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Where are my items?
If you have added items to your Basket and it reports as being empty then your computer is refusing our session cookie.
What is a cookie?
You may have heard of internet cookies. They are tiny text files which are placed into the temporary internet files folder on your computer by the websites that you visit. Not all sites use cookies, but many commercial sites do so for a number of reasons. Some cookies are used to track your browsing habits whilst in a site, others are used to target banner advertisements such that providors can display ads which they feel are relevant to you. Cookies can only be retrieved by you or by the site which placed the cookie on your computer. In the case of cookies placed by banner adverts this means that your browsing between sites may be trackable by the advert company. HOWEVER, a cookie does not generally store any personally identifiable information about you. Our site does not use cookies in this way.
What is a session cookie?
Our shopping system uses session cookies. A session cookie contains only a long random string of characters which are uniquely assigned to your computer when you make your first request from our site. The cookie additionally has a timestamp and a duration (in seconds) for which the cookie will exist. This timestamp is the precise moment at which you made the request for content from our site and the expiry is 30 minutes (3600 seconds) from that time. If you make no further requests from our site, the cookie will expire and your computer will automatically delete it once the 30 minutes has elapsed. If you close all of your browser windows, the cookie will also be deleted. If you make a subsequent request of the site within the 30 minutes and without having closed your browser windows, the site will first check to see if a session cookie exists and if it does, it simply updates the timestamp, subsequently prolonging the expiry time for 30 minutes from that precise moment.
What does this session cookie do?
As stated in the previous answer, a session cookie contains a long string of characters assigned uniquely to your computer when a request is made from our site. As this string of characters is unique to you, our site can read it back and use the string as a unique identifier within a database query. This in turn means that your computer can own entries in our database. These owned entries are your selected products. At this stage, the site does not know who you are, just that it was you who selected those particular items. If your computer refuses our session cookie, this unique string of characters changes with every page that you request, subsequently meaning that the site loses your selected product as soon as you move page again.
What should I do?
To use the shopping system on our site, you must ensure that your computer will accept session cookies. Most internet browsers (for example Microsoft Internet Explorer) will allow you selectively allow and disallow cookies. Session cookies are safe and should not be confused with persistent cookies.
But I didn't turn cookies off, so why is it not working?
There are a number of reasons why your computer may be refusing our session cookie. It could be that you have altered your privacy settings, perhaps to protect your children. It may be that you are accessing our site from a workplace computer which is behind a firewall. You may have installed a piece of security software which is blocking them.
I still want to place an order, but I cannot get the Basket to work for me. What should I do?
We will happily accept your order via other means. Just contact us and we'll sort it all out for you.
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