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Visit our yarn store in Manchester city centre's Northern Quarter. 🎉 Order online for worldwide delivery. 📦
Visit our yarn store in Manchester city centre's Northern Quarter. 🎉 Order online for worldwide delivery. 📦

FAQs

> The UK withdrawal from the EU

BREXIT - Do your prices include all taxes for EU customers?

From January 1st 2021 until possibly the summer of 2021, EU customers do not pay taxes directly to Countess Ablaze Ltd. They will pay the international price that excludes VAT.

BREXIT - Do I pay any taxes?

Yes, you are responsible for paying any taxes to your own government once the parcel has reached your country. Prior to 2021, EU customers paid VAT at the UK rate of 20%.

From 2021, they will pay VAT at the rate set in their own country, i.e.

  • Germany is 19%
  • Ireland is 23%
  • Italy is 22%
  • France is 20%

This is known as Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) - The buyer is responsible for import clearance and any applicable local taxes or import duties. You will need to pay these before your order will be released. Please contact your local customs office for further information.

BREXIT - Can you change my customs form and invoice so I don't pay as much tax?

This is illegal. No.

BREXIT - How long will it take for my order to get to me?

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting staff numbers in logistics and the Brexit transition ending which has resulted in more paperwork, please allow a little longer for your order to reach you.

The vast majority of our orders (excluding Yarn Cartel) are tracked and you will receive a tracking number.

BREXIT - I'm not in the UK or EU, how will my orders be affected?

For European destinations outside the EU, we will continue to ship on a Delivered Duty Unpaid basis and any outstanding import duties, clearance fees, brokerage fees or any other additional charges are the responsibility of our customer and need to be settled on delivery of your order based on the legislation imposed by the customs authorities of the destination country.

Please contact your local customs office for further information.

> Our Covid-19 Policy Learn more about our response

Introduction

The well-being and safety of our people and our customers is of paramount importance to us, and we are doing everything that we can to play our part in helping to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. We are of course following advice from the government and public health authority. Our priority is to look after our employees and customers as best we can in these scenarios.

Online Orders

We are shipping worldwide but if there are any issues with any countries, we'll let you know. You can see Royal Mail's International Incidents Bulletin here.

All packages from now on will be sent with tracking. Please allow extra time for your order to arrive as postal services are under strain.

The Studio in Manchester city centre

Everything has changed!

  • We have two floors of retail space with large windows for ventilation and is purposefully kept in a format for wheelchair and pram accessibility
  • The front door opens from the intercom so we don't need to stand close to let you in
  • A perspex screen is on the till counter and contactless card payments are preferred
  • There will be a limit on customer numbers allowed in at a time. Ideally visit us alone but if you bring children with you, please ask them not to touch
  • Access to a sink for hand washing with a liquid soap from an electronic dispenser, paper towels, as well as hand sanitiser and moisturiser
  • We've had a deep clean and will continue to keep to the strictest hygiene standards (one of Blazin'Squad is a former ICU nurse so rest assured, we've got this!)
> Wholesale and Retailers Want to stock Countess Ablaze yarn?

WHOLESALE : I'm a LYS owner and I'd like to stock your yarn!

After 8 years of being a strictly retail-only business, we're opening the doors to supplying yarn shops with Countess Ablaze yarn.

  • We're looking for business-focused yarn shops that demonstrate areas of professional responsibility, such as sustainability and fair wages, which reflects our own ethos.
  • We're approaching wholesaling in a different way as we will not dye repeatable colourways. Instead, we'd like you to make some suggestions for a theme for a REBEL BATCH collection, that will be unique and exclusive to your shop. 
  • We appreciate that not all shops will like this way of ordering so if you're looking for repeatable colourways, we're not for you.
  • Contact us for our Retailers Information Pack and application form.
> Payment & VAT Learn more about how to pay at Countess Ablaze

PAYMENT : Do I pay VAT?

If you are ordering within the UK, you will pay 20% VAT on your order. The website shows prices both with and without. 

Gift cards and books do not have VAT applied but VAT is applied to the redeeming order if you are a UK customer.

PAYMENT : How can I pay?

For online orders, the two payment processors are PayPal and Stripe. Both are secure payment processors, and Stripe is integrated into the shop checkout.

It is not possible to pay by cheque or postal order.

For UK customers, there is also Clearpay which allows payment to be taken in instalments.

CLEARPAY : 1. What is Clearpay?

Clearpay is a payment service allowing us to offer customers the ability to make purchases instantly and then pay for them in 4 automatic instalments beginning at the time of purchase and then made every 2 weeks without any interest.

CLEARPAY : 2. How do I use Clearpay?

Just shop on COUNTESSABLAZE.COM and check out as normal. At checkout, choose the Clearpay payment method. You will be directed to the Clearpay website to register and provide payment details (Visa or Mastercard).

If you’ve used Clearpay before, just log in to your Clearpay account. Then complete your order – easy!

Please note, all items in your shopping bag must be eligible for Clearpay and the shopping value must be under £800. Other factors could be considered that might cause this figure to be less, such as being a new customer or your customer payment history.

CLEARPAY : 3. Where can I use Clearpay?

Clearpay can be used on product purchases made on COUNTESSABLAZE.COM. Clearpay is not available on purchases of gift cards, Yarn Cartel, events or services. If your order contains gift cards, events or services, you will need to purchase these ineligible products or services separately.

CLEARPAY : 4. Can I use Clearpay if I'm a customer outside of the UK?

Clearpay is only available to customers with a UK billing address. Customers with international billing addresses will not be able to create a Clearpay account.

CLEARPAY : 5. What if I can't make a Clearpay instalment?

As soon as you miss a payment, Clearpay will immediately stop you from making any further purchases with Clearpay.

Clearpay will give you until 11pm on the following day to make your repayment and then you will incur a late fee for a missed payment that is not resolved. This will be an initial £6 and a further fee of £6 if the missed payment is not made within 7 days. Late fees will not exceed 25% of the total order.

CLEARPAY : 6. Can I use another form of payment with Clearpay?

Yes, you may also use a gift card or promotional code with Clearpay to pay for your purchase.

CLEARPAY : 7. What products are not available for purchase on Clearpay?

Clearpay is not available on purchases of gift cards , events or services. If your Clearpay order contains gift cards, events or services alongside other eligible products, you will need to purchase these items separately.

Yarn Cartel is also not eligible as this is hosted on a subscription eCommerce platform away from here.

> Discounts Got a discount code?

DISCOUNTS : Where do I put the code?

Mobile phone = on the checkout page, click on "Show Order Summary"

Desktop = the dark panel on the right of the screen has a box for the code.

DISCOUNTS : I have a discount code but it's expired. Can I get a new one?

Discount codes are time-sensitive and will not be reissued after the expiry date.

DISCOUNTS : I have a discount code but forgot to use it.

Discount codes can not be applied retrospectively and must be used at the time of purchase.

> DELIVERY We ship worldwide

DELIVERY : UK Customers

UK Customers:

£3.00 flat rate with Royal Mail 24.

Postage is free on orders £40.00 and over.

Pre-Corona this was next day delivery, please allow extra time & you'll receive a Royal Mail notification on the day it is due to be delivered.

Manchester Collect From Store:

 

You'll receive an email once your order is ready to collect.

Collection days are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Please ring the doorbell to the right of the door as we're not open to the public during lockdown.

 

DELIVERY : EU Customers

EU Customers:  

£9.00 flat rate with Royal Mail, with tracking!

Track your order with Royal Mail Track and Trace.

Shipping is free on orders £150 and over.

Pre-Corona this was delivery usually taking 2-4 weeks, please allow extra time & check the tracking.

Royal Mail's International Incidents Update is very useful to keep an eye on should there be a delay to your delivery.

EU VAT:

EU customers purchasing from Countess Ablaze will no longer be charged UK VAT (20% rate).

Instead, they will be charged the relevant VAT / TAX on the goods when they arrive at their destination.

 

DELIVERY : USA Customers

USA Customers:

 

£12.00 flat rate with Royal Mail, with tracking.

Track your order with Royal Mail Track and Trace.

Shipping is free on orders £150 and over.

Pre-Corona this was delivery usually taking 2-4 weeks, please allow extra time & check the tracking.

Royal Mail's International Incidents Update is very useful to keep an eye on should there be a delay to your delivery.

 

DELIVERY : Rest of World Customers 

International Customers

outside UK, EU & USA:

 

£9.00 flat rate with Royal Mail, with tracking!

Track your order with Royal Mail Track and Trace.

Shipping is free on orders £150 and over.

Pre-Corona this was delivery usually taking 2-4 weeks, please allow extra time & check the tracking.

Royal Mail's International Incidents Update is very useful to keep an eye on should there be a delay to your delivery.

 

Customs and Imports:

Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the customer to pay any import duty or customs tax due.

> RETURNS Returning your order

REFUND : What is your refund policy?

We offer a 21 calendar day cancellation period in which you can notify Countess Ablaze of your intent to cancel your order. This cooling-off period becomes active from the day you receive your order. You must email us first before returning an order.

You are responsible for the cost of return postage unless the item is deemed to be faulty.

A refund shall be made within 14 calendar days of receipt of the item. It is your responsibility to send back and obtain proof of postage. In the likelihood of the returned product going missing in transit, you are to pursue your postage provider for compensation as the product is legally yours until a refund is issued.

Items must be returned in the original condition, with original packaging and must be free from scent and animal hair. Items not in original condition cannot be resold and will be returned to you and a refund or exchange will not be issued.

REFUND : Can I return an order if I am outside the UK?

You can, yes.

Items returned from outside the UK must be clearly marked on the customs label as "returned merchandise" so as not to attract import duty / VAT. Please also write "Returning to the country of origin" on the package too.

If you attempt to return the yarn incorrectly and we receive a customs fee notification, this will be ignored and the items will automatically be returned to you by Royal Mail, and no refund will be issued.

> The Studio Visit us in Manchester city centre

STUDIO : Can I visit your studio?

See our page Visit the Studio for details.

STUDIO : Do you host a knit & crochet group?

As of 2020, we're no longer hosting a knit and crochet group in the studio.

After five years of hosting a large group, it has become too much for the Countess to "perform neurotypical" so we've made the decision to stop hosting for the time being.

> Our Products Learn more about our yarns

PRODUCTS : Can I reserve yarn?

In the essence of fairness, we do not reserve items. The shop is run on a first-come, first-served basis.

PRODUCTS : Can you wind my yarn into a ball for me?

With apologies, we do not wind skeins of yarn into balls as we're often quite busy.

PRODUCTS : Do you have a yarn club?

We have a subscription yarn club which launched in January 2019 at YARN CARTEL with hundreds of subscribers.

> Collaborate Want to work with us on a project?

COLLABORATE : I'm a designer. Want to collaborate?

Get in touch with your ideas and how we can help and we'll take it from there. We'd like to see examples of previous work (not on Ravelry due to accessibility issues) and a concept before we can agree on anything. We will only work with designers who host their online patterns on an alternative platform, such as Payhip, or their own website whether alongside or instead of Ravelry.

We look for designs that are bold, rebellious and definitely not suitable for a twee-bollocks flatlay with a carefully curated coffee table.

Please bear in mind when contacting us, the Countess and most of Blazin'Squad are on the autistic spectrum so please provide a very clear proposal, use bullet points not walls of text, and be direct, not wishy-washy.

We can only collaborate with designers who can accommodate our communication needs.

COLLABORATE : I have a blog / podcast / magazine / 3 billion subscribers and I want you to donate prizes or send free yarn. Will you?

No. Countess Ablaze is not currently available for free or discounted merchandise for reviews, giveaways, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc as this creates bias in the review.

If you come across such promotion on the internet or print media, it is because we have initiated the contact and collaboration and because reviewers have paid full price for the merchandise to give an honest verdict.

> Social Where to find us

SOCIAL : You're no longer on social media? Why?

Countess Ablaze left mainstream social media at the end of June 2020 for a variety of reasons including and not limited to:

  • personal and professional objections to the way these platforms conduct themselves and the increased and encouraged polarisation, misinformation and conspiracy theories
  • the mental health effects upon our employees
  • the autistic overload of continuously being expected to be present on social media

SOCIAL : So where can we find you online?

Sign up to our newsletter for a weekly update and most importantly, find us at UNDERGROUND, our alternative community.

Our manifesto is simple, "everybody is welcome as long as you welcome everyone" and leave your social media baggage at the door.

SOCIAL : Which shows and festivals do you at exhibit at?

We don't do the show circuit at all but as of 2018, we've decided to exhibit at one major show a year with the motto "go big or go home!" so our booths tend to be very dramatic.

  1. 2018 - Woollinn, Ireland
  2. 2019 - Edinburgh Yarn Festival, UK
  3. 2020 - Unravel Festival, UK
  4. 2021 - none!
> Photography Strike a pose

PHOTOS : Can I use your photos on my blog / social media?

When it comes to product photography, yes. Please leave the watermarks on the photos and photos may be used on your personal social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry.

PHOTOS : Who does your photography?

Product photography and any photos that don't look super-polished are taken by us at Countess Ablaze.

Professional photography has been taken by:

PHOTOS : What camera do you use?

A Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II camera and a calibrated monitor are used. Images are double-checked on a range of devices, including tablet and mobile phone, on different operating systems before they are published.

All photographs look different on different monitors but what we see on ours is as close as possible to how the item looks.

Please bear in mind that devices using fl.ux tend to alter the light on your screen to match your ambient light, which has an effect on colour reproduction. For the best representation of product photographs, please use a desktop/laptop screen.