The MERL Shop Terms and Conditions

These Terms and Conditions apply to the use of The MERL Shop and Orders made through it. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before using The MERL Shop. By accessing the MERL shop and/or by placing an Order, you signify your agreement to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions do not affect your statutory rights.


In these Terms and Conditions, the following definitions shall apply:

Goods: the goods (or any part of them) made available for sale on The MERL Shop (including Digital Licensed Images) or those set out in the Order.

Heritage Digital Limited: Heritage Digital Limited (registered in England and Wales with company number 09940667) of Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3RQ.

Order: the Order for the Goods submitted by you.

Promotional Codes: promotional codes and discounts (including discounts, offers, promotions, prize draws, vouchers, competitions etc.) offered by The MERL to new and/or existing customers.

The MERL: The Museum of English Rural Life, which is a department of the University of Reading (Royal charter number 000665) of Whiteknights, PO Box 217, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 6AH

The MERL shop: the online shop operated by Heritage Digital Limited with the URL

We, Our, Us: refers to Heritage Digital.

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1.1 The MERL Shop is independently operated by Heritage Digital under an agreement with the University of Reading. When you purchase Goods through The MERL Shop your Contract is with Heritage Digital, not The MERL or the University of Reading..

1.2 Most of the Goods supplied are products that are made to order. Heritage Digital may use third-party service providers to fulfil its obligations under the Contract.

1.3 Your Order is an offer to Heritage Digital to buy the Goods in your Order. When you place an Order to purchase a product from Heritage Digital, we will send you an e-mail confirming receipt of your Order. This confirmation e-mail is an acknowledgement that we have received your Order and taken payment, but does not confirm acceptance of your offer to buy the Good(s) ordered. We only accept your offer, and conclude the Contract of sale for Goods ordered by you, when we dispatch the Goods to you and send an e-mail confirmation to you that we've dispatched the Goods to you. If your Goods are dispatched in more than one package, you may receive a separate confirmation e-mail for each package, and each confirmation e-mail and corresponding dispatch will conclude a separate Contract of sale between us for the Goods specified in that confirmation e-mail. Without affecting your right of withdrawal, you can cancel your Order for Goods following the process set out below at no cost any time before we send the dispatch confirmation e-mail relating to that product.

1.4 It is your responsibility to ensure you are able to receive e-mails from The MERL Shop. We recommend you add to your ‘safe sender’ list, and check that your online security software does not block e-mails from us.

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Method of payment

2.1 You can pay either by VISA, VISA Debit, MasterCard or PayPal. We are unable to accept AMEX, Electron cards, cheques, cash, or postal Orders through The MERL Shop. Orders will only be processed if you provide the card holder's name as it is shown on the card together with the postcode that appears on the card statement. No responsibility can be taken by Heritage Digital for incorrect or incomplete details submitted on The MERL Shop.

2.2 You undertake that all details you provide for the purpose of ordering or purchasing Goods are correct, that the credit or debit card you are using is your own (or have authority to use it) and that there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of the Goods ordered.

Fraudulent transactions

2.3 To ensure that your credit or debit card is not being used without your consent, we will validate name, address and other personal information supplied by you during the order process against appropriate third party databases including registered credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies, who may keep a record of that information. By accepting these Terms and Conditions you consent to such checks being made.

2.4 It is a crime to use a false name or a known invalid credit card to order. Anyone caught wilfully entering an erroneous or fictitious order will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We track the electronic ‘fingerprints’ of every order placed on The MERL Shop to enable us and all legitimate crime prevention and prosecution authorities to trace individual users engaging in criminal activities on The MERL Shop.

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Unframed art prints

3.1 Art prints are printed to order on your choice of available papers. Unframed art prints and photo prints are supplied either in a flat cardboard-backed envelope or rolled in a cardboard poster tube.

Framed art prints

3.2 Framed art prints are printed to order on your choice of available papers. The prints are then framed according to the selection that make when you place your order. Framed prints are carefully packed in a cardboard sleeve.

Gifts & homeware

3.3 Our gifts and homeware products are made to order and will be printed with your chosen image. Products are supplied in cardboard packaging. 

Product descriptions and packaging

3.4 While we work to ensure that information about the products for sale on The MERL Shop website is correct, the actual packaging and materials may vary from the website description. Please always read labels, warnings and directions provided with products before use. Heritage Digital reserves the right to amend the descriptions of the products sold on The MERL Shop, as required.

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4.1 Due to their nature all Goods should be available. If however, due to an error specific Goods are out of stock or unavailable we will endeavour to contact you to:

(a) discuss an alternative;
(b) offer an alternative delivery date; or
(c) arrange a refund.

4.2 The price of Goods available on The MERL Shop may change from time to time, without prior notice. The price you pay will be the price displayed on the MERL shop at the time we receive your Order, apart from the following exception:

(a) While we do our best to ensure that all our prices on The MERL Shop are accurate, it is possible that, occasionally, prices may be incorrectly listed. If we discover an error in the price of the Goods you have ordered we will inform you as soon as possible and offer you the Goods at the correct price. We are under no obligation to provide Goods to you at an incorrect, lower price, even after we have acknowledged your Order. If we cannot contact you, we will treat the Order as cancelled and refund you the price paid.

(b) We list prices in pounds sterling and all prices are inclusive of VAT. The prices of the Goods are exclusive of the costs and charges of packaging and delivery. Delivery charges will depend on the delivery method you choose and will be clearly shown throughout the checkout process.

(c) All prices are exclusive of any other sales tax or duty that may be applicable and which will be payable in addition to the price unless otherwise stated.

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5.1 Heritage Digital and/or a third party supplier will deliver the Goods to the address specified in your Order. Please be clear and precise about your address when placing your Order.

5.2 We cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage to the Goods arising after they have been delivered to you.

Art poster prints

5.3 Every effort will be made to dispatch the Goods in your Order within five (5) working days and in any event within 28 days from receipt of your Order.

Framed prints

5.4 Every effort will be made to dispatch the Goods in your Order within fourteen (14) working days and in any event within 28 days from receipt of your Order.

Gifts and homeware

5.5 Every effort will be made to despatch the Goods in your Order within fouteen (14) working day and in any event within 28 days from receipt of your Order.


5.6 If you Order two or more Goods then they may be dispatched separately and arrive with you at different times.

5.7 Please contact us should you wish to request international delivery, which may be available for certain items, at subject to clause 5.9.

5.8 If there are any changes to the details supplied by you it is your responsibility to inform us as soon as possible by contacting us at

5.9 We reserve the right to reject orders from the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine, Morocco, Turkey, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, Indonesia, Uganda and Nigeria.

Risk and title

5.10 If your order does not arrive within the advised delivery times please contact us at

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6.1 This section sets out your rights to return Goods, or cancel an Order under defined circumstances.

6.2 You can buy the following types of Goods from The MERL Shop::

(a) Art prints
(b) framed prints and
(d) made to order gifts

Art prints and framed prints

6.3 Art prints and framed prints are printed to order. Framed prints will be mounted in one our standard wall frames.

6.4 You may cancel your order prior to despatch or within 14 days of receiving your print.

6.5 You may return an art print or framed print if you are unhappy with the product, or no longer want the item when you receive it. You will be responsible for the cost if returning the unwanted print We recommend you used a tracked, insured service. However, if an art print or framed print is faulty or damaged when you receive it, you may return the item for a replacement or a refund. You must notify us of any fault or damage within 14 days of receipt. Please email us at and provide the following information:

(a) your details;
(b) your Order number; and
(c) a photo of the damage to or fault with the item and packaging.

6.6 We will arrange for a customer returns form to be sent to you. We will arrange for the return of the faulty item at our cost. A replacement item or refund will be issued on the return of the faulty item.

Gifts, homeware, limited/special edition prints and books

6.7 Standard products, limited/special edition prints and books are treated as manufactured items and you have the right to cancel your Order prior to despatch or within 14 days of receiving your Goods, and you will receive a full refund.

6.8 If you wish to cancel your order please email us at as soon as possible, but at the latest within 14 days of receiving your Goods. You may also download our customer order cancellation notification and email or post it to us.

6.9 If Goods have already been received, you will be responsible for returning the Goods including all costs. You must return Goods within 14 days of notifying us of your intent to cancel. We recommend that you use a tracked, insured service.

6.10 If you cancel your Order in accordance with these Terms and Conditions of Supply we will process the refund due to you as soon as possible and, in any case, within 14 days of the day you have given notice of your cancellation. In this case we will refund the price of the Goods to be returned in full (including the original postage cost of sending the Goods to you).

Download the Customer Order Cancellation Notification.

6.11 We will arrange for a customer returns form to be sent to you. We will arrange for our designated courier service to collect the faulty item at our cost. A refund will be issued on the return of the faulty item.

6.12 In all cases we will only refund to the payment card used in the original purchase.

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7.1 On occasions The MERL Shop will offer Promotional Codes. By using any Promotional Code, you are agreeing to the following:

General terms of promotions

7.2 A Promotional Code may only be redeemed online at The MERL Shop.

7.3 Discounts and/or free items cannot be redeemed elsewhere unless expressly advertised.

7.4 A Promotional Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, discount or promotion. Only one Promotional Code can be used per transaction/household.

7.5 A Promotional Code is redeemed by entering the code at the appropriate point in the Order process for a qualifying purchase or in the case of discounts, vouchers and/or free items, as expressly advertised.

7.6 A Promotional Code is not exchangeable for cash and is non-transferable and non-refundable.

7.7 We accept no responsibility for Promotional Codes that are illegible, lost, delayed or damaged.

7.8 Promotional Codes not submitted in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, or that are incomplete, illegible, expired or otherwise defective shall be rejected and/or disqualified and our decision is final.

7.9 By entering a Promotional Code you agree to participate in any publicity arising from any awards, free offers etc. and you grant us the right to feature your name, photograph and location in any future marketing materials, The MERL publications, promotions or competitions.

7.10 By entering a Promotional Code, your personal data will be held only for the purpose of administering the Promotional Code and contacting you in relation to it.

Period of use

7.11 A Promotional Code is only valid during the period identified and on the products specified in the media in which it was delivered.

7.12 We reserve the right to:

(a) cancel or withdraw any Promotional Code,
(b) refuse to allow any customer to participate in the Promotional Code,
(c) decline to accept Orders where in our opinion, the Promotional Code is invalid for the Order being placed,
(d) exclude any single or group of products from any general promotion; and/or
(e) amend this provision at any time (and Heritage Digital will use reasonable endeavours to notify changes to participants).

Returns of Goods or cancellation of Orders which were part of a promotion or incentive

7.13 In the case of a free item being offered, all items are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute the free item for another of similar quality and value for any reason. In the case of a returned Order, any free Goods must be returned at your own cost and risk, as new, at the same time in their original packaging with the product documentation, and with proof of the Promotional Code used. The Goods must not have been used and, where applicable (such as electrical items), must not have been removed from the sealed clear packaging.

7.14 Where the redemption of a Promotional Code is subject to a minimum spend requirement, redemption is only permitted in respect of the purchase of the qualifying products (as communicated to you when issuing the Promotional Code).

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9.1 Support is provided by e-mail ( and we will respond during our normal business hours of 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding UK Bank Holidays).

9.2 We regret that we cannot give advice in respect of Goods not purchased via The MERL Shop. You should seek customer service advice from the retailer where Goods were purchased. In the first instance if there is an obvious fault with the item and it has not been caused by wear and tear or misuse, your first port of call must be the retailer where you purchased the item. It is important that you have proof of purchase.

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10.1 If you have any questions or complaints about the Goods, please contact us. We aim to deal with all complaints as effectively as possible.

10.2 Your complaint should be sent by email to Customer Services at

10.3 We aim to acknowledge any complaint made through The MERL Shop by email within two working days, and to conclude our investigations as soon as possible thereafter and, in any event, within 14 days. Telephone complaints will not necessarily be acknowledged by email prior to investigation. Our acknowledgement will always include the name of the person who is handling your case and we shall keep you fully aware of the progress of your complaint. A likely timescale for resolution will be provided upon request, but this timescale will be dependent upon the specific nature of the complaint. If we are unable to resolve your complaint we shall give you an explanation of why your complaint was rejected (where applicable).

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11.1 We shall process your data in accordance with the terms of The MERL Shop Privacy Policy. Please view this document for further information. All information provided by you will be held securely and treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

11.2 When you visit The MERL Shop, or send e-mails to, you are communicating with us electronically. We will normally communicate with you by e-mail. For contractual purposes, you consent to receive communications from us electronically and you agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. This condition does not affect your statutory rights.

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12.1 We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us and the Goods that we supply must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. If we fail to comply with the Contract, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaching the Contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the Contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the sales process.

12.2 We are not liable for business losses. If you use the Goods for any commercial, business or resale purpose, we will have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption or loss of business opportunity.

12.3 Heritage Digital will not be held responsible for any delay or failure to comply with our obligations under these conditions if the delay or failure arises from any cause beyond our reasonable control. This condition does not affect your legal right to have Goods sent within a reasonable time or to receive a refund if Goods ordered cannot be supplied within a reasonable time owing to a cause beyond our reasonable control.

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When ordering goods from The MERL Shop for delivery overseas you may be subject to import duties and taxes that are levied once the package reaches the specified destination. Any additional charges for customs clearance must be borne by you; we have no control over these charges and cannot predict what they may be. Customs policies vary from country to country, so you should contact your local customs office for further information. Please also note that when ordering from The MERL Shop you are considered the importer of record and must comply with all laws and regulations of the country in which you are receiving the goods. International customers should be aware that cross-border deliveries are subject to opening and inspection by customs authorities. Delivery times can be affected due to packages being inspected by customs.

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Heritage Digital reserves the right to make changes to these Terms and Conditions at any time. However, you will be subject to the Terms and Conditions and policies in force at the time that you Order products from us, unless any change to those policies or these Terms and Conditions is required to be made by law (in which case it may apply to Orders previously placed by you). If any of these Terms and Conditions are deemed invalid, void, or for any reason unenforceable, that condition will be deemed severable and will not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining conditions.

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If any part of these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable then that provision shall be deemed to be severable from these Terms and Conditions and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any of the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions.

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No failure to exercise, or delay in exercising, any right under these Terms and Conditions or provided by law shall affect that right or operate as a waiver of the right. The single or partial exercise of any right under these Terms and Conditions or provided by law shall not preclude any further exercise of it.

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A person who is not a party to these Terms and Conditions shall not have any rights under or in connection with them.

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18.1 If you are a consumer, please note that these Terms and Conditions, their subject matter and their formation, are governed by English law. You and we both agree that the courts of England and Wales will have non-exclusive jurisdiction. However, if you are a resident of Northern Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland, and if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland.

18.2 If you are a business, these Terms and Conditions, their subject matter and their formation (and any non-contractual disputes or claims) are governed by English law. We both agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

Heritage Digital Ltd October 2023

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