Postage Costs

rubertoe
rubertoe Posts: 3,994
edited September 2013 in Commuting chat
This is a bit of a rant.

I have recently been selling a few bits on here and on e-bay and am absolutely astonished by the cost of postage.

I posted a couple of items, smallish parcels really and an envelope. A couple of examples being a Deda Quill Stem adaptor (£4 2nd class tracked), a pair of down tube cable stops, which were essentially a small envelope (£2 signed for, 2nd class, cant guarantee its going to be delivered). and Royal mail is an absolute Rip off.

Now I am contemplating posting a set of wheels, and at <£10 seems pretty reasonable to me for pick up and next day delivery, for what is a pretty big parcel. God knows how much this would be if I left it to the queen to post.

How the hell can Royal Mail/post office still be in business. Are there no alternatives for the occasional postal user? How do all these companies deliver for free, it must cost them a fortune...
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills

Comments

  • prawny
    prawny Posts: 5,440
    I try and avoid Royail Mail as much as possible now they're a shambles. They lost a set of pedals I was returning at christmas, it took me until June to get the money back. And even then they'd said they'd not lost them and wouldn't pay me anything, I had to ring up and kick off.

    That was first class recorded. Shower of shoot.
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  • davmaggs
    davmaggs Posts: 1,008
    eBay don't take commission on the postage charge, so I suspect sellers load some of the price onto that.

    I like the fixed price idea of Collect+, and I noticed that some retailers are starting to use them to.
  • I like the Royal Mail - pretty much the only organisation that will get something to me the next day. The latest example was Westbrook - needed to send me some missing parts: I got an email confirmation on the Wednesday that my parts would be with me on Friday (around 7pm the way delivery works here). Gave Westbrook a quick call and intercepted the parts before they were actually collected. Asked them to stick them in the post. I had them 8am the following day for the cost of a 1st Class stamp.

    Add to that the ease of picking stuff up from my local PO if I'm not in and it's all good.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • the big urban delivery's can be poor but the service out in the sticks does tend to be miles better than others.

    to my folks place the only one I can be sure can a) find the place b) not try to deliver in a lorry which if it's lucky has to turn around, unlucky gets stuck or rolls of the side of the road....
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,753
    Agreed, RM prices these days are insane, their pricing and sizing is wacky to say the least.

    I took a box to my local small post office, that had 2 bottle cages in, the woman was very helpful, showed me the size it had to fit into to be £2.60 (Approx) but because it was 1cm higher it was going to be nearly £5.

    She gave me scissors and a roll of tape, and said I could cut it down there and then and she would put it through for the lower price - good service, wouldn't get that in a main post office.

    Anyway, in general I tend to use Collect+ now, as for £4.89 IIRC it covers parcels up to 50cm X 60 X 50cm, and weighing 2kg? You also get £50 of cover as standard, it's trackable, and the newsagent for me, is 3 minutes walk from my house!

    My gf did have one bad experience where they were unable to deliver a parcel for an unknown reason, ended up returning it to her, but would not refund her the money :?
    They also only send to UK addresses.
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  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    You can use ParcelForce from (I think all) post offices, I sent a pair of MTB wheels, mech and shifters for £10 and a well packaged frame (1.5kg of frame and 4kg of box!) for £14 the other week.

    It was a bit odd to send a huge heavy box for £10 (parcelforce) and then send an a4 sized parcel with a pair of brakes in for £9 (royal mail).

    I've never had any problems with them though, as either a sender or buyer.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Collect+ will send it for me for £5 and change, which I am more than happy with.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Another +1 for Collect+ - certainly for the smaller packages.

    limited experience so far - but no issues.
    RM is fine if you're sending a letter - but I wouldn't bother with a parcel - too expensive.

    For deliveries, I get everything delivered to work - the delivery co's and postie know it's a work address and only deliver during office hours - it's signed for if required and it'll arrive even if I'm not in. Getting stuff off RM and other delivery cos when they can't deliver to home is a PITA - sorting office is only open late one day a week and it's not always convenient to get there.
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    rubertoe wrote:
    Collect+ will send it for me for £5 and change, which I am more than happy with.
    I've used them too, slower than RM/Parcelforce in my experience, and they only take relatively small parcels. They wouldn't take a pair of wheels or a frame, not for £5 anyway. But they are cheap.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    bails87 wrote:
    rubertoe wrote:
    Collect+ will send it for me for £5 and change, which I am more than happy with.
    I've used them too, slower than RM/Parcelforce in my experience, and they only take relatively small parcels. They wouldn't take a pair of wheels or a frame, not for £5 anyway. But they are cheap.

    Damn,

    I looked into this yesterday and your right about C+. I am now using Yodel.

    Although i still might pop to the PO to get a quote for the wheelset on saturday, doubt they can beat £8 next day delivery though. But it does mean that i have to be in from 7-7.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • Their recent parcel size/price thing has caused huge issues with Ebay sellers.

    Small parcel, upto 2kg, 450mm x 350mm x 80mm.

    8cm is just ridiculous!!! I mean seriously, what could possibly be 45cm long and just 8cm deep?

    But there is an "exception" parcels not exceeding 160mm x 160mm x 160mm are allowed as small parcels, BUT many poorly informed staff take this as the parcel must be 16x16x16, so people are having to buy boxes the correct size, sales of 6"x6"x6" boxes have gone through the roof!!

    Then on top of that, the thing that's stopped me selling anything on Ebay (and I had some good ideas), how can other sellers send items as small parcels when I paid less that the postage cost for the item??????
    Stupid secrets that nobody seems to share!!!
  • davmaggs wrote:
    eBay don't take commission on the postage charge, so I suspect sellers load some of the price onto that.

    I like the fixed price idea of Collect+, and I noticed that some retailers are starting to use them to.

    Unfortunately I think you will find that ebay started charging commission on postage now as well (I think 2nd September). On my last listing I just hiked the postage by an extra 10% due to this. I really hate selling through there but at least people still pay silly prices for a bit of Rapha!
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,551
    Just seen this on the BBC news page. Unfortunately I suspect this will lead to cost increases and a drop in service to those in the highlands and islands and other out of the way places.
  • Postage is a nightmare at the moment and a lot of buyers don't seem to appreciate how much some things cost to post.
    IME:
    Small parcels (UK) <1kg: Royal Mail
    Everything over 1kg goes via Collect+ or MyHermes (others have bad things to say about them but touch wood they've delivered everything fine for me to date)

    Small parcels (international): Royal Mail
    Anything larger and over a kilo is cost prohibitive to post overseas so I don't bother. It cost me over £20 to post a very lightweight helmet to the US last week.
  • davmaggs wrote:
    eBay don't take commission on the postage charge, so I suspect sellers load some of the price onto that.

    I like the fixed price idea of Collect+, and I noticed that some retailers are starting to use them to.

    Unfortunately I think you will find that ebay started charging commission on postage now as well (I think 2nd September). On my last listing I just hiked the postage by an extra 10% due to this. I really hate selling through there but at least people still pay silly prices for a bit of Rapha!
  • davmaggs wrote:
    eBay don't take commission on the postage charge, so I suspect sellers load some of the price onto that.

    I like the fixed price idea of Collect+, and I noticed that some retailers are starting to use them to.

    Unfortunately I think you will find that ebay started charging commission on postage now as well (I think 2nd September). On my last listing I just hiked the postage by an extra 10% due to this. I really hate selling through there but at least people still pay silly prices for a bit of Rapha!
  • Why can I buy an item from China AND have it delivered from half way across the planet (delivered to my door by Royal Mail), for less than 50p???
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    eBay don't take commission on the postage charge, so I suspect sellers load some of the price onto that.

    What ebay encourage sellers to do is offer "free" shipping, that way it's built into the price and they charge fees on it. Some customers really do think it's free and not costing me anything either - honestly.

    I use a courier company and because we send a lot we get large discounts. You can cut fees from the big couriers in half with enough volume. But they almost all offer poor service and manage to loose parcels at an alarming rate. It's far cheaper to pay for goods to be sent from abroad to here than vice-versa, that I know for a fact.

    Royal Mail's prices are really taking the mickey these days though. It just means folk post less, no way I'd do a paper mail shot to customers these days.
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  • indyp
    indyp Posts: 735
    The Post Office have changed the dimesions for small packages - the max 8cm height was never going to work.

    New sizes - 35 x 25 x 16 cm's.
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,753
    indyP wrote:
    The Post Office have changed the dimesions for small packages - the max 8cm height was never going to work.

    New sizes - 35 x 25 x 16 cm's.

    that would be excellent and overdue news - is it changed or changing?
    The website still has the original dimensions:
    http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/Tell-me-about-size-and-weight-formats
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  • indyp
    indyp Posts: 735
    I think Post Offices had the e-mail about changes yesterday. I sent a few things this morning and charged by the new dimensions.
  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Anyone know if i can go to the Post Office and post a large parcel by Parcel Force?

    or do i have to arrange it with Parcel Force before dropping off to Post Office?
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • indyp
    indyp Posts: 735
    I believe you can pay for Parcelforce over the counter. I've previously booked online then dropped off at Post Office, and I got the feeling they would have prefered me to have pay over the counter.
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I got the feeling they would have prefered me to have pay over the counter.

    I think local post offices make less money if you do things online then drop them off.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!