Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question? I’ve got an answer. You can jump to the relevant section using the links below, or just read the whole thing! Use Ctrl + F (PC) or cmd + F (Mac) to search for a keyword.
- Payment & Shipping
- Shopping & Products
- Customer Accounts
- Printing & Making
- About Me
- Contact Me
Payment & Shipping
1. How do I know I can trust your shop?
Buying online from smaller stores can seem risky. That's why I've provided 5 reasons you can trust us.
2. What payment methods do you accept? Do you take international orders?
I’m happy to take orders from any country in the world. I am a Verified Paypal user and can accept all major credit cards via PayPal.
3. I don't have a PayPal account - can I still order?
You don't need to have a PayPal account to use PayPal - just use the Guest option.
4. I’m not from the UK. How do I pay in my local currency?
Since we use PayPal, it will automatically convert the cost from your local currency in UK£. You can use the currency converter to give you an idea of the cost, though you will be charged in UK£.
5. How long does shipping take? Do you ship internationally?
Please see the Shipping Information page for answers to all your postage queries.
6. Are the free things really free? What's the catch?
Yes they are! My free downloads are a way to promote new characters and share my ideas and you can download them direct. My free zines are things I made for fun that I can't justify paying to get printed. You do have to go through checkout for these, so I can keep track of downloads, and I appreciate it if you sign up to my mailing list, but there's no obligation. If you enjoy them, buy another zine or tell a friend!
Shopping & Products
1. Something’s broken on your site!
Oops! If there’s something wrong then do let me know so I can get it fixed. Use this link to let me know what browser and operating system you’re using. Also check if turning off your ad blocker fixes the problem. I don't run any ads on the site but some things can be wrongly classed as advertising.
2. I can’t place an order! HELP!
Oh no! I use Shopify and PayPal to run the shop and payment systems and on rare occasions one or the other might be having problems. Do email me though and I can put your item(s) on hold and send you a PayPal invoice.
3. I’m unhappy with my item(s). What are you going to do about it?
I’m sorry to hear that. Please see my returns policy for more information.
4. Do you have wholesale/SOR prices?
I do! If you’re interested in becoming a stockist, please visit my wholesale site for available products and information, or contact me for a current price list.
5. Will you be getting any more of (sold out item)?
It depends. Sometimes I have just temporarily run out of stock or materials. Other times, I'm unable to source the materials I require. And sometimes products just no longer fit in with my aesthetic and are discontinued. I try to update product pages with the details but if in doubt, email and ask me!
6. Are your zines available as ebooks for Kindle and Nook?
Yes, I'm working on this now. Kindle users can check my Amazon page for available zines and Nook/Kobo/Sony Reader users can check my Lulu shop. I'll be adding more products throughout the year.
7. Do you take commissions?
Yes, I do. If you see something you like but you’d prefer a different colour, size or illustration then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do. I can also take on larger custom orders for wedding favours, thank you cards etc.
1. Why should I create a customer account? Do I have to?
Customer accounts are entirely optional. Check out as a guest and you will then be given the option to create an account after checkout. Having an account means your name and address are saved for next time and you can check on the status of your order by clicking Login or My Account in the top menu bar. Customers with accounts also get exclusive offers including discounts, free gifts and free shipping. The offer changes every month or so and will appear on the Cart page when logged in.
2. Will I be added to any mailing list if I create an account?
Absolutely not. I only add people to my mailing list who have ticked the mailing list box during checkout.
1. What's kawaii?
Kawaii (pronounced a bit like like Hawaii), is a Japanese word that means 'cute'. Over here, we use it to describe the Japanese style of cute, which pervades the entire Japanese society. Think food with faces, animals pretending to be furniture, furniture pretending to be food etc, etc. For more on kawaii, see the Super Cute Kawaii blog, which I co-run.
2. What's a zine?
Zines (pronounced 'zeens') are independently published magazines. Sometimes they're photocopied, sometimes they're professionally printed and sometimes they're digital PDFs. The content can include writing, illustration, comics and more - if you like magazines or blogs then you'll love zines. As well as making my own zines, I also review zines at Pushpin Zines, which might introduce you to some awesome zines by other people.
Printing & Making
1. Where do you get your printing done? What other suppliers do you use?
I used to be happy to share my sources since it brings them new business and I'm a nice person generally, but I get an increasing amount of emails from people who just expect me to tell them where I get everything made. I do a LOT of research when I have a new product idea and sometimes it takes weeks or years until I can find a suitable printer or supplier, get samples made, work out costs etc. For that reason, I'm no longer willing to share my sources. I will however recommend Moo.com, OvernightPrints.com, Vistaprint.co.uk and especially my amazing local printers Glasgow PDC. I bet you also have an amazing local printer that would love to help you out. I buy most of my supplies from eBay and Etsy, though I am very loyal to specific sellers that serve me well.
2. Do you make everything yourself?
Depends what you mean by 'make'! All items involve my artwork in some way, though some products are hand-printed and some are professionally printed or manufactured to my specification. There are also some licensed items available 'on-demand'. This means I designed the product but another company (Zazzle, Spoonflower) take care of the manufacturing and shipping)
3. What software do you use for formatting your zines?
I use Adobe InDesign, which is a professional print layout program. It's great for margins and columns and page spreads. Before InDesign existed I used PageMaker and before that it was good old cut and paste using basic word-processing programs and even a typewriter back in ye olde pre-computer times. You can read more of my zinemaking tips in the Let's Make Zines zine I have available.
4. I've always wanted to run my own business/print my own stationery/work from home. Do you have any tips?
I've answered this a bit here and often blog about my process/business stuff on my blog. Please feel free to ask any specific questions via Formspring below.
1. Have you been to Japan?
Yes, three times! Once on a guided tour, once just to Tokyo and another time in Tokyo and Osaka. I love visiting Japan and hope to return again, once I save up some money. I've self-published a book about my trips as well as my Tokyo Shopping Guide. See the Zines section for those.
2. Is this your full time job?
Pretty much. I also work as a freelance web designer and have a few other projects that keep me busy and bring in the cash. Check the About page for more info.
3. A web designer eh? Will you design my website/shop?
I’ll certainly give you a quote! You can see my portfolio at www.marcelinesmith.com and contact me if you think I can help.
4. I really like your shop design - did you build it all yourself?
Thank you! My shop is hosted by Shopify, who are amazing and do all the backend e-commerce stuff. The template is based on Gene Theme, available from the Shopify Theme Store, though I added a lot of custom features and modifications myself.
5. Wait, Shopify, Cakeify? Is there a link?
Yes, Cakeify the happy cupcake got his name after Shopify called me out on my wish to bake them a cake for being so awesome. You can read all about that here.
Still got questions?
1. Email me
You can also email me at email@example.com and I’ll do my best to help.
2. Why haven't you replied to my email?
Short questions from polite people will always get a prompt answer. Longer emails, especially those looking for advice, may take longer until I can find time to give you a considered answer. Rude people and those who don't even read this FAQ or get my name right may well be ignored. Please also note I run this shop all by myself and need to sleep and eat and occasionally leave the house. I'm in the UK so you might be emailing me while I'm asleep. If it's been more than a couple of days, feel free to email me again.
3. I need to phone you! What's your number?
I'm sorry but I can only respond to enquiries via email
4. Ask a question
If you have a general question about me, my designs, my inspirations, Japan trips or anything else, you can ask it using my new Ask Me Anything form and I'll answer you directly as well as regular round-ups on my blog.
Previously answered questions can also be found on Formspring.