg) £28, 2.801 kg-4.600g (ie up to packed weight 5kg) £40, heavier parcels priced on request

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Payment Methods

Payment methods online:
At the moment, the only available payment method on our website is via Paypal. However, you do not need to have a Paypal account; you can use Paypal to pay by your preferred credit or debit card. Just click on the ‘Go to Paypal’ button on checkout and you will be taken to Paypal’s secure page where you will be offered the option of paying by a Paypal account or simply paying using your preferred card.

Payment methods off line:
If you prefer to pay off line, we can
– accept payment by cheque
– accept payment by BACS transfer

To use any of these options please contact us by phone or email for details. We are happy to reserve your chosen books for 7 days while payment methods are agreed.

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Privacy and Data Retention

You do not have to set up an account to buy from this site. If you place an order, the company processing your payment will keep your data securely for long enough to process and deal with any enquiries about the payment, for the length of time required by or permitted by the relevant laws. No financial data (credit card details etc) is stored on any duckcottagebooks site, but we will store contact and order details for six months after the end of the tax year in which the order is placed and sufficient data (stored offline) for us to satisfy the requirements of HMRC.

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Terms of Supply

We offer an unconditional refund for books returned in the condition in which they were dispatched, for 30 days after the receipt of your books. If you think you may need to return a purchase it is helpful if you let us know as soon as possible. If we are at fault (for example, if the book was incorrectly described and the book in less good condition than our description claims) then we will pay costs of return postage. In other cases, we regret we cannot pay return postage.

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Book Conditions:

The following is a summary of the gradings of book conditions used as a guide by us in our listings (borrowed from

As New – No defects, no missing pages, no library stamps, etc., and the dust jacket (if it was issued with one) must be perfect, without any tears.
Fine – Approaches the condition of As New, but without being crisp. For the use of the term Fine, there must also be no defects, etc., and if the jacket has a small tear, or other defect, or looks worn, this should be noted.
Very Good – Describes a book that does show some small signs of wear – but no tears – on either binding or paper. Any defects must be noted.
Good – Describes the average used worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.
Fair – Worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, jacket (if any), etc., may also be worn. All defects must be noted.
Poor – Describes a book that is sufficiently worn, to the point that its only merit is as a Reading Copy because it does have the complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. This copy may be soiled, scuffed, stained or spotted and may have loose joints, hinges pages, etc

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