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Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below relate to ordering issues, If you have a question about 'stretching your ears' please go to our Ear Stretching Information page.

We give Free UK postage on orders over £15
10% OFF all orders over £25
20% OFF all orders over £80

Tell me about postage costs and delivery time

All our orders are posted out within 2 working days, or you will be emailed with a reason why not and the option to cancel the order.

Orders within the UK with a value over 15 are shipped for free.
Otherwise postage costs 1.30.
All orders are sent first class
Orders over 70 are sent by recorded delivery (signed for)
You will normally receive your order within 2-4 working days from making it

Orders within the European Union
Orders within the EU with a value over 100 are shipped for free.
Otherwise postage costs 3.00
Orders under 70 are sent airmail.
Orders over 70 are sent 'signed for' airmail
You will normally receive your order within 3-6 working days.

Orders to USA, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world
Orders to the rest of the world with a value over 100 are shipped for free.
Otherwise postage costs 3.50
Orders under 70 are sent standard airmail
Orders over 70 are sent 'signed for' airmail
You will normally receive your order within 5-10 working days.

I want to return an item, what is your policy on returns?
Returns Policy

If you are not satisfied with your product from us, you can post it back to us within 7 days of delivery and we will refund your money. Simple as that. Please however, read this whole section.

Any goods returned must be in a new and unused condition, that means, still in the clear sealed bag with the 'arka' sticker on and unopened. You are not allowed to try an item on and then return it.

Body Jewellery is a personal product, with hygiene and health implications. Some serious diseases can be transmitted by sharing body jewellery, (hepatitus b is an example). For this reason we're not required by law to accept returns, but we will, if the items are still unopened in the sealed bag, and the bag has not been tampered with.

All items are shipped in sealed clear bags, so you can inspect and measure the item before opening it. Please decide whether you want the item before opening the bag. Opening the bag means you have accepted the item.

Please note though, that all returns must be confirmed with Arka-Shop by either phone or e-mail, BEFORE you post them back to us. Items for return should be sent back at the customers expense via First Class Delivery.

Please send all returns to;
PO BOX 5278
BN50 9DR
United Kingdom

When free postage was given, credits raised will be minus the initial postage cost that we incurred.

It is the customers choice whether they use recorded delivery or standard post to return items, but please bear in mind, all returns are the responsibility of the customer until they reach us. Please post in a padded envelope and pay the correct postage or else the items wont get to us.

All products are guaranteed for 28 days from purchase. This guarantee does not cover accidental damage or damage caused my misuse of an item.

All sizes are subject to reasonable variation, especially the hand carved items and the hand blown glass. Once again we're talking differences of less than a millimeter. An item will not be considered faulty unless the width is more than 0.5mm larger or smaller than that stated. Also, please note that horn is a natural product and that some slight variance in colour from pure black is normal and not a fault. Horn also has a grain, like wood, which can be grey, white and brown, this is normal and not a fault with the item.

What are the payment options?

We dont take payment over the phone, all orders and payments must be done on the website. We accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as paypal accounts.

HSBC/Global Payments You can pay using any credit/debit card using Global Payments. Card details are taken on a fully encrypted SSL page, with up-to-the-minute security features from both Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.

Paypal. We also accept payment via Paypal Standard and Paypal Express. You can pay using your paypal account, or your credit/debit card. Once you have completed your order, you are directed to the Paypal website where your account details or card details are taken on Paypals website. PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information in transit using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available).

Both these methods of paying online are very safe, indeed they are safer than paying over the phone, or even in a shop, as we never see your credit card details at all.

I didnt receive a confirmation email or receipt from you!

First please check your spam box, and mark us as 'not spam'.

Our website will generate an automatic receipt email for your order, but you must return to our website once you have completed payment at HSBC or Paypal in order to trigger the receipt.

There is a 'return to merchant' button, on the final HSBC and Paypal payment pages, press this for your receipt.

If you forgot to do this... dont worry, as long as you have a receipt email from Paypal, stating that you have made a payment to 'Arka' or you saw the confirmation page at Global Payments then we will have received your order.

You will receive a further email from us, telling you when your order has been posted. Please check in your spam box if you did not receive that email.

My order hasnt arrived.

All our orders are posted out within 2 working days, or you will be emailed with a reason why not and the option to cancel the order.
We will send you an email the day your order is shipped. Please check the delivery schedule for your country.
If your order has not arrived within the maximum time for your destination, please send us an email.

Orders within the UK;
You will normally receive your order within 2-5 working days.
Please allow up to 7 working days.

Orders within the EU;
This service usually takes 3-6 working days.
Please allow up to 9 working days.

Orders to the USA, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world;
This service usually takes 5-10 working days.
Please allow up to 15 working days.

Dont worry, we always sort out problems if your order is 'lost'.

What is the size stated?

The size stated on expanders, tapers, stretchers, hooks and crescents is the maximum diameter of the taper.

But, the size stated for plugs and tunnels is the diameter at which the item sits in the ear. ie: the size of your hole.

If you are buying 'double flared' plugs or tunnels, be aware that the actual diameter of the item is larger than the diameter stated. The flared part of the plug is usually 1mm - 1.5mm larger.

See the info on double flared plugs on our ear stretching information page.

Millimeters or Gauge sizes, what size am I?

In Europe we tend to measure our body jewellery in milllimeters. In the USA and Canada body jewellery is measured in gauge sizes. These ARE different!

Gauge to Millimeters.
18 gauge = 1.0mm
16 gauge = 1.2mm
14 gauge = 1.6mm
12 gauge = 2.0mm
10 gauge = 2.4mm
8 gauge = 3.2mm
6 gauge = 4.0mm
4 gauge = 5.0mm
2 gauge = 6.0mm
0 gauge = 8.0mm
00 gauge = 10.0mm
000 gauge = 11.0mm

after '000' inches are used.

12mm = almost 1/2 inch
13mm = just over 1/2 inch
14mm = almost 9/16 inch
15mm = almost 19/32 inch
16mm = 5/8 inch
17mm = almost 11/16 inch
18mm = just over 11/16 inch
19mm = 3/4 inch
20mm = 25/32 inch
21mm = just over 13/16 inch
22mm = almost 7/8 inch
23mm = 29/32 inch
24mm = just over 15/16 inch
25mm = almost 1 inch
26mm = just over an inch
28mm = almost 1 1/8 inch
30mm = almost 1 1/4 inch
32mm = 1 1/4 inches
35mm = 1 3/8 inch
38mm = 1 1/2 inches
40mm = almost 1 5/8 inch
41mm = 1 5/8 inch

Do you deliver to my country?

Yes, We probably do.

We ship to most countries in the world.
During checkout you will be asked for the destination country.
Please choose your country from the dropdown menu.
If your country is not there, please email us.

My pair dont match!

But did you buy them at the same time? We've had people buying one piece, then the next week buying another, and then complaining that they dont match. All the horn, bone and dichroic glass is handmade.. every piece is slightly different.

When people order a pair we go through the stock and pick out a nice matching pair.. If we cant make a good pair we let you know. If you order one piece and then another we obviously cant match them.

If you want a pair, please order a pair together!

You've sent me the wrong size!

If your item is surgical steel, titanium, acrylic or stone, then the size should be correct. The size stated is the point at which the jewellery should sit in the ear. Ie the size of your hole. You may need a 'vernier gauge' to check this properly. Please note that for double flared items the 'lip' will be about 1.5mm wider than the size stated. See the info on double flared plugs on our ear stretching information page.

If after checking this, your sure we have sent you the wrong size, get back to us asap, and we'll replace it for you.

If your item is hand made... carved horn or wood... or blown glass... then please allow a little variation in size and design. Items stated 'hand carved' are genuinely that. We buy direct from the carvers in their village in Indonesia. Hand made items all vary slightly. The size should be no more than 0.5mm bigger or smaller than what is stated. If it is, please get in touch for a replacement.

Tell me about the wood used in your products

The amount of wood needed to make flesh plugs is obviously very small compared to furniture or floor boards, a single branch would probably make enough plugs for us for a year, however we have still made sure our suppliers are harvesting wood in a sustainable manner. Rest assured, none of the wood used in our products are prohibited or harvested by any illegal means. Our suppliers give back what they take in a continued effort to regenerate the wood used. They have a 2 for 1 policy in which they guarantee that they plant two trees back for every tree used in production. Our Oak plugs are made from reclaimed Oak.

The woods we use are safe for wearing. Remember however, this is a natural, organic product, and there is a chance that some individuals will be more sensitive than others to different types of wood. If you show any signs of allergy to a wooden item, take out the jewellery immediately and try another wood or a different material.

These are the main woods we use;

Scientific name: Diospyros Confertiflora.
Scientific name: Pterocarpus Indicus.
Scientific name: Cocos Nucifera.
Scientific name: Cocos Nucifera.
Scientific name : Manilkara zapota.

Where does the horn and bone in your products come from?

The horn and bone used in our jewellery comes from water buffalo farmed in remote areas on the island of Sulawesi and Sumatra. The animals are reared and killed for their meat. No animal is ever killed or harmed just for our organic jewellery! The horn and bone are a by-product of the farming industry. If the bones and horn were not used for carving, they would be discarded. Our suppliers buy the horn and bone under strict supervision of local wildlife and animal protective organisations from communities that otherwise have no use for it. All these items are handcarved in communities in Indonesia. The carvers come from families of hand carvers who have honed their skills over many generations.

'Organic' materials allow the ear lobe to 'breathe'. Some people find that wearing steel, acrylic or glass can make the lobe a bit smelly.. (nice) Wearing horn, bone and wooden jewellery definitely helps with this, which is why some stretchers promote 'organics' as the best material to use for long term primary use, but its all a matter of taste really.



Our Green Policy

Since 1st Jan 2008 for post and packing we have used 100% biodegradable boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap and packing sheets.

These materials are more expensive than the cheap non degradeable envelopes, bubble wrap and alternatives other companies use. We are paying a little more to protect the environment from more plastic rubbish. Thank you for supporting us!

Bio degradable Boxes and Jiffy envelopes
100% bio-degradable and made from 75% recycled materials (the rest from sustainable sources) and are tough enough to be re-used many times. We used to use the cheaper 'mail lite' padded envelopes, like other companies do, but the plastic in these is not bio-degradable. We make a small charge for postage because of this extra expense. Unfortunately being eco friendly is a little more expensive. We are now using more boxes than padded envelopes.

Bio degradable bubblewrap
Made from Sancell bio-degradable film. We used to use standard bubble wrap, which is not bio-degradable. As our business grew, we realised how much of this stuff we were using, and started thinking... "this is all just going in the ground." Even if the boxes, envelopes and bubble wrap we use now, do just go straight in the ground, without being re-used, they will quickly bio-degrade.

Other packaging
We also use fully recyclable packing paper. Delicate items may be bubble wrapped inside a section of strong cardboard tube.

Website Hosting
Our website is hosted by Memset. Memset is the first provider of Web hosting servers and solutions in the UK to become carbon neutral. This accreditation by The CarbonNeutral Company acknowledges that Memset has committed to minimising its energy usage and to offsetting its unavoidable carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by supporting a Plan Vivo reforestation project in Uganda.

We're commited to being as environmentally friendly as possible.

Ring Sizes

General Guide
Internal Diameter
Ladies Xtra Small
little finger
16mmK5 1/2
Ladies Small
ring finger
17mmM 1/26 1/2
Ladies Medium
middle finger
Ladies Medium
middle finger
19mmR 1/29
Ladies Large/Mens Small
ladies index / small mens ring
20mmT 1/210
Mens Medium
mens ring
20.5mmV 1/211
Mens Medium
mens ring
Mens Large
mens index