Business During Lockdown + Shipping Updates

On March 23rd the Prime Minister announced further restrictions to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The official guidelines are here.

As of now, online businesses are not being told to close. Therefore as long as carriers continue to collect and deliver I will continue to trade.

Please be aware that all carriers will face pressure due to increased demand and potentially decreased workforce. Many Royal Mail depots across the country are on reduced staff due to illness/self-isolation. Royal Mail are no longer guaranteeing Special Delivery by 1pm Next Working Day service and longer delivery times should be expected across all services. Your understanding is appreciated.

I have made the decision to remove non-tracked services from international orders for the time being. The ability to track orders during potential customs clearance backlogs is essential at this time. Unfortunately that will mean smaller orders may no longer be cost effective for my international customers, and for that I am sorry. Some countries are having delivery issues – updates will be posted at the bottom of this post with a link to the Royal Mail International Incident page.

I will obviously be monitoring the situation and will post updates here should things change.

Please be safe and let’s all do our part.

Royal Mail International Incident Bulletin.

EDIT 29/03/20

Sales to New Zealand have been suspended due to delivery issues.

EDIT 03/04/20

From Monday April 6th Royal Mail Customer Service points will be operating reduced hours for the public. This does not currently affect dispatch of my mail as it is collected from me in the afternoon.

To protect the health and safety of our people and the general public, from Monday 6 April, we are changing the opening times of our Customer Services Points in our local delivery offices.  Our largest locations will be open between 07:00-11:00am. All other Customer Service Points will be open between 07:00-09:00am. All will be closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

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EU Sales After January 31st 2020 – UPDATED

Update 1/02/20

The UK officially left the EU at 11pm GMT Jan 31st 2020. However there is a transition period until December 31st 2020 for trade talks and negotiating the future relationship between UK and EU, during which time nothing changes. Sales to the EU will continue as normal. There will be no additional duty/tax to pay on orders from the EU during this period.

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Easter Bank Holiday Hours

I am sure I won't be alone in completely forgetting about Easter this year. However certain things are immutable, such as carriers closing over the long weekend.

I will not be dispatching orders tomorrow (Friday 10th) or Monday 13th. Things will be back to normal Tuesday.

Work-wise I will answer email as usual Friday and Monday. I may or may not answer the phone, depending how I feel!

Stay safe.

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Shipping Update

I received the following notification from Royal Mail yesterday.

Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm
We will no longer guarantee deliveries by 1pm the next working day for items posted from Thursday 19 March 2020 onwards.  As a result, we will not consider a claim for delay for items posted using the Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm service from that date.  In addition we will not during this period offer our Consequential Loss service and we will not accept any related claims.

Our Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am service remains unchanged.

To that end I have today removed the Special Delivery 1pm option from the website. I will look at the pricing for the 9am service over the weekend and may add that option from Monday.

All delivery carriers are experiencing increased demand with more people working from home so please be aware that delivery times may be slightly longer than normal for a while. So far I haven’t noticed much/any delay, however depending on how carriers’ workforce is affected by the current situation that may change.

I’m sure you know that most carriers are now no longer getting recipients to sign for deliveries – here’s Royal Mail’s procedure.

All Signature services
We’ve put in place a temporary procedure for those services where we would normally capture a recipient’s signature on delivery in the UK. For items delivered on or after Saturday 14th March 2020, our postmen and women will not request a signature but will capture the recipient’s name and will ensure they take in the item. You can still check that we have obtained confirmation of delivery and who we delivered to by tracking your parcel at (where you may see a special code, ‘XP1’ instead of signature).  As a result, we will not consider refunds or compensation requests for not capturing a signature for items delivered on or after Saturday 14 March 2020 and until further notice.

International shipping may also be affected. Most carriers are stating increased transit times. Royal Mail has a page that lists known issues here. Note that due to lockdown in certain areas in Italy there is currently no postal service in certain post codes.

You can follow Royal Mail’s updates on their response to the changing situation for domestic deliveries here.

Please stay safe everyone.

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Hosco and Gotoh Special Orders

It has been a while since I have made a post like this but I am about to place a new order with Hosco and Gotoh. Now is the time to get in touch if you would like me to order something I do not usually stock. Lead time will be 7- 8 weeks.

Check out the Hosco and Gotoh catalogues if you need inspiration – both/all can be downloaded here.



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End of Year Round-Up

So how was 2019?

Uncertainty over our trade to EU (ongoing!) and the volatile exchange rate has kept us all on our toes! I’ve introduced a few new lines and our aged body runs with SC Relics have continued to be popular so much so I am planning to expand the range a bit. We have thankfully seen the end of CITES restrictions on rosewood and can now ship worldwide again (hint hint).

All in all it has been another great year here at Axecaster Towers, thanks to our customers. I don’t take your business for granted and will continue to strive to give you good service and the products you need to satiate your GAS.

What’s in store for 2020? Hopefully more of the same (and a website refresh)!

Enjoy yourselves this evening and I’ll see you next year!

Happy New Year!

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Website Issue

My website is down at the moment. Tech support will be uploading a backup of all files hopefully pretty soon. Their backups are newer than mine but if it isn’t up this evening I will upload from my most recent backup.

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Merry Christmas!

Right that’s me done until Friday now.

I hope you all find yourselves on the “nice” list and for those on the “naughty” list, I hope it was worth it!

Merry Christmas!


“Merry Christmas” Image from
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Christmas 2019 Posting Dates

Office Hours

Due to the way the Bank Holidays fall during Christmas/New Year week I will be answering email/phone as usual up to Tuesday 24th then closed until Thursday January 2nd.

Shipping Cut-Off Dates

Please remember that no service is 100% guaranteed and cut-off time for same day shipping may be earlier than usual depending on order volume. Order as early as possible to avoid delays or disappointment.

I will be shipping as normal until Monday 23rd December, will ship on Friday 27th and Monday 30th then resume normal shipping from Thursday January 2nd.

Royal Mail

Wednesday 18 December 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For
Friday 20 December 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For
and Royal Mail Tracked 48*
Saturday 21 December Royal Mail Tracked 24*
Monday 23 December Special Delivery Guaranteed


International Standard & International tracking and signature services
Monday 9 December Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and
South America, Far and Middle East
Tuesday 10 December Cyprus, Malta
Wednesday 11 December Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic,
Poland and Slovakia)
Thursday 12 December Australia, Greece, New Zealand and
Saturday 14 December Canada, Czech Republic, Finland,
Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
Monday 16 December Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia,
Spain, Switzerland
Wednesday 18 December Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg


UK Last Posting Dates

Service Delivery by Tuesday 24th December

Next Day Services
express24, express24large

Send by Monday 23rd December
Ireland (Republic Of)
Service Last Send by Dates
irelandexpress Thursday 19th December


Western Europe
Service Last Send by Dates
globalpriority Friday 13th December – Monday 16th December


Eastern Europe & rest of the world
Service Last Send by Dates
globalpriority Tuesday 26th November – Monday 16th December


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Bank Holiday Post

Monday is the last Bank Holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland before Christmas so the usual holiday dispatch rules apply – orders received up to 1pm Friday will be dispatched as normal and orders received after that will dispatch Tuesday.

In order to receive your orders by Saturday make sure to order today and select an appropriate shipping service. (Royal Mail Tracked 24, while not a guaranteed timed service is in my experience very reliable.)

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