FAQs

OUR SHOP:

Where is your shop and what are your opening hours? We are based at 485 Hackney Road, London, and you can find our opening hours on the Find Us page.

Are you part of the Natural History Museum? While we are confused sometimes, being a niche shop  we are 100% independent and not affiliated to any museum or organisation.

How did you come up with the idea for your store? Our store is an amalgamation of various spaces we have spent time in around the world. Visit the About page to read our story.

What does Eastern Biological mean? ‘Eastern Biological’ is a reference to one of our favourite authors John Steinbeck and the book Cannery Row. The character Doc in the novel is the owner and operator of the 'Western Biological Laboratory' – a place that sells objects of scientific curiosity: the stars and buttlestars; worms and shells; living moving flowers of the sea; spiked and nobbed and needly urchins; little dragons; snapping shrimps; bugs and snails and spiders, and rattlesnakes; little unborn humans, some whole and others sliced thin; sharks with the blood drained out and yellow and blue color substituted in veins and arteries...

Our name derives from Steinbeck's Western Biological, and we altered it to suit our location in London.

 

PURCHASING PRODUCTS:

What payment methods do you accept? Credit Card orders are processed securely by Shopify Payments, Eastern Biological does not handle any credit card data for orders placed online. We accept payment by Visa, Mastercard and American Express. We also accept payment by Paypal as an alternative. The Paypal Express checkout does not require you to sign up for an account. If you already have a Paypal account, you may find this as a more convenient way of paying.

How do I cancel my order? If you have placed an order and it hasn’t been dispatched yet, you can cancel it by emailing: store@easternbiological.co.uk stating your order number.

 

CLICK-AND-COLLECT:

When will my order be ready for collection? Your order will be ready in 1-hour from the time when your order is placed online. Please have your email receipt and order number to hand.

 

DELIVERY & RETURNS:

When will my items arrive? As a small independent company, dispatch times will vary depending on the quantity of orders we receive and seasonal trends. But we generally expect delivery to be within 3-4 days. We aim to have orders processed on the same day, with your items dispatched first or second class within two days. Any order placed on the weekend, Mondays and Tuesdays will be posted on Wednesday.

If your order is required urgently, please contact us as soon as you have placed your order to let us know. 

Why do postal costs vary? Postage costs are spilt into categories, calculated depending on the weight of the package, and then determined by postal method. This is done automatically whilst you are in the checkout. We strive to keep postal costs to a minimum, and we do not make a profit from postage, however we opt to use quick and reliable services. For the majority of our packages we use Royal Mail and Parcel Force. With larger and heavier packages, we use established couriers to help your items get delivered to you quickly and safely. 

Our delivery charges:

Category A = £2.95

Category B = £5.50

Category C = £7.95

EU / Worldwide Shipping = Please email store@easternbiological.co.uk for a quote.

Will I be able to track my order? Yes, we will provide a tracking number, which will be included in a dispatch confirmation email. Goods lost or damaged in transit are fully insured. If your parcel hasn't arrived within the specified time please contact us at store@easternbiological.co.uk.

How will my order be packed? To minimise the possibility of breakages all items will be wrapped in tissue and packed into a strong cardboard box with packing paper; we use bubble wrap as a last resort. We try to recycle packaging when we can, but this will in no way affect the quality of your packaging.

Do you ship internationally? At the moment, we ship only within the UK and the EU. Our standard EU delivery rate will vary depending on weight. Due to differences in shipping laws across countries, restrictions may apply and there are some things we can not ship internationally. We will state if we cannot ship an item on the relevant product page, so if you live outside of the UK – please check before you buy. 

What is your returns policy? If you are not happy with the items you have received, then please contact us at store@easternbiological.co.uk. If you have a change of heart with what you have received, then please return the item in original and resalable condition. If you think the item is faulty, then please notify us immediately, and you will be entitled to either a refund or replacement, once the faulty item has been received. Your order must be returned within 30 days of the order placed. We unfortunately cannot offer refunds for any item damaged by the customer.

Please go to our Terms and Conditions to view more information about our Delivery & Returns Policy.

 

GENERAL / PRODUCTS:

Where are your products sourced from? We carefully curate our diverse selection of products ourselves. The majority of our items either come from suppliers and manufacturers based in the UK, or UK based suppliers distributing for foreign manufacturers; the rest we import from various suppliers across the world. Our curiosities in particular originate from a vast array of countries including Spain, America, Madagascar, Indonesia, Morocco and Brazil.

What is your criteria  will you stock my product? We are always open to seeing new products that fit with our criteria of being well-designed, functional and linking to the natural world. While we believe in products that are 'sustainably sourced' and 'ethical' – this isn't key criteria with curation. This is because as responsible shopkeepers, we purposely try to keep a varied selection of products, both cheaper and more expensive; as the the realities of running a small business can be quite complicated. Our decisions are thought of in the long-term and what can keep our small independent shop on the high street thriving, whilst staying true to our shop's ethos.

We mainly consider products that fit with our design aesthetic and looks to inspire an appreciation for the natural world. With kid's toys and games, we again try to keep a varied selection, and while not everything realistically can be sustainably sourced hand-made items, we look for products with educational value.

We generally prefer looking at new products from a website or Instagram account. We don't encourage calling or sending products to our bricks and mortar shop as we receive a great deal of mail, and can't ensure a personalised reply. Feel free to email us: submissions@easternbiological.co.uk.

What about ethical products made from all natural ingredients? 'Natural' is in your signage. Natural history is a combination of various natural sciences that investigates the natural world through observation and the accumulation of evidence – so our store has a firm science backdrop. We believe that there is a misconception that ‘natural’ means better and more ethical, while chemicals means 'bad'. While we of course believe in supporting sustainable and more ethical manufacturing, and stocking maker’s ‘natural’ goods when we can – our store’s main aim through product curation is to inspire an appreciation for the natural world, and to promote scientific thinking through educational and inspiring products. With all our products and books, we pay close attention to the language on packaging, and not being so much spiritual people, but science-minded folk that follow the natural laws of the universe – we generally have a lack of belief in forms of alternative medicine / holistic health treatments – and hold back promoting such items via our store. 

 

IllUSTRATION:

Where are your screen prints from? We have developed our own range of prints, which we are always expanding. We commission illustrators we've handpicked ourselves, based on their unique and diverse styles. The prints are limited edition screen prints, edition size of 25, all signed and numbered by the illustrator. 

Are you looking for more illustrators or designers? We are always on the look out for new and talented artists we can see fit into our contemporary style and ethos. If you’re an illustrator/designer believe suited to us, then please email: submissions@easternbiological.co.uk.

Do you have any criteria for artists? We enjoy commissioning prints ourselves as we feel there is something inherently more valuable in a screen print, which has started from a good idea, with it being realised by a talented illustrator, to the work eventually being screen printed. We usually look for a great story to go with a print, or if it is has some sort of historical significance. For these reasons, we tend to avoid stocking too many prints of animals, as we like feeling involved in the commissioning process and supporting illustrators, as well as originality with researching new print ideas, which we believe should be intellectually stimulating. 

 

WEBSITE:

Who designed your website? James Paulley is a London based designer: jamespaulley.com. Our webmaster is: Frontwards Design.