Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Small Business Questions, Ideas and Advice
sally_in_wales

new post prices are out

http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/RoyalMail_OurPrices_April2013.pdf

I need to find a way to translate this into an update for the shop, under these new rules its size of parcel more than weight that will determine the price, and I've always quoted price based on total weight of order. Starting to think I may need to look at buying a load of boxes in two sizes to reflect 'small' and 'medium' parcels, and then work out what can be stuffed into each one.

I won't be the only small business scratching their heads over this one, the difference between 3 for a small and 5.65 for a medium parcel is a large one, and all it takes is for a parcel in its current biodegradable plastic envelope to wriggle and reshape itself and it means the next bracket up. Equally annoying, one plague rat for example will cost as much to post as a whole kilo of the beasties. Rolling Eyes
vegplot

At least the postage on the lead Nick is sending you will be cheap.
Nicky Colour it green

thanks Sally


gah. i bought new packaging last time..... *sigh*
earthyvirgo

At least the postage on the lead Nick is sending you will be cheap.


or he might just pdf it and email it to you!

EV
Nick

At least the postage on the lead Nick is sending you will be cheap.


or he might just pdf it and email it to you!

EV

Honestly, who can tell the difference?
sunnybankvines

pricing ramifications

hmmm... given the length of my parcels are 47cm to take good long vine cuttings and plants it will be going up from 2.70 to 5.65 if I read that correctly for what is 'medium' size parcel and usually under 250g.
That will be quite a hike in my single vine (inc pandp) to a UK address price...hmm. It might even pay to talk to our local courier at that rate.
thanks for putting the link up.
Nick

parcel2go.com suggest prices for that from 2.50 + vat. RichardW

parcel2go.com suggest prices for that from 2.50 + vat.

Plus they collect it too.

Also try http://www.myhermes1.co.uk/
Lorrainelovesplants

Thanks for the link Sally.
Im selling a lot of eggs through ebay - good to keep one step ahead.
powerjen

I am completely confused by the new pricing structure. I am sure that the post office counters will be as confused as I am with all these different parcel sizes and what prices they should be. I'm lucky to have a rural post office a couple of miles away who I leave my parcels with and they process them when they're quiet but if you have to stand and queue in a large post office to send stuff this is just going to add to queues and slow processing times whilst staff figure things out.

Whilst couriers such as Hermes are good if you're happy for your items to take up to 5 days to get to their destination, there is nothing of comparable price via a courier of Royal Mail 1st class and if you have something that can't wait around like fertile eggs or plant cuttings then you're pretty much at the mercy of the Royal Mail.

I too have always done my shipping prices based on weight but I really need to sit down and see how this is going to affect things. At least they didn't put up the standard 1st and 2nd class stamp prices again. I think there would have been an outcry if they had. Meanwhile I'm off to try figure out how these size/price structures affect me!
sally_in_wales

I think, having looked at a box about the maximum size for the small parcel rate for a few hours now, that the way I'm going to have to do it is to keep the shop calculating by total weight (which is what most online shop sftware is designed to do) based on that size parcel, but put up the prices of items I know will fall into the next size bracket by a couple of quid to allow for the larger size. Its going to serve people ill if they buy multiples of a bulky item, but looking at the types of things it will include its not going to happen terribly often Confused Can't offhand think of a better way to do it at the moment Nell Merionwen

Typical that the prices change just as I start out. I ust confess to having been preocupied with the idea of costs for sending out heavier boxes. Body butter is surprisingly heavy. Particularly when presented in glass jars.
I was looking at the idea of a courier instead. It seems you need to be a buisness to use most companies. So perhaps I should register with one. I have no idea what is the best way forward though.
sally_in_wales

the new rates will cover up to a kilo on one packet price, so you should be abel to send two or three jars for that.

If you havent already registered as a business, may as well do it now, then you can put against the books any of the development costs in these early stages. It doesnt matter that you arent making a profit yet, but you are spending money on samples, certification, equipment etc, so may as well log it all
Nell Merionwen

Sorry EmbarassedI meant register with a courier service.
Not very clear of me.
powerjen

It seems to me as though the Royal Mail are trying to price themselves out of the market for parcel delivery. It is very annoying (personally speaking) that there is such a huge difference between a small parcel and a medium one depth wise. 8cm for small and 46cm for medium! I have tended to send my items out small orders in jiffy bags with the items bubblewrapped to within an inch of their lives. But none of these currently fit into the 8cm depth category. I think I'm going to have to get an 8cm deep box and see what I can fit in it. If I can't get 250ml toiletry bottles into them then I'll have to start sending everything via Hermes and tell customers their orders will take longer to get to them.

Sally, have you seen the small print at the bottom of the page which says that 16cmx16cmx16cm boxes are classed as 'small' parcels too? Wondered if this was any help to you?
powerjen

Nell. courier companies are extremely funny about sending out anything which is 'liquid'. I am not sure if body butters would be classed as that but certainly liquid soap, serums and body washes are.

Most won't carry items that are 'liquid', but Hermes do, plus they're much cheaper than couriers. Even if you register as a customer with a courier - DPD, City Link etc etc the prices were still prohibitive for me. Places like Parcel2go etc are good as they act as the customer on your behalf so you get the best deals through them, but again it's not much good if you're sending something 'liquid' through them as they won't accept the parcel.
Nick

You can send liquids no problem. And, use parcel2go. You can get ten percent off their prices, and there's no need to register as a business.

I'm eternally confused why people find couriers hard work. It's the simplest web site to use, you print off the label and thy collect from your door, and if you want it delivered next day, you can do so.
Nell Merionwen

You can send liquids no problem. And, use parcel2go. You can get ten percent off their prices, and there's no need to register as a business.

I'm eternally confused why people find couriers hard work. It's the simplest web site to use, you print off the label and thy collect from your door, and if you want it delivered next day, you can do so.

Thank you x
Nick

For liquids, just make sure they're very well wrapped, and label them 'cosmetics'. Wink Rob R

Our courier says as long as you don't pack liquids in a bucket, that's fine. sueshells

Also check out Collect+ which is a courier service whereby if you are sending parcels you can drop them off at a local collection point - usually located in a village corner shop or similar. Prices are very reasonable with up to 2kgs costing 3.99, up to 5kgs is 4.99, up to 10kgs is 6.99.

http://www.collectplus.co.uk/

You have to be lucky enough to have a nearby collection point - mine is 6 miles away which isn't much good for an odd parcel but if I was regularly sending a dozen or so it would be worth the trip.
powerjen

Hi, if you check out parcel2gos website when you click on accepting their ts and cs on confirming your parcel booking it does ask that you have checked their prohibited items list (or words to that effect) which includes liquids on every type of courier you try to send with.

It is up to each individual if they choose to say that they are sending cosmetics (even though they are still liquids which are prohibited), but personally I'm not happy to - just in case a parcel for whatever reason bursts or leaks causes damage which they may try claim from you. I wrap everything very well etc etc and have never had problem with anything I've sent.

I personally don't see the point in having to do this anyway as I still find if you're sending out lighter goods such as toiletries big couriers just can't compete with royal mail prices unless you use Hermes, which are cheap, pick up from your place of work or home and don't care what you send with them. It just takes the equivalent of 2nd class post rather than 1st.
Nick

hermes are on parcel2go, and also ban liquids. Wink powerjen

If you go on Hermes's own website and book from there myhermes.co.uk then they don't ban liquids. It is parcel2go who state that those are their prohibited items and it is a standard list that most couriers use. As Rob has said in the past there is the odd other courier company that do allow liquids but these have all been too expensive for me to use compared to Hermes as I only send lower weight items. Nick

Exactly. So, you can tie yourself up in trying to follow rules that contradict themselves, or you can apply common sense, and crack on with stuff. nats

As a customer............ couriers are only good if you are going to be in all day. When I order meat from Rob I have to plan to be in ALL DAY, and it normally tries to come when I'm out on the school run. With Royal Mail the collection point is close and easy. For me any way. I would choose to pay more for a parcel delivered by RM than any courier. Honestly. And I have done in the past too. I don't mind for things like a whole pig - that takes planning and that's how it goes, but I would mind for a jar of body butter or a plague rat or 3. Is it worth having an option where people can add a couple of quid to pay for it to go RM rather than courier?? Rob R

Is it worth having an option where people can add a couple of quid to pay for it to go RM rather than courier??

I agree. I'd say that having a choice is always better than having no choice.
sally_in_wales

Mine I think will stay with RM in all liklihood. I'm not sure at the moment that its actually a saving to the customer send the smaller 'average' package by any other route when you also factor in likely dleivery options. Big parcels may be a different matter though.

I'm hoping to find the time and brainpower to switch my shop to another platform this year, and I'll definately be looking at postal option flexibility.
Rob R

I've just received this in my inbox; 10 Ways to Slash Your Postage & Shipping Costs sunnybankvines

an epetition against the new pricing - suggesting the overall measurements of the parcel should operate - not individual dimensions.
This is how the international packets work ...

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46737

worth adding our voice to this too .. ( if it makes *any* difference!)
Rob R

I've just been reading up what the new postal prices actually mean for small businesses after an e-mail from ebay. If you're a small business sending out lots of small packets they are now offering a massive 16p discount on franked mail (it used to be 2p) which pushes down the turnover needed to justify franking considerably.

It also seems that Royal Mail are upgrading their systems so that they operate more like a courier. It's certainly worth taking a closer look at Royal Mail before decamping to a courier.

ETA - crossposted with sbv - that looks a better researched petition then the other one I've seen doing the rounds
Midland Spinner

By the time these petitions have any effect, the new postal prices will have already adversely affected businesses - some of them won't survive. sally_in_wales

I had the new cardboard template through yesterday, and its definately a real borderline between most of our parcels fitting through the smaller parcel option or just being lumpy enough to fall into the larger. Rob R

Having actually read through the changes I think there are bigger problems with your business if this has the potential to kill it off. How many people have done a partial budget to calculate the effects before signing or writing a petition? sally_in_wales

It won't kill us off, but it makes it very unattractive for the people who regularly order one plague rat to end up paying more in postage for their rattie than the actual item costs. I know that leaves a bad taste in the mouth even if the buyer knows that the charges arent going to us. Midland Spinner

It's the introduction of the 8cm-deep parcel which worries me, a lot of the things we make are going to fall into the larger category, which will make mail order sales more expensive. The size seems to be aimed at documents or wide flat things, not small hand-made leather boxes or spindles.

We are just starting to get a reasonable number of mail order purchases (which is great, seeing that 50% of our events so far this year have been cancelled!). Because all our items are handmade they tend to vary in size, so we can't have a one-size fit's all postal price.

It's not going to "kill off" our business, but it certainly won't help.
Rob R

Because all our items are handmade they tend to vary in size, so we can't have a one-size fit's all postal price.

But looking at the changes they seem much simpler than the old system & more easy to give a one size fits all price. You can also quote a higher standard price with a 'contact us for a more competitive quote' option. Certainly if you're operating within a bespoke market the customer shouldn't be expecting a standard postage charge.

The aim of the changes are supposed to be to allow Royal Mail to upgrade their systems so that they operate more like a courier, so we've got to accept courier pricing levels. One of the petitions I saw was claiming that they spent 10k annually with Royal Mail (they called it the Post Office, so I can't see that petition doing any good at all) should become more efficient rather than putting prices up. Which begs the question why they can't become more efficient - that amount of volume certainly puts you into the business category or at the very least franking - I can't believe someone would spend more than 800 every month on postage over the counter and bemoan RM for not doing their job efficiently. If you want that kind of personal service you've got to accept that the service will be inefficient & more costly. The standard service for personal customers remains VAT Exempt, which is a significant advantage for individuals & small businesses.
Midland Spinner

Quote:
But looking at the changes they seem much simpler than the old system & more easy to give a one size fits all price.


Hmm, not simpler to find the prices on the website - I felt like Arthur Dent trying to find the planning application when I was looking for the parcel dimensions. (Found them eventually down stairs, behind a locked door with "Beware of the leopard" on it).

Which is why I tried to get a leaflet from the post office in the village - they gave me last year's.
Rob R

Which is why I tried to get a leaflet from the post office in the village - they gave me last year's.

I think that says it all.

If anyone is struggling to find the link to the new prices it is here or at the bottom of every page on www.royalmail.com or the leaflet is available here.
Midland Spinner

Which is why I tried to get a leaflet from the post office in the village - they gave me last year's.

I think that says it all.

If anyone is struggling to find the link to the new prices it is here

No, it isn't there, it's 1 or 2 pages on from that, depending whether you want the pdf of the leaflet, or just the badly laid out prices.

or at the bottom of every page on www.royalmail.com . In very very small print.

They aren't making it clear & open.
Rob R

They are, it's just that they risk people thinking those are the prices now if they make them more prominent than the current prices.

They're trying to encourage people to think about more more efficient ways of using the service, as informing every casual user is what costs them so much money - the savings for small businesses have increased. They've got to filter you through the system to get the right type of customer matched with the right prices - they can't put every direct link on the front page to what you're looking for or it'd end up far less succinct.

By contrast, most courier companies will not give you their rates on their website to avoid such confusion. I don't envy the Royal Mail.

When I go into my local Post Office & get the Post Mistress, rather than Master, we have a lengthy process of me telling her what it should cost, her going through it trying to work it out for herself, then going to find the Post Master, then him confirming what I knew all along. help
Lorrainelovesplants

For someone like me who sells a lot of hatching eggs on ebay its going to be hard. The lady in the Post office was trying to explain it all to me, but its certainly going to put people off.
I cant squeeze eggs into small packages. Laughing
Rob R

For someone like me who sells a lot of hatching eggs on ebay its going to be hard. The lady in the Post office was trying to explain it all to me, but its certainly going to put people off.
I cant squeeze eggs into small packages. Laughing

That's what they're aiming to do - you either pay what it costs or you don't use them. Many people won't use them (occasional users) and they'll become more efficient.
Midland Spinner

I went in to the Post Office earlier today to post a parcel. While I was there I asked (again) for the leaflet of the new prices.
They replied that they haven't got them yet "all we have is our own training material".

It's less than a week until the new prices come into force.
Lorrainelovesplants

Wont tell you till the last minute. It was the same last year - they had the leaflets but wernt allowed to give them out. Rolling Eyes Rob R

Good job you can print your own, then. gz

I was worried enough with the last price rise....now I turn my back for 6 months and they are going up again Confused Rob R

I was worried enough with the last price rise....now I turn my back for 6 months and they are going up again Confused

Not necessarily - the formats have also changed as well as the prices so that you could well be paying less (a first class parcel of 1kg currently costs 4.30, under the new structure it will either cost 3 or 5.65, that's either a 1.65 rise or a 1.30 fall in price).

A 19kg parcel sent first class currently costs 38.30, the new price is 32.40, or a 5.90 saving.

In 2012 you used to get a discount of 2p off a standard letter for franking, making it 44p, it still costs 44p, giving you a saving of 16p on a every letter. The prices of stamps haven't gone up this time at all.
Rob R

or at the bottom of every page on www.royalmail.com . In very very small print.

They aren't making it clear & open.

Here's a screenshot of the main page;

Midland Spinner

or at the bottom of every page on www.royalmail.com . In very very small print.

They aren't making it clear & open.

Here's a screenshot of the main page;



Yes, but to get to the parcel prices/sizes you still have to click the link to get to a page which gives the choice of personal (which I'm not, exactly), smart stamp, or business-with-an account (which I'm not). That takes you to the basic info, then to get the detailed parcel prices you have to click another link which takes you to the pdf, in which you have to scroll down to the second page to find the inland sizes, which you then have to compare to the prices to find out how much you will have to spend.

That's 3 pages on from the front page- it might as well be in the basement, behind a locked door, in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet marked "beware of the leopard".

This conversation is clearly going round in circles, you obviously think that the Royal Mail are justified in their actions and are giving you good service - I .... don't. I suspect it's a lot down to the fact that you sell & send out a lot of heavy parcels, I send fewer light parcels, because a lot of my work involves trapping volume inside things (i.e. making cases, boxes, baskets & other bulky but light items).
Rob R

This conversation is clearly going round in circles, you obviously think that the Royal Mail are justified in their actions and are giving you good service - I .... don't. I suspect it's a lot down to the fact that you sell & send out a lot of heavy parcels, I send fewer light parcels, because a lot of my work involves trapping volume inside things (i.e. making cases, boxes, baskets & other bulky but light items).

No, not at all, the postal prices thread is posted in Business Questions, Ideas & Advice, I'm trying to offer the latter two. You said it was hard to find in the small print (the link to 2013 Postal Prices) yet when I visited the site it was there in a very prominent position, I'm not quite sure what more you are expecting from them in that respect. They can't take you on a direct link to the information you want to know because that would mean everyone else would find it more difficult, either that or you'd have a load of information to sift through that you didn't want to know and it'd be even harder to find.

I do send some heavy parcels, but if I were advising you on that basis I would say you should forget about Royal Mail and sign up with a decent courier. I also use Royal Mail for anything from 50g up to about 1kg, after which the courier becomes more competitive when I factor in the time & cost of going to the Post Office. I used to send many smaller parcels via Royal Mail, which is why I suggest franking - the savings back when I did it were starting at 2p per letter, and it was only just about worth it for the few parcels I had, the biggest advantage for me was that I didn't have to spend time in the Post Office & I didn't have to hold up other people in the Post Office while they processed my parcels - now they are up to 16p, so it is definitely more financially worth it now. I also suggested having a set price & offering a quote to reduce your postal prices if possible, which is exactly what I do. The Post Office still gets paid for handling franked mail so you are not doing them out of an income either.

Royal Mail have changed their pricing structure in order to a) influence the way customers use the service and b) making themselves more efficient by standardising the mail they are handling. They haven't done it to annoy people. A lot of people have said they have put their prices up, but if you compare the prices they have put some parcels up, and brought some down, so the doom-mongering is not justified IMO. And even if it were justified, what is the point of complaining about it on a forum if the convention is to just say 'it's awful what they are doing to us'? They're not going to come on here and change their systems and pricing structure on the back of it. We've got to find the best way around it.

I have also recently invested in some boxes for 'lumpy' items that standardise the size and shape of my skins & hides (which are lightweight & fairly bulky) and ensure that I know the dimensions and they aren't open to inperpretation by the Post Office staff. They also make packing quicker and easier than wrapping in plastic.
Nicky Colour it green

for small parcels you can order a template
http://www.royalmail.com/parcel-template-order-form

to check what size = what cost.

in addition, if it helps anyone as it has helped me, there is this in teeny teeny writing, found underneath the definitions of a small, medium and large parcel in the uk bit:

Quote:
Exceptions apply. The following items are also priced as Small Parcels. Parcels that measure up to: Length: 16cm, Width: 16cm, Depth: 16cm.
Also roll or cylinder shaped parcels that measure up to Length: 45cm, Diameter: 8cm.
sally_in_wales

beware the card template is running about 5mm too wide on all slots, but still very useful as a quick check whether your parcel will fit through Midland Spinner

I've just received my card template - the neighbour brought it round because the postie delivered it to next door. Confused Barefoot Andrew

Ooh, I get to join in in this thread now too Very Happy

I've added in weights and dimensions to the first few merionwen products, and I'm setting up shipping methods to fit with RM's scheme of sizes and weights.

What I'm unclear on as yet is how our cart software calculates the overall volume of a multi-product order. Some fiddling will be required.

My favourite bit of advice from this thread so far is:-

Our courier says as long as you don't pack liquids in a bucket, that's fine.

Laughing
A.
Barefoot Andrew

Bother, it doesn't seem to work in a sensible manner. The volume of a kilner jar is less than the overall volume of a small parcel, but exceeds the size restrictions... and it'll only let me add weight/volumes.

Time for a selection of shipping methods with artificial weight restrictions, to trick the system into selecting the right one.
A.
Nicky Colour it green

apparently RM are changing their pricing structure from the end of the month/ beginning Nov

they are changing the small parcel dimensions for domestic mail so that parcels up to 350 x 250 x 160mm, which are currently classified as Medium Parcels, would also now be classed as a Small Parcel. This would cover postings up to the size of a large shoebox.

Difference in price for 1kg is a reduction from 5.65 to 3.00
Jamanda

Are they still called RM then? Rob R

Royal Mail plc Nicky Colour it green

and here is a link detailing the new 2 kinds of small parcel info
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Small Business Questions, Ideas and Advice
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home