Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping and Delivery
How long will it take to deliver my order?

See the Shipping page for details.

  • Standard shipments are normally delivered within 2 weeks.
  • Express shipments are normally delivered within 1 week.
  • These are normal delivery times to major cities as quoted by the delivery companies. Please allow longer for remote locations, national holidays.
  • Parcels can be delayed for reasons beyond our control such as major national holidays and shopping festivals, customs inspections, strikes, earthquakes and extreme weather conditions and other events beyond the control of the delivery companies. In all cases refer to the delivery tracking information and contact us for any doubts.
Where is my order?

Check your email for the shipment tracking code for your order, or view your order on ‘My Account’ to see the shipping notes. For any query please feel free to contact us by replying to the order email or using the form on My Account.

What about customs duty?
  • USA: parcels under $800 threshold are free of import duty. In the event of any customs issue, Inkston will take care of redelivery or refund.
  • UK, European Union: deliveries are duty paid (no charges to you)
  • Canada: please note Canada has different policy from USA and the import threshold is only $20CAD – see notes from Canada Border Services Agency.
  • Other locations: most countries have exemption limits for small parcels but please check for your location, especially for larger orders.
    For more detail please see notes on the Shipping page.
Payment Methods and Currencies

  • Debit card / Credit Card: accepts most standard international payment cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express as well as Paypal.
  • Paypal / Stripe: online payment processing is done by Paypal or Stripe, please choose whichever is best for you.  You do not need a Paypal account or a Stripe account to make a payment. Inkston does not receive or store your credit card details, all payment details are handled by Paypal/Stripe.
  • Currencies: prices are set in US Dollars and converted to other currencies at market rate.  Inkston currently accepts CNY, USD, EUR, JPY, AUD and GBP. If your payment card or account is not in one of the available currencies on the website, your bank or card issuer will convert to your currency for you and charge you according to their standard terms.
  • Apple Pay: also accepts ApplePay: if you are using a compatible Apple device (iPod, iPhone), the black ApplePay button will appear near the top of the checkout screen.
  • Bank Transfer: On request we can also receive bank transfer or other payment method in CNY, USD, EUR, JPY and GBP, if you want to do this please select “Other Payment Method” and let us know in the comment box when checking out.
Special orders: gifts, customisations, wholesale orders
How can I send a gift?

Most handmade items are prepared with gift-quality packaging and are suitable to give as a present.  (Except bulk packs of paper and wholesale orders.)

You may send the order directly to someone else, by entering a different delivery address from shipping address when you check out. If the order is a gift, the package is marked “Gift” but the details and value of the item is still stated on the customs form. Customs authorities require us to state the value of the gift item directly on the parcel.

If you have any special requirement, you let us know in the comment box when checking out or send us a note.

enter request
Add Note on checkout for gift message or any special request
Made-to-Order items, Custom products and Customizations

We can accept custom orders for some product types, please note this does take additional time and cost since the product may be made from scratch according to your specifications.  Please add the expected production time to the delivery time.

  • Ceramics: a name or custom message can be added before firing, please allow 7-14 days extra to the expected delivery time.
  • Paper: can be made with a special watermark.  The watermark is woven to your design and then this woven design is added to the paper making screen and the requested grades of paper are freshly made, with this design as a watermark. This process takes 1 month and costs around 600USD so is only suitable for bulk orders.
  • Inkstones: inkstone price and time to make depends on the quality of stone, size of stone, and level of detail of carving.  Large pieces of high quality stone are difficult to get and prices can be very high, and a large detailed piece may take 3 months to complete. Have a look at the Inkstone Buyer’s Guide and ask us for a custom quote.
  • Brushes: if you need a brush type which is not listed, let us know and we will find it for you. Brushes can be made according to special needs, and for bulk orders, unbranded / own brand brushes can be made. Please note the brush workshop has limited technology capability and may do only simple engraved labelling with Western or Chinese letters or common symbols, not custom graphic design or signatures.
Wholesale Orders

Please contact us separately for wholesale enquiries, bulk discounts and bulk shipping arrangements.

Handmade Products
Workshops and Craftspeople

We have personally inspected and selected the workshops producing our handmade items and we are featuring more and more of the craftsmen and their stories in our Stories section.

A small number of products are not handmade and these products are clearly marked: for example calligraphy practice paper is a cheaper machine-made paper for practice, and some of the common tools for mounting paintings are mass produced.

Handmade Products – Usage and Care instructions

In our Stories we try to explain how to use and look after the products, with advice directly from the craftspeople and artists.  Please ask us if there is anything you are not sure about, or even better post a question in the Product Questions Forum.

Cancellations, Returns/Replacements/Refunds
How can I change or cancel part of my order?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or change any part of your order, for example by replying to your order confirmation email.
For custom orders please note we may not be able to cancel the order after the craftspeople have started work on it, nevertheless please let us know as soon as possible.

I received wrong/damaged product, what can I do?

Please take a photo and send to us as soon as possible so we can understand what went wrong and see how to fix it.
Inkston allows you to return items for replacement or refund within 30 days.
See also Returns policy.

Rewards, Discounts and Referral Schemes
Bulk discount for your students

If you know what your students need for class, order in advance for bulk discount.

  • Orders over $150USD will be eligible for free shipping
  • Larger orders will be eligible for bulk order discount
  • You may charge your students inkston retail price: you benefit from the discount amount and your students benefit from getting suitable material in time for class with no delay or additional postage charges due to international shipping.
Earn rewards from Inkston rewards scheme

When you make comments on inkston or participate in the inkston community forums you earn points.
As you earn more points you are awarded level badges which can be used as coupons in the Shop. Each coupon adds a discount and/or gift to your order.
Visit the My Awards page to see your Award level and details of the scheme.

Earn money from Amazon Associates referral scheme

Amazon has a referral scheme where you can earn a percentage sales commission when anyone follows a link from your website to buy products on Amazon. The exact percentage varies from time to time for each Amazon site and each product category.
Amazon have tools to help you create the links needed.
The steps are:

  1. sign up for the Amazon Associates scheme for your country
  2. Create links to Inkston Amazon store or your favourite inkston products on Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Germany, Amazon Italy, Amazon Japan. (Choose the same country site for which you have associates account).
  3. publish the links on your blog, website, facebook (can be anywhere).

Then when anyone makes a purchase after clicking your link, Amazon will reward you.
Please refer to Amazon for exact details of the schemes as they do vary from time to time and are slightly different in each location.


Customers in countries served by Amazon may find some of our products on Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Germany, Amazon Italy, Amazon Japan.
Amazon orders are processed according to policies on the local Amazon site, and items marked with Amazon Prime tick are delivered by Amazon from regional warehouse.

Other questions
Product Questions

If you would like additional information about any product, you are welcome to either contact us directly, ask in the Product Questions Forum or comment on the Product page itself.

Questions about how to use this site

See the Questions and Answers forum and feel free to ask any new question, or contact us privately if you prefer.

Questions about your Order

For any question about your order, just reply to your order email, or check your order on ‘My Account’ and contact us there.

Questions about your Account

If you can’t access your account, use the lost password to get a password reset email: if you don’t get the email, check your spam folder.
If you have created multiple accounts (for example by logging on with Facebook and Google) and can’t find your order, just let us know and we will resolve and merge the accounts.

Any Question at all

Did we miss something? Just ask us below:

Did we miss any question you need answered?
For any question not covered below or on our terms and conditions page, just ask below or on the forums or facebook, and we will get back to you as soon as we can:

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Comments: 41

  1. Produit rare, introuvable en France. Je viens de le recevoir et j’ai hâte de l’utiliser. Merci encore pour les jolis échantillons de papier trouvés dans le paquet. Décidément, la firme Inkston offre un service impeccable et des produits de toute première qualité pour les amateurs de calligraphie ou peinture chinoise.

  2. Luo Yan from custumer service and also the founder of Inkston, is passionate about her work, always willing to answer your questions throughly, she has a great knowledge of the Chinese culture.
    She has given me already lots of interesting insights in the Chinese art.
    I am happy I found in her a reliable supplier of high quality Chinese artmaterials at a reasonable price.

  3. On the service:
    My Order arrived in 2 separate packages. It was very carefully wrapped, and the wrapping protected everything inside.
    The ink sticks I ordered, were individually wrapped in plastic bags to provide even further protection – aside from their own boxes. I greatly appreciate this. shipped both package in beautifully branded box and plastic bags. Opening them was joyful.
    I also received gifts in both package! Paper samples, wool pad, and a yellow envelop with a sheet of xuan paper.
    Overall: the best branded package I’ve ever got. I live in Hungary (EU), so normally 3-4 weeks shipping time is average. I got these within in 2 weeks.
    Thank you so much for the care and attention on my order!
    The communication is really good, Yan Luo is trustworthy and happy to provide information on products, and techniques how to use them. 🙂

  4. Realmente un vendedor atento, servicial y precupado por dar un gran servicio. Cualquier incidencia resuelta con prontitud de manera justa. Gran esmero en el embalaje y el transporte. Bien etiquetado. Alta calidad en sus productos y muy buena comunicación ante cualquier duda técnica. Volveré a comprar seguro

  5. Excelentes productos…¡¡
    Como ilustrador acuarelista, ando descubriento un mundo de posibilidades con las barras de tinta de Old Hu Kai Wen y los pigmentos minerales.
    Gran servicio de INKSTON en la entrega y muy importante… perfecto embalaje…¡¡¡
    Gracias. ¡¡¡¡

  6. Hello
    I wanted to leave a positive review on the Inkston website. I live in the United States and ordered many things for my first time. They were divided into two different boxes. One of the boxes was delivered to my studio quickly and safely. The other box seemed to be lost in the ozone. I tried to contact the owner of the company several times but got No response, but when we finally did connect he was so nice and apologetic. It was not his fault the box got stopped in customs and never appeared.
    Yan really worked hard to repair our relationship and When I reordered some new products to make up for the difference he threw in all kinds of gifts. It was heart warming. These days customer service can be impersonal, but Yan really made an effort to communicate once he realized there had been a problem. I have already recommended this company to a friend and look forward to ordering more in the future.Thank You
    Please view my work at

  7. I particularly love and trust enough to spend copious funds because the quality, material range and speed of service as well as the perfect degree of one to one communicationmakes these suppliers the top of anyones list…. if you’re serious about the Chinese Arts.

  8. I want to tell you how much I appreciate Inkston. Your website, products, packaging and support all project quality and warmth, and a real dedication to Asian art. It’s a true pleasure doing business with you!

  9. Hello!
    I so was thrilled to receive your lovely package! Thank you so much for packing everything so carefully & so beautifully! I can’t wait to try the paper samples! And the paints are so gorgeous! I plan to order more, and other things too – I spent ages looking at your website last night! I love the art galleries.
    Thank you again for brightening my day!
    PS. I wanted to write a review, but the usual link is missing on Amazon. I will ask them about it.

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