Frequently Asked Questions


Having problems Contacting Us ?  Please read our Notice Board                    

Q. What is the easiest way to Navigate your Website ?

A.  From our Home page-- Click on the Enter Site link to the Product Index Page which is the Central Hub of the Site, where almost all the Symbols and Pictures are Click-on Links to the Various Categories. ( Your Cursor should change from an Arrow to a Hand as you pass over them ).

  To get some general help in using the Website -- Click on one of the Union Jack Flags in the top corners of the
Product Index Page -- to see our Website Help Page that will give you some additional Website usage information.

Q. How do I find the type of item I am looking for, or an item from its Item Number, without searching through all your pages ?

A. Look at the bottom of the Product Index Page to find our Site Search Engine ..
enter its name, or a descriptive word, or the Item Number with spaces ( i.e.
ATB 123 a ) into the Search Engine and every instance of that word, throughout the Site, or where the Item is in the Site, will be shown to you .. with a click-on link to the relevant page.

Q. Do you have a printed Catalogue ?

AI'm sorry, but we do not produce a printed catalogue ... our Website is our Catalogue. It would be impossible to design, print and distribute an up-to-date catalogue because, by their very nature, most of our items are One-Offs or only available in small numbers,
and thankfully sell very quickly ...
therefore a printed catalogue would be out of date before we could produce it.

Q. How can I be sure that I do not miss any New Additions ?

A Add your Name and e-mail address to our
Updates Newsletter List and we will send
you Update Notification E-mails -- also please
Regularly "Refresh" or "Reload"
your "Saved to Favourites" or "Bookmarked" Pages to see any Changes.

Q. Your Stock sells very quickly -- how can I get to be first in the Queue to Order ?

A. By Regularly visiting our Pages and Ordering Quickly.

Q. I am a thief and a con man ( often using an address in Nigeria ) who is going to ask us if we would like $10,000,000 from a bogus bank account for helping you to claim your "rightful inheritance" - or if you can buy enormous quantities of our items, using shipping by DHL or another courier .. and will then attempt to defraud us by paying with a stolen Credit Card. Should I bother to e-mail you ?

A. NO !!! Don't waste your or our time or discredit the good people of that or any other country !!!
We send our items by Insured Mail, not expensive couriers, and only accept secure
PayPal Credit Card payments. Also we will report you to the ISP you are using .. your account will most probably be banned from their server and your details passed on to other legal authorities to track you down !!!

Q. Do you supply items in Wholesale Quantities or at Discounted Prices ?

A. Sorry, no .. most items are unique and a diminishing resource, especially  the Antique and Ancient ones ... neither available for us to Buy or Sell in wholesale quantities or at discounted prices.

The prices displayed are the fixed prices we sell at .. free samples and discounts are not available.

Q. Do you have a shop and can I visit you in person to look at your items ?

A. Sorry, no .. we are strictly a mail order only company and do not have a retail shop, nor are our stock items on display at Bead Fairs or anywhere else other than on our Website.

Q. I live in Singapore, do you send items here ?

A. Yes, we send our items all over the world to any country that has a Postal System.

Q. How do I convert millimetres ( mm ) and centimetres ( cm ) to inches ?

A.  1 Inch = approximately 25 mm = 2 . 5 cm

Q. How do I Order some items from you ?

A.  Go to our Order Enquiries Page enter the items that you are interested in, in the boxes provided, with the full Stock Number ( for example: ATB 333  Price 30 )
Next enter your Name and Postal Address and Telephone number-- or just the Country in which
you live -- if you do not want to disclose your Postal Address at first.
Check that the information you have entered is correct and then click the Submit button,
once only please, to automatically send your Enquiry.

Q. Why do you not have a modern, "all singing, all dancing" automatic Shopping Cart ?

A.  Because it would be intensely complicated to be able to automatically calculate the shipping costs on Orders for multiple items, to different destinations world-wide. We keep shipping costs
( which include packing materials as well as Post Office charges ) to a  minimum, but they can vary enormously depending on the weight, insurance value and the distance the order has to be sent.

Besides which, we like to "cyber-talk" to our customers personally ...

You are all individuals and we enjoy making new friends 

Q. Do you have a Minimum Order Value ?

A. Yes, the Minimum Order Value we accept is 10.00 ( 10 UK pounds ) + Shipping
which is displayed on our
Order Enquiry Page.

Q. Do you add VAT to your invoices ?

ANo .. you pay only the prices shown plus shipping costs.

Q. What do I do if I do not receive a reply within 3 days ?

APerhaps your Browser does not work with our forms or your ISP Security is not allowing our replies to reach you. First read our Notice Board and then, if necessary, please send an e-mail,
with all the information we require, directly to us at
This especially applies to AOHell oops, sorry .. AOL users .. as with some versions of AOL
your Security Settings might not allow our replies to reach you.
Tell us if this could be a problem and we will reply using our Outlook account. Thank you.
Please click HERE for an explanation and a possible solution.

Q. I have some pictures I would like to send you ?

A. We are always interested and like to help everyone when we are able to ..
Due to the danger of malicious viruses
*Please do NOT e-mail attachments to us without asking first *

Q. If I fill in and send the Order Enquiry form .. does it mean I have made an Order ?

A. No, you have only made an Enquiry. We will reply with the total cost of your Order, including the  Insured Postal / Shipping Costs to your address or country. You then have 3 Days - during which we will not process any orders for the same items - to reply to our e-mail and Confirm your Order.

Q. What happens when I Confirm my Order ?

A. We put your items On Hold for you .. Update the Website Page to show this, adding your Initials to  show that the Item is On Hold for you and allow 14 Days for your Payment to reach us in the Mail.

Q. Is any of the Information, that I supply you with, passed on to anybody else ?

A.  Absolutely not .. it is totally confidential between us.

Q. What Currency are your Prices marked in ?

A. Our Prices are marked in UK Pounds Sterling ( ) ... we recognise that some people do not have  this symbol on their computers and recommend a useful free download of Visual Keyboard from  Microsoft's Website to equip their computers for many such variations in Foreign Keyboard Symbols.

Q. Do you accept US Dollars [ $ ] and what is your Exchange Rate ?

A. Yes, we accept US Dollars and our Exchange Rate, at the moment, is fixed at
1 [ one Pound Sterling ] being equal to $1.33 [ One Dollar - Thirty Three cents ]
This Exchange Rate covers the commission costs when converting
Dollars back to Sterling.

Q. Do you accept the Euro and what is your Exchange Rate ?

A. Yes, we accept the Euro and our Exchange Rate, at the moment, is fixed at
1 [ one Pound Sterling ] is equal to 1.12 [ One Euro - Twelve cents ].
This Exchange Rate covers the commission costs when converting
Euros back to Sterling.

Q. Do you accept Credit Card payments ?

 A. Yes, but ONLY via using the secure service they provide for us.

See: who accept all major credit cards
Allowing you to pay in UK Pounds, US Dollars or Euros - but later charged to you, by your bank or  credit card company, in your local currency, if it is not one of these.

If you tell us you wish to pay using your PayPal account, we will send you these
further details
when we receive your Order Enquiry.

Q. Do you accept Personal Cheques ?

A. Yes, in UK Pounds Sterling, drawn on a British Bank only ... Cheques drawn on Foreign banks take up to 5 weeks to clear and incur you the customer extra charges from both Banks involved.

Q. Do you accept Cash Payments ?

A.  Yes, we accept Cash Payments in UK Pounds Sterling, Euros and US Dollars ..  but the responsibility is on the Customer to ensure any Cash is sent by Registered and Insured Mail
in a
Secure Envelope.

Q. Do you accept Electronic Bank Transfer Payments ?

A.  Yes, we can accept these Payments, but only for extra security when large amounts
UK 2,000 + ) are involved and where you pay all the Bank Charges which are often incurred,
at both ends of the transaction.

Q. What do you do when you receive my Payment ?

A.  We send you an e-mail to confirm the safe receipt of your Payment and send you your Order within 2 Working Days if your payment is by PayPal or in Cash ... or immediately after your Cheque  has cleared in the Bank. In common with most other banks within the UK, it takes 7 Working Days before cheques are cleared and funds become available to us, after paying in a cheque to our bank.

Q. Have you ever had any Cash, Cheque Payments or Sent Orders go missing ?

A. As yet, we have experienced no problems with any of the above.

Q. I live in America .. I ordered and paid for my beads by PayPal two days ago .. why have I not  received them yet ?

AAfrican Trade is in the United Kingdom .. there are a few thousand miles between our countries. With the best will in the world, packages sent by our normal method of 1st class, registered and insured air mail cannot arrive overnight and normally take between 1 and 2 weeks to get to our many customers in the United States and similarly varying times to other parts of the world.

Q. If I am not satisfied with my Order, what is your Returns and Refunds Policy ?

A.  Our Returns and Refunds Policy is Displayed on our Returns Policy Page
and is Strictly and Honestly adhered to.

Q. Why do you not display any Telephone Numbers ?

A. In the interests of Security and Peace we do not give out our Phone Numbers, but we are readily available by e-mail at: or by Letter posted to
Suite 25, 37 St Andrews Street Norwich  NR2 4TP England. 
We will quickly reply to all correspondence.

Q. What is my Guarantee that you will Honour our Transaction ?

A.  The Bead World is a closely knit community -- we would not risk our international reputation for  Honest and Fair Dealing -- a Valued Asset -- as we intend to be around for many years.

Our only aim is to be able to supply you with the items of your choice at a fair price,
to enhance your collection and promote your enjoyment of beads.

Q. Where do you get your Stock from ?

A. We travel to West Africa on a regular basis and personally buy our Stock direct from Traders and the People of West Africa -- paying a fair price, on the spot, to our many good friends who collect, keep and supply us with the Best Items they can find. The prices we have to pay, usually after hard  but friendly bargaining, are reflected in our prices, which may rise or fall depending on the trading conditions and the scarcity of the item involved.

Q. I still have another Question ?

A. Please E-mail us your Question now to: and we will do our best to quickly and helpfully answer it for you.