Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hey Girl... I went to the Post Office for you

Sorry - could not resist this Handmade Ryan Gosling Tumblr picture!

I just wanted to throw my twopenny-worth of indignation into the ether concerning the Royal Mail's insane new postal rates. 

60p to post a simple letter?  REALLY?!

It has certainly made me stop to re-think my Etsy shop policies.  I sincerely want to set "true" post and packing charges, as there is nothing more off-putting than sellers who are clearly out to make a profit on shipping.  But I need to get my head around the changes.

It was bad enough when the Royal Mail introduced prices by envelope-dimension rather than just weight.  I had just about got used to the differences between Packets and Large Letters.

Packets have:
Length over 353mm
Width over 250mm
Thickness over 25mm
Weight over 750g

Large Letters have:

Length 353mm max
Width 250mm max
Thickness 25mm max
Weight 750g max

I think I will have to befriend someone in the Post Room and get them to sample-weigh / measure a cross-section of patterns so that I can assess how much they will cost to post to addresses in the UK and overseas.

This is all so bad for small independent businesses (proper ones, I mean, not me - I'm just playing at this!)


Joanne said...

Heheh I'm the opposite - I've been long astonished that a letter can get from A-B for less than 50p! Have you got kitchen scales at home? If you weigh the parcel then you could use the online postal service on the Royal Mail website to check how much it will be (then you can go on to buy the postage online and print it out or just click out of the service). If I'm teaching you to suck eggs then just shout at me! Here's the link

Dichohecho said...

Eugh, complications! I remember good old third class post...
A while ago I bought my grandmother, who single-handedly keeps the Royal Mail going but can't get about much, a special ruler from Staples (not their own brand though I don't think) which has holes in to practice pushing one's parcels through. V useful.

Roobeedoo said...

Joanne - you can buy postage online? You can?! Wow! I thought that was just a crazynewfangled USA thing! Thanks for that!
Dichohecho - a gadget? Ah ha! Now you're talking! ;)

Miriana said...

I agree with Joanne. UK postal rates are pretty low compared with a lot of Western Europe. And the Universal Service Obligation (can you tell I once worked for them) means that the 60p covers a letter sent from the outer reaches of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall. The price difference for size is intended to deal with the fact that bigger letters take up more room in the van so fewer can be carried. And the obsession with keeping the 2nd post in this country is absurd.

Lucy said...

Apologies to some of the above commenters - I'm all there on the major indignation front.

If 60p near enough guaranteed that your letter would get there the next day, as first class used to mean, then almost fair enough. But while the prices are going shooting up (and don't *start* me on the principle of deregulation for something like that in general...), the service is tumbling down.

And it's completely counter-productive, because it doesn't encourage people to send post unless it's absolutely necessary. Grrrrrr.

Myrna said...

Canadian postage is so expensive that running any kind of on-line mail service is prohibitive. You can't compete. It's calculated by weight plus size plus distance.

Doobee said...

Down Under we can pay top $$$ for the luxury of 1st class postage overseas. Only problem is the 1st class speedy service only applies on our shores. Once the package hits international waters (or air space) it is tossed back in with all the other mail and can take weeks to be delivered. Great for our postal coffers....

Madelaine said...

As mentioned above, Canadian postage is super expensive, especially compared to the U.S., which is a bit of a drag. When I started selling patterns I bought some photo mailers (which I found was the lightest way to mail patterns and ensure they arrive in good condition), and weighed the patterns inside of them and measured, then checked the postage rates before setting my etsy shipping prices. I keep separate presets for large and small patterns. Etsy lets you store multiple shipping presets which is pretty helpful. And check the weight on some of those 7-day wardrobe or coat and dress patterns. They can be strangely heavy.

I think people are generally pretty understanding about shipping costs, so I wouldn't worry too much about setting your cost where it needs to be.

Alessa said...

Ah, postage really confuses me. I think German postage isn't all that expensive, but it confuses me to no end that I can ship a little package for up to 500g abroad for less money than it would cost for national shipping...

feresaknit said...

Arghhh - the complication of sizes - it always throws me into a dilemma if a hand made card is a bit fat. Don't get me started on the 60p rate!

When I last checked the postage for my Myeloma Buddies on etsy it makes me look like I made a boo boo as to post one to the UK its £1.58 but to send it to Europe its £1.49! This is due to the UK weight ranges being quite wide but the European ones being narrower.

Mind you the last time I sent something bulky to Europe I think I could have got a cheaper easy jet flight. ;D

I was nearly shocked at your reading of that Tumblr site but after I'd visited it I realised it is in fact craft related.