Category Archives: Shipping

A catch all category which concerns all aspects of sending parcels, be that at the Post office or by courier.

MyHermes Finally Adds eBay Integration to Mobile Website

Regular readers will know that after the recent myHermes mobile website update the ability to import ebay shipments into your account on a mobile phone was removed.

I was extremely peeved about this because I only use my phone to book parcels, it’s a major hassle for me to use a computer and after much messing about I managed to find a dirty workaround.

Imagine my surprise and joy when I visited the myHermes website today to double check a price and I found an update!

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MyHermes have finally listened to us customers and added this feature and it’s really easy to use!

Once you’re logged in its really self explanatory.

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Simply click import now and choose your date range and myHermes will import the items you have sold and that have been paid for for you to edit and pay for!

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This will make my life so much easier when it comes to sending parcels, I’ve actually started sending parcels via the Royal Mail at the Post Office because it’s easier for me to walk two minutes down the road than it is to get on a computer and use the desktop website.

I’m so happy with this discovery that I tweeted myHermes to tell them so. Thanks myHermes!

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How to Import eBay items into MyHermes on the new mobile site

If you’ve used the myhermes website  recently you will have noticed a nice looking redesign.  If you have used it on your mobile phone you will have noticed a responsive mobile friendly site like the one below.

Myhermes new responsive mobile theme

What you may also have noticed is that the option to import your parcels from eBay into MyHermes is gone.  I spent upward of an hour trying to find it on the new mobile site with no luck.  I also tried to display the websites desktop view with no luck.

I have an Android phone and tried using the chrome and native internet app with no luck.  I was quite annoyed because I exclusively book my shipments with myHermes using my phone. Often once I’ve sold items I’m at work or out and about and so the convenience of being able to import the shipments, book a courier or drop off, download a label and send it wirelessly to my printer at home is excellent.

I had my workflow down to a tee, bit the website update scuppered that.

Frustrated at not being able to do what was so easy the previous day I dug out my laptop and used that.

Fast forward a few days and I needed to book another item and tried again using the mobile site, I thought that perhaps it may have been added.  It hadn’t.

how do I import ebay parcels into myhermes

I turned to twitter and tweeted the myhermes team. Unfortunately they didn’t get back to me and so the next day I tweeted them again.

It took a while but eventually they did get back to me by sending me half a tweet, they also emailed me which I thought was strange because just knowing someone’s twitter ID does not give you their email address. I assume they checked their records from when I tweeted previously about a missing parcel.

The reply was disheartening:

how-to-import-myhermes-shpments-on-mobile (6)

The full reply  read:

Hi Mark! unfortunately you are unable to import eBay shipments using a mobile device. You will have to….use a desktop version or a different browser. Apologies for the inconvenience caused. Thank you, Nadia

I tried a different browser and most of the time using a desktop is not an option.  I replied saying unless I could find a way to do it then it was the end.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

Luckily I found a way. I don’t know how long it will last, if it will be updated soon, if it will work for you or if it will work on anything other than an Android phone running chrome but for me at the moment it works!

Log in

Visit MyHermes as normal on your mobile, log in to your account.  If you aren’t already logged in the following link will just take you to the log in prompt.

The Magic Link

Paste the following link into your web browser: https://www.myhermes.co.uk/RWD/customer/import-shipments.html?execution=e1s1

It should open up the import shipments screen and from there you can carry on as usual.  I managed to import a shipment, pay for it and download the label to print without any issues.

Home Screen Shortcut

I added this link to my home screen to make it a little easier to open.

Ugly formatting

Having revisited this link it is displaying a little bit ugly, however its still functional. Please let me know if it works for you.

ugly formating but the link works

Conclusion

I will tweet myHermes about this and hope that they do nothing to change it until they add the functionality to import parcels in their new mobile website.  i can’t for the life of me figure out why it wasn’t an integral part of their new design, after all the website exists primarily for customers to book shipping with them and unless they are deluding themselves mobile is taking over.  In 2014 over 20% of all eBay transactions were completed using a mobile device;  be that a tablet or a mobile phone it is safe to say that a similar percentage of sellers are also using a mobile phone to do their business.  So why not include he ability to import shipments!  I’m sorry to rant but I feel quite strongly about this.

myHermes, if you’re reading please update the mobile website to allow the importing of ebay shipments, or at the very least release a link to allow those of us who wish to to use the desktop version without being forced to use the mobile version!

 

Parcel Force vs Parcel Monkey why such a big price difference

If you read my last article about myHermes entering the international shipping game you will know I was not best pleased about the price disparity between booking a Parcel Force delivery direct with them or at the Post Office and with a reseller such as Parcel Monkey.

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I did some quotes to sample the price difference on 5 different international parcels and found that by using Parcel Monkey to book Parcel Force deliveries I could have saved £65 on the 4 items that Parcel Force would carry. One was too heavy for their network if you were wondering!

I was curious as to why the savings were so great or more importantly why booking direct was so much more expensive for exactly the same service so I tweeted Parcel Force.

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.@parcelforce why so expensive to book a courier with you direct? I’ve saved £65 using @parcelmonkey to buy the same services today!

A white lie you may notice as I didn’t actually book any deliveries but I had to fit it on a tweet.

I shortly afterwards received a reply, or rather 3 tweets.

@TheEbayGeek Hi, buy (sic) sending through a third party company you are entering a contract with the company you have used and have agreed to … the terms and conditions of this company not with parcelforce. You will find that the terms and conditions will be … different to the terms offered by ourselves including compensation included on your delivery.

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So what I take from that is the only difference is in the small print terms and conditions. You’re paying a premium for Parcel Force customer service and compensation. And a very large premium at that.

While I’m not about to delve into those terms at this point I do know from past experience that when there is an issue with a Parcel you must take it up with the reseller who will if you’re lucky act on your complaint and resolve it with parcelforce.

I had quite a to do with Parcel Monkey last year and vowed not to use them again, I soon went back on this  because they’re just so cheap! You can read about the terrible customer service I received back then on my old website.

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It’s worth noting that I did notice that the terms and conditions did differ between both Parcel Companies in that the amount of time in which they will look into issues is different, also Parcel Force will not respond to any queries unless they come via the reseller.

So you really do have to weigh up if you want to deal with extra red tape if there is a problem or hope for the best and go with the cheapest price.  I’ll choose cheap more or less everytime!

If you read the article I link to on my old website you will be glad to know months after sending the item and having battled to find out where it ended up I received a card from the postman to pick a Parcel up from the depot, it was the item which had gone missing! Apparently the recipient had neglected to pick it up within 28 days after he himself was left a card and it was then returned to sender!

I received a further tweet from Jonny at Parcel Force stating that “Contract customers” send thousands of parcels and therefore get a cheaper rate, rather than individual customers who buy direct who pay the full price.

It does make sense to me that resellers such as Parcel Monkey get a buy in bulk discount and pass this onto the customer.
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MyHermes Begins to Offer International Courier Service for Parcels

I have never hidden the love I have for myHermes in the past, I have gone from sending less than half of the parcels I send with them to well over 80% of the things I send now being dropped off at their parcel shops or being picked up from my door.

I just love the simplicity of it all as well as the prices!  I didn’t think that I would ever use Royal Mail and the Post Office so little as I do now and MyHermes now ship internationally which may mean I never need to step into the Post Office again!  Maybe anyway.

myhermes now offer international delivery

As a disclaimer before we begin I haven’t actually used this international service yet, in fact I only learnt about it today but wanted to see how their prices stacked up against the other international shipping services I use, namely the good old Royal Mail and Parcel Force as well as the multitude of options that parcel monkey offer.

I decided to use the last five international parcels I sent to set a baseline as to how much it would cost to send with the above options.

5kg Parcel to France

First on the list being a 5kg parcel measuring approximately 40 x 25 x 25cm to France.

First of all I did a Parcel Monkey Quote and was given the following options:

Parcel Monkey France Quotes

The cheapest price for this 5kg parcel is from DPD via Parcel monkey at £15.95 including VAT, closely followed by Parcel Force at £16.55.  I dont remember the actual cost but I do remember in this instance I chose to use Parcel Force as I wanted to drop the parcel at the Post Office rather than wait in all day for a driver to pick it up.

I then checked the Royal Mail website and found that they don’t deliver items this big and heavy, but Parcel Force do, via the Post Office and if I was to go to the post office it would cost me a whopping £37.26 for the exact same service that I could get from the exact same company, albeit through a reseller,  for £16.55! Please note this for future reference as it is disgusting that someone who does not know to use a reseller such as Parcel Monkey may end up spending more than double by going to the Post Office!

Finally i tried out the new quote form on the MyHermes website, unfortunately I couldn’t find a rates table for an at a glance comparison of costs per country so it will be at the moment plug in the details and check the quote.

myhermes online quote for international delivery

MyHermes would charge £39.35 including VAT.  To say I was a bit disappointed is an understatement, i was so sure that they would be competitive based on their UK service.  Still four more quotes to go!

800g Parcel to Australia

Second quote I ran was an autographed book to Oz, which was just under 800g and I don’t remember the exact dimensions but it was approximately 25  x 20 x 10cm.

Parcel Monkey – £20.49 (With either Asendia 5-8 days or Trakpak 4-11 days)

Royal Mail – £18.15 in 5-7 days

Parcel Force – £40.13 in 6-10 days

myHermes – £25.58 in 3-7 days

myHermes didn’t fare quite so badly in this quote however the good old Royal Mail is cheapest and no doubt fastest in this instance.

2kg to USA

For the third test was a parcel weighing just under 2kg to the USA measuring approx 30x30x30, which is a cube!

Parcel Monkey – £28.79 in 3-6 days via Asendia

Royal Mail – n/a

Parcel Force – £47.60 (or £35.89 via parcel monkey) in 5-9 days

myHermes – £46.47 in 3-7 days

2nd place this time for myHermes, but does not beat Parcel Monkey.  Note again that using Parcel Force via Parcel monkey saves over £10 on the in branch price!

5kg to Germany

8kg package to Germany, quite a bit larger package this time at 60 x 40 x 40cm.

Parcel Monkey – £18.23 including VAT via DPD in 2 days

Royal Mail – N/A

Parcel Force – £49.14 (or £18.47 inc VAT via Parcel Monkey)

myHermes – £TOO HEAVY

MyHermes drew a blank with this parcel as it was too big and or heavy!  Again the parcel force fiasco shows why you should always use a third party service

myhermes too heavy

10kg to Ireland

The last item was a 10kg set of old irons which was going to Ireland.  The box was approx 40x40x20cm.

Parcel Monkey – £ 16.43 including VAT in 2 days

Royal Mail – N/A

Parcel Force – £20.90 (or £18.59 via parcel monkey) in 2 days

myHermes – £16.42 in 3-7 days

We have a winner! Finally MyHermes is the cheapest service for something! It may only be a penny but it gets a point for being the cheapest in my book!

myhermes ireland cheapest quote

 

So in the test above, which was limited to only 5 parcels and 5 weights and sizes of parcels found that Parcel monkey was the cheapest in three of the quotes and Royal Mail and myHermes on one occasion each.

So what have we learnt through this process?  Basically you’ve got to shop around for the cheapest quote, it’s rarely straight forward with international parcels because of all the different countries, sizes and weights of parcels meaning there are a lot of different factors to consider.  I will certainly add myhermes to the websites that I check before sending items but I can’t see me actually using them to send a parcel in the near future unless I sell another 10kg parcel to someone in Ireland, in which case I will save 1p!

It is definitely worth reiterating the disparity in price between the Parcel Force services, if you EVER need to use them go through Parcel Monkey, never take a parcel to the Post Office to buy postage, you are being ripped off something rotten!  I’m so annoyed with this finding I have contacted Parcel Force to see what they say on the matter.  I may write a follow up if they reply.

 

Royal Mail Price Increases 2015

As is customary this time of year Royal Mail have announced their Spring price increase for 2015 and to be honest is not as bad as it could have been. In fact I’m actually quite happy it’s not more!  The increase is applied on March 30th 2015.

The edited highlights which will affect eBay sellers the most are as follows:

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First Class stamps are going up to 63p from 62p.
Second Class stamps also rising 1p to 53p
First Class Small Parcels under 1kg are going up 10p to £3.30
And best of all Second Class Small Parcels up to 2kg are staying as £2.80. This is the service I will be using most.

I changed my postage policy last year so that all my small parcels are second class unless the buyer wants to pay the extra for first class. So this increase won’t actually cost me any extra as such.

It may well cost other sellers who offer free postage a lot more during the course of the year.

Full details of the changes which come into effect on 30th March 2015 can be found on the Royal Mail website.

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15% Off Collect Plus until the end of the year

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As part of the eBay, sell your unwanted presents, end of year listing promotion there was a nice little offer tacked on to the bottom of the email.

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From now until the clock strikes midnight at the end of the year you can get 15% off parcels over 2kg at collect+ by booking postage through eBay and paying with PayPal.

Not a bad deal if you use collect Plus anyway as it means that you’re paying £5.28 instead of the standard £6 for economy delivery of items from 2-5kg, but when you stack this up against MyHermes who’s standard price for that weight range is also £5.28 is it any better?

I will admit I am a massive fan of MyHermes,  touch Wood,  I have never had an issue with items being mistreated or non delivery in the 500+ items I’ve sent. So with the price being the same at least until next year is it worth giving it a shot?

For me it’s all down to convenience,  my nearest MyHermes parcelshop is about 2 miles away at a Spar store and the nearest collect+ plus store is around 0.2 miles away at a Mccolls store,  which is closer but not open as late.

Having used it in the past on one occassion its just as easy to drop a parcel off as MyHermes and so I’m going to start using it during the offer to give the collect+ a fair tryout. I’ll then review the service in a little more detail when I’ve sent a few parcels.

So why not give it a try if you have some heavier items, everyone likes a discount and you never know it might work out better for you than the service you currently use.

Here are the prices for the discounted price Vs the regular price.

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And eBay say: ” Collect+ are offering reduced postage rates (the “Promotion”) from 00:00:01, 26th December 2014 BST until 23:59:59, 31st January 2015 BST.”

 Also you need to have a valid paypal account and also be willing to:

i. Weigh the item and select the appropriate weight.
ii. Print the Collect+ postage label and pay with PayPal.
iii. Drop it off at a Collect+ store.
iv. Drop it off at a Collect+ store.

I’m not sure why you have to drop it off twice perhaps it’s like talking about fight Club? :p I think that’s just a typo!

Will you be trying out Collect Plus this week?

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Terms and conditions can be found here.

MyHermes Urgent Update Upto 5 Working Day Delay on Parcels

I’ve just logged into MyHermes.Co.UK to book some parcels and found an “Urgent Update” on the top of the screen.

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” Urgent UpdateDue to unforeseen circumstances all myHermes parcels will be delayed by up to 5 additional working days from the expected delivery date. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Looks like I’ll be heading to the Post Office today instead.

I sent some parcels yesterday also,  which means I’ve got some eBay buyers to email and inform them there will be a delay in receiving their parcels.
I’ve tweeted MyHermes for an explanation but as of yet there’s no reply or more detailed explanation on their website.

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MyHermes have just provided an update:
” UpdateUpdate 04/12/14 14:15: Due to a fire at our Warrington hub, all myHermes parcels will be delayed by up to 2 additional working days from the expected delivery date. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. For more information click
here

So it looks like the 5 days initial delay was an overestimate but the beginning of the Christmas rush is not the ideal time for a problem like this. Thankfully no one was hurt during the blaze.