Postage and Packaging Info


Important VAT info for EU customers:

Import fees in the form of VAT (plus admin costs) are now charged by local mail companies in EU member states on all goods sent from the UK - there are no longer any exemptions for small value items (the EU abolished this from July 1st 2021). Packages are usually held by the postal service until the customs / handling fee is paid (a note advising of any charges will be delivered in lieu of the item). The VAT charge varies from one EU member state to another (19-27%) and the admin cost depends on the local carrier -  5 to 15 Euros seems to be normal, but please check locally. If the customs / local admin fees are likely to be an issue, it'd probably be best to order elsewhere. (If place and order and it is returned to me marked "unclaimed", "refused" etc I can only refund the cost of the goods, not the shipping cost or Paypal fee.)


General Shipping info:

The postage cost of each order is calculated based on weight and size.  Most small orders will fit the lowest tier (Large Letter under 100g)

Orders are dispatched by Royal Mail (to the address supplied by Paypal*) with a choice of 1st or 2nd class for the UK, and via "International Standard" for Europe, USA and the rest of the world. There is the option for tracking/signature on delivery. Please make sure you select the correct zone for your location.

* If you need the goods sent to a different address to that of the Paypal account holder, you must let me know via the Special Instructions box at the time of purchase (ie: on the checkout page) - I can't guarantee I'll see any follow-up messages before I dispatch the order.

I try to keep delivery costs as low as possible and will refund you should the system substantially overestimate the figure. I don't make anything on shipping - Please bear in mind the charge includes packing materials, Paypal surcharge etc. My usual posting time is around 3:00pm and I post orders on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I try my best to post orders received before that time the same day but this is not always possible when things get busy, eg: after the weekend or national holidays (you can always keep track of your order on the order status page). A proof-of-postage is retained for all orders so that claims for loss can be entered if necessary (please refer to the details below for limitations imposed by Royal Mail).

UK orders:

Delivery times:  1st Class aims for next day delivery, with two days for 2nd class but neither service is guaranteed. "Signed For" Delivery is available as an option (and this is mandatory for orders over £30). A barcode number / tracking link will be provided upon dispatch where applicable. Note: These days I often substitute Royal Mail Tracked 24 / 48 (as applicable) for "Signed For 1st / 2nd class" as it's a better service (full tracking info - as opposed to confirmation of delivery, priority handling within Royal Mail and higher insurance).

Compensation for loss: The basic level of compenensation for loss is capped (by Royal Mail) at £20 plus the postage cost. The "Signed For" option increases this to £50 plus the postage cost. Should a package go missing I can enter a claim for loss with Royal Mail, however 10 working days must be allowed before Royal Mail will accept such applications (13 working days for 2nd Class). Claims must be made within 80 days of posting. Please see Royal Mail's Compensation Page for details. 

Overseas orders:

Royal Mail's basic "International Standard" service states that it aims for 5-7 working days delivery but in reality around 2 weeks is not unusual (it may be longer at peak times such as Christmas). The "Tracked" option will either offer tracking, require a signature on delivery or both - it depends what services Royal Mail and their overseas partners offer for your country. (Customers in locations where only "International Signed" is provided by Royal Mail (EG: Mexico, South Africa) may not be able to get much, if anything in the way of tracking information even though a barcode is provided). If a barcode / tracking link is supplied, it will be forwarded in the dispatch note email sent when the package has been posted. In all cases, 25 *working* days must be allowed for delivery before any claim for loss can be entered. This period of time is mandated by Royal Mail, and therefore unfortunately beyond my control.

The Post Office now only quotes for overseas packages upto 2Kg so heavy orders should be divided into multiple shipments where possible. In exceptional circumstances I may be able to send a single package > 2Kg but be prepared for very high shipping costs (between £50-£100).

Customs / Import Charges: VAT (and admin fees) are being charged by local mail companies on items ordered from the UK to EU member states - Here is a link to some relevant information (and some more here). Orders sent overseas to places other than the EU are (also) usually subject to customs charges on arrival - I cannot predict how much these charges will be as the rules are complicated and it varies widely on a per-country basis (some countries, such as the USA have a generous exemption threshold under which no charges are levied). A completed customs label will be attached to each box, goods listed as "Old Computer Parts", with the weight and value accurately stated - I cannot, by law, under-declare the value so please do not ask. If your country has any rules regarding imported goods you must advise me in the Special Instructions box during checkout (EG: I have been informed that Brazil needs a "CPF" code on the label, and all packages must be tracked). Failure to follow local regulations may result in packages being lost for which I cannot take responsibilty. If a package is returned to me unopened I will - upon receipt - refund the cost of the goods. I cannot refund postage or paypal fees unless I have made a mistake in labelling the package.

Compensation for loss: For items sent via "International Standard" the basic level of compenensation for loss is capped at £20 plus the postage fee per package. The "Tracked" option increases this to £50 max no matter what service was actually used (International Tracked, International Tracked & Signed or International Signed). Tracked shipping is mandatory for orders over £30 - note that it may actually be cheaper to submit multiple smaller orders (but beware of customs+handling fees on multiple orders). Should a package go missing I can enter a claim for loss, but please note that Royal Mail stipulate that 25 working days must pass before a claim can be submitted. Claims must also be submitted within 6 months of shipping. Please see Royal Mail's Overseas Compensation page for details.

If you find any of the above to be unnacceptable (especially the time which must be allowed for shipping before a claim for loss can be entered) it'd probably be best to order elsewhere. Bear in mind that Retroleum is a one man operation - I try my best to please but there's only so much I can do in any given period of time and some things are simply out of my control.



Q. Where is my order?
A. If you have not received a dispatch note via email, first check your spam folder. You can also check the order's status on this page. If you have selected a tracked shipping service you will see a Royal Mail tracking code which can be used at There is no tracking available with the International Standard service. I always obtain a proof of posting and this can be used to make a claim for loss in necessary but remember Royal Mail require that 10 working days is allowed for delivery of UK packages, and 25 working days allowed for packages sent overseas. Unfortunately, there is nothing more I can do before then (except send you a scan of the proof-of-posting, if required.)

Q. Can you send to [x]?
A. I can ship items worldwide, but please adhere to any local regulations (eg: some countries require an import code which must be provided to the seller so that it can be included on the address label)

Q. Can you use shipping company [x]?
A. No sorry, it's too expensive and a lot of hassle for a single order.

Q. Can I pay without Paypal?
A. The store goes to Paypal on checkout. In most countries, you dont actually need a Paypal account (you can pay - via Paypal - as a guest with debit or credit card - look out for the link on Paypal's front page) but some locations insist on a Paypal account. Sorry, I cannot accept any other payment methods.

Q. Can you reserve an item? 
A. No, sorry. It quickly becomes difficult to keep track of such things.

Q. Do you have spares for [x]?
A. I generally only deal with the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. Items for other machines will be shown in stock if I have them.

Q. When will [x] next be in stock?
A. If it's an item I make myself (such as Nebula, SMART Card, RAM boards) I build them when I have time (weekends, usually) and when the parts are available  (which has been an issue ever since the pandemic). If you want an email when I next list them drop me a line. For other items such as custom chips (SID, VIC-II etc) I really can't say - I list them whenever I acquire them (which is totally random) and once they've been fully tested.

Q. Can I add something to an order already placed? 

A. You'll need to place another order - however I will usually notice, combine them and refund the excess shipping cost (where applicable) less the Paypal transaction fee on the shipping (3.5% plus £0.30). Of course, this assumes the first order has not already been dispatched. Please try not to do this multiple times.

Q. Can I cancel an order?
A. Email me (or reply to the order acknowledgement email) with **URGENT CANCELLATION** in the subject. If I haven't already posted your order I will cancel it and refund you via Paypal (less any Paypal transaction charges - note that as of September 2020, Paypal no longer refunds these surcharges). If the order has been dispatched you will need to return / reject it upon delivery. When I receive it back I will put the refund through (it will be the total amount paid, less postage and Paypal transaction costs.)

Q. Can you repair my computer?
A. Sorry, I don't have time any more :(

Q. Can you help me repair my computer?
A. Sorry no, I can't get into 1-to-1 remote diagnostics - you will find help and advice on my blog. 

Q. Can you supply products such as the Nebula and SMART Card in kit form?
A. Sorry, no. The parts are way too fiddly to package up and the CPLD has to be programmed in situ with specialized equipment.

Q. Can you make up a kit of parts for [x]?
A. Sorry, no - one-offs are not economically viable.

Q. Can I get a volume discount?

A. Sorry no, my margins are too thin for that.