Tuesday, 5 March 2013

New Royal Mail Prices

Prices for 2013

New Prices

Royal Mail have just announced their new prices for 2013. Some of the prices have once again doubled in price. Some of those which they have doubled, were doubled in 2012 meaning there has been a 400% increase on the price in just two years.

Effect of New Pricing

The largest effect caused by this increase will be for larger products, notably those over 8cm in any dimension and those over 61cm. If you item is over 8cm, it will no longer be classed as a 'packet' but will be a 'large packet' and rates for large packets are excessive. First and Second Class post will no longer take items over 61cm, if I am reading the new price guide correctly and these look like they need to be sent by ParcelForce at a cost of over £10 for each delivery.

What to Do About the Increase

There are a number of things you can do to minimise the increase in costs:
  • Pack everything in as little packing as needed to keep you item under the relevant size. If the item is damaged by the Royal Mail, make a claim on their insurance. You will probably need proof of postage from the Post Office to claim.
  • Choose an alternative service that you can pay for online. There are plenty of other options to pick from. We have used Parcel2Go, ParcelMonkey, Collect+ and MyHermes in the past. We have found MyHermes deliveries quite slow but they are cost effective especially to the Scottish Highlands where other couriers charge huge amounts to deliver but MyHermes only charge a little extra.
  • If you send items regularly, it may be worth finding out how much a courier would charge. We are currently using FedEx and many of their rates are cheaper than the Royal Mail. Your tariff will be negotiated depending on volume and how often you require collections, however some of our rates are less than a quarter of the new Post Office prices.
  • Another option if you send items regularly would be a franking machine. Some rates have discounts for franking machine users, however you will need to work out how much the machine would cost and make sure you are saving more than they charge. They charge you a monthly rental, a fee to update the rates each year and also each time you put money on the machine, there is a charge. On top of this, you will need to buy franking labels and on occasion franking machine ink.
  • Your final option is to check if you really need to post the item. A letter? Change to email. A gift for a friend? Does it need to go now or could it wait until you next see them? If they are just 20 miles up the road, it could be cheaper to drive.
  • My last piece of advice is if you are ordering items in for yourself. Do not wait until April as many companies will be forced to increase their pricing, if not the postage, then the product. Get ordering now! Stock up on items you will need over the next few months and avoid the extra £2 or £3 you may have to pay by delaying.

Petrol. Gas. Electricity

We have all seen and complained about petrol, gas and electricity prices going up but I don't think they have gone up as much as the Royal Mail. A box of tea bags in the post would have cost £0.39 ten years ago. From April, this will be £5.65. That is a 1448% price rise in 10 years!

Is Royal Mail the Worst for Price Increases?

At PC Ink, we can not think of another company that has increased it charges as rapidly as the Royal Mail. If you can think of anyone that has raised their prices at a faster rate, please comment.

Royal Mail and the Monopoly

It appears that Royal Mail are abusing their position and monopoly with these price increases and we would like to campaign that this monopoly is lost. It would leave the Royal Mail with no business and potential bankruptcy very quickly but that should not be our concern. If TNT and DHL want to set up mail companies, which they do, then we should let them to give consumers fair pricing. Any company that has increased pricing from 39p to £5.65 in ten years and still cannot make a profit does not deserve protection by the government. They deserve to be treat like any other business in the UK. Let us not worry about mass unemployment. We will still need a postal system so many of the postmen and women who work for the Royal Mail today will be able to take employment at alternative companies.

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PC Ink are a UK supplier of ink cartridges and other computer consumables. We now also sell printers and are an Epson Select Reseller.