Category Archives: Royal Mail

Posts specifically concerning Royal Mail and the Post Office.

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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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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