Are they reproductions or original balls?
This is one of the questions that comes up the most. We bargain hunt most of our products in France, in England and sometimes in the United States. Some of them, like the balls, are still made in the workshop and have been for several generations in England. They are not pale replicas “made in China” manufactured in the factory as some large surfaces of decoration or sport propose but the object of a know-how which exists since several generations. Other products, such as the bases, are even 100% made in France, from the raw wood to the finished product.
I have problems with inflation / my ball deflates!
To inflate your ball, you must gently push the needle in after lubricating it and above all without forcing it. It must go in “like butter” to avoid damaging the valve (fragile on these vintage balls because 100% natural). Inflation must be easy. A simple little bicycle pump with a needle is enough (we offer some for sale if needed) but you can also leave it to us to do it before shipping if you don’t want to take any risk. By choosing the inflation option, you can be sure that your valve will not be damaged.

After several days the ball will still deflate a little because the natural latex bladder is porous (unlike the classic butyl bladders) but its appearance does not change or changes very little. On these old handmade balls, it is normal to have to reinflate them regularly.

Please note that as we check each ball before shipping (see video below of a drop of water on the valve of a defective ball), we cannot take back a ball that has been damaged by you. If this should happen, you can return the ball to our workshop for repair at your own expense or we can provide you with a new bladder for sale.

I have no news about my order, how come?
As we often repeat in all transparency, this is a complementary activity, we have no employees, no customer service and even less logistics. Incidentally, we have two small children and a busy life like everyone else.

In general, we ship orders only once a week (and sometimes with a little delay at the end of the year). We know you’re in a hurry in a world where the rules are dictated by giants like Amazon, but we’re convinced that the quality of our products is worth waiting a little while before you get angry 😉

So there’s no need to “harass” us with emails (yes, we’ve experienced it) or phone calls as this only slows down the orders, including yours.

Which payment methods do you accept?
We prefer to pay by bank transfer or cheque as they are free of charge for us. So if you “militate” like us for a cool life without unnecessary costs, make us a transfer. In this case, it is very simple, you will receive an automatic message with all our coordinates to proceed to the payment (check your spam if necessary).

However, we have to be honest, the fastest and easiest way for you to pay is by credit card, even if it costs us a lot of money (about 4% of your order). For this, you can use our secure payment terminal or go through Paypal.

How to choose a specific model visible in a photo?
Our photos are presented as examples and are not contractual. Even though they were all taken from our lots, some products have been sold and are therefore no longer in stock. However, for the items in question, good news : we usually offer a premium range/version with the service that goes with it.

So, once you have ordered this premium model we can send you a picture by MMS or mini-video on Whatsapp of our different models before it is sent to you to make sure you like it 😉

So you can order online as if you were buying in an antique shop or a shop and never be disappointed.

Is the price negotiable if I buy several items from you?
The prices of our products are already calculated as accurately as possible, it is our way of seeing the business to be efficient. If our prices still seem too expensive, you should know that they are (almost) all handmade by craftsmen who have a real know-how that we wish to “safeguard” and respect. Our customers reserve and sometimes wait several weeks for the products of our vintage collection. For grouped orders and/or for professionals, we can treat requests on a case by case basis and apply a global discount.
What does it say on the stamp that is on some products like balloons?
You can find several stamps like EPIC SPORTS RUGBY POLO SPORTS OUTFITTERS LONDON on some or ANDREW WELLINGTON SPORTS OUTFITTERS BONO STREET LONDON. Then the markings depend on the collections we have. It is above all for the aesthetic aspect that they are marked but we also propose the ball without marking if you wish it.
Why are your prices much cheaper than other shops (John Woodbridge, Marcus de Mauriac, Eden park, Sport saga, )?
Living in a small village without a shop, our capacity and ease of storage is already not the same as a Parisian shop that works on a just-in-time basis. Our purchasing costs are therefore more interesting.

We buy directly from the partner manufacturer 3 hours away from us when other shops buy from intermediaries or at the other end of the world (transport costs, customs clearance, etc).

This is also why we can supply retailers in France.

No shop, your orders are prepared and shipped directly from the workshop, where most of the pictures are taken. Thus, we minimize our structure and costs by selling on the Internet only.

Finally, we have lower margins because it is a complementary activity (we do not live from it) that we practice above all for pleasure and our legal status is therefore different which allows us to pay less charges than a “real” company…

My ball is not perfect (example: the patina of the leather is not homogeneous or the leather is marked or there are visual traces or small rings, etc).

You have a 100% handcrafted item that is nevertheless manufactured in quantity to meet your demands. Cowhide can be slightly marked when the animal damages its skin on barbed wire for example. As for the patina, it is applied manually so it is possible that the rendering is not always homogeneous as can be seen on some photos. Each ball is unique, don’t forget that, only a standardised factory production could guarantee perfection but this is not our niche. A vintage ball made in a factory with imitation leather or poor quality leather would surely be more “standard” but that is not what we want. Our leathers are thick which makes them difficult to work with. Nevertheless we now offer a premium version of our ball where we select from our stock the models that stand out from the crowd 😉

I paid more for a shipment than it seems to have cost, e.g. I paid for a shipment by colissimo and I receive the product by letter.
At present, our shipping rates are global and therefore adapted to the majority of the items available on our site. Some products such as bladders or some wooden bases can be sent by other means than Colissimo because they are small and thin.

Indeed, the post office imposes us in theory (as stipulated in their conditions) the sending of goods in colissimo but sometimes they are cooler and thus allow us to send in “letter” these products and to pay thus less expensive the forwarding.

Don’t worry, the guarantees and the delays remain the same and it is therefore us who take and assume the risk.

Then, as regards our transport policy, because we sometimes hear “eh but I paid more postage than what was written on the parcel”, we would like to remind you of some rules:

Each merchant is free to decide what to do. Do you offer postage and packaging and sell a more expensive product or do you sell the postage and packaging and offer cheaper products? The final price is the same, isn’t it?

We reassure you, the margin of a merchant is calculated globally and each of us places the cursor where he wants. On our side, we prefer to be broad on the shipping costs because don’t forget that the shipping costs include all the costs generated by the latter.

As we recently told a customer, “when we travel 50km to find a post office that is open, there are costs that the customer doesn’t know about, but which must be paid for by the company”.

My ball marks my hands a bit, do I need to maintain it?
Indeed, vintage rugby balls are more or less waxed, hence the slightly “greasy” aspect of some of them and their sometimes rather strong smell when unpacked. The aim is also to protect them during transport. The same applies to footballs and other leather products.

Once you have received it, you can wipe it with a cloth. Then, if you want a shiny finish, you can actively polish it with a soft cloth. You can apply a beeswax cream or balm to the leather from time to time, but this is not a requirement.

If you don’t want to be constrained by these different aspects, we offer an optional finish at the time of ordering which most customers choose for a smoother, shinier look as seen in the photos.

Is there a guarantee on your products?
Of course!! Aware that mail order can put off some people who want to “touch” the product before buying, we offer a “money back” policy on all of our products.

Within 15 working days of receiving your parcel, we can take back your order and refund you if the product is defective (this can happen for example in the middle of summer with our rugby or football bladder in the ball which can literally melt depending on its storage).

Please note that if the product simply does not meet your expectations (quality of the leather, etc.), we can of course take the product back BUT the refund will be made on the amount of the product excluding shipping costs and options.

For orders paid by cheque or bank transfer, please send us your bank details with your product following your return request.

In the case of a legal guarantee or in the event of an error on our part, we will fully refund your order as well as the costs you have incurred for the return.

What is the difference between vegetable and chemical tanned leather?
Indeed, for the vast majority of our products, we have chosen a slower, longer and therefore more expensive tanning process, but it has the merit of better respecting nature. The aspect of the leather is a bit stiffer but it reveals all its character and that’s what we like with our vintage products.

For chemical tanning (much more common), chrome is often used but it is very polluting. Chemical tanning is much faster but it alters the texture of the leather. Serte leather is more supple and can keep a little more thickness to work with but it has much less charm for a retro decoration.