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Using online postage
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Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 10:57 am    Post subject: Using online postage  Reply with quote    

I've been experimenting with buying/printing my own posteg from the RM website. I can't help but feel bad because I want to support rural post offices but both of my local ones are a bit crap The one just down the road has limited services and when I went in with a parcel one Monday they told me it wouldn't be picked up for postage until Thursday! The one in the next village has a really surly bloke behind the counter who moans if you ask for a receipt and doesn't stick the labels on properly (I've had to refund postage before as the labels had fallen off )
So, I gave the online one a try. It looks very professional, has your business name printed on the label and is very easy to do. It pushes my costs up a fraction as I have to pay for labels as opposed to just writing on the packet but apart from that I like it/

Fellow Downsizers, the issue I put to you is this: Is it unethical/environmentally unfriendly etc or am I getting my knickers in a twist about something that isn't that important in the greater scheme of blah?

2steps



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 5349
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use this sometimes and like it too but half the time it won't accept my debit card

bagpuss



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 10507
Location: cambridge
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If the service provided by your local post offices isn't very good then using an relatively environmentally friendly alternative is no bad thing

The only other thing you could do is try an offer constructive criticism to those people who run the post offices and see if you can get the service improved

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The one down the road is really helpful but can only offer the limited servce that RM allow him to

The one further on is run by one of those people where you feel like asking him what makes him stick at a job he so clearly hates I've explained to him that I not only need the receipts for proof of posting but for my accounts, yet every time I have to go through the palaver of asking for a receipt at the end of the transaction and dealing with his huffs and puffs as he has to push the button on the machine and wait for the receipt to pop out. Tearing the receipt out of the machine seems to be the final straw for him

I suppose the good thing is that even though I've printed the postage off myself we still need to take them to a PO to actually post them as they're packets and won't fit in the postbox. So, in effect I'm still using the rural post offices.

Helen_A



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 1548
Location: MK, Bucks.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Could you time your posting day (s) to coincide with the days the nice local guy has his pick up?

Its very common within WAHM companies to see them state days of the week that they post, and as long as you state them you are within the distance selling regulations etc. (28 days and all that )

Helen_A

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Helen_A wrote:
Could you time your posting day (s) to coincide with the days the nice local guy has his pick up?

Its very common within WAHM companies to see them state days of the week that they post, and as long as you state them you are within the distance selling regulations etc. (28 days and all that )

Helen_A


Not really. If someone buys something on a Monday it wouldn't get to them for over a week

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Using online postage Reply with quote    

Stacey wrote:
I've been experimenting with buying/printing my own posteg from the RM website. I can't help but feel bad because I want to support rural post offices but both of my local ones are a bit crap The one just down the road has limited services and when I went in with a parcel one Monday they told me it wouldn't be picked up for postage until Thursday! The one in the next village has a really surly bloke behind the counter who moans if you ask for a receipt and doesn't stick the labels on properly (I've had to refund postage before as the labels had fallen off )
So, I gave the online one a try. It looks very professional, has your business name printed on the label and is very easy to do. It pushes my costs up a fraction as I have to pay for labels as opposed to just writing on the packet but apart from that I like it/

Fellow Downsizers, the issue I put to you is this: Is it unethical/environmentally unfriendly etc or am I getting my knickers in a twist about something that isn't that important in the greater scheme of blah?


Sorry Stacey, I don't understand.

How is "online postage" producing a result that is different from simply buying stamps (at whatever shop or post office) and sticking them on yourself?
There are plenty of nifty label printing programs around, so that can't be it.

I don't understand how it gets your parcel picked up any faster than the next parcel collection from the post office.

I don't understand how buying stamps online gives you a proof of posting, or in the case of Special Delivery proof of posting before the deadline.
Don't you have to go to a post office for these services?
And don't you have to take to the post office anything that's too big to fit into a pillarbox?

I don't understand how the actual *mail* handling is any different, whether you buy the stamps online or not.
I'm afraid you'll have to explain to me how buying the stamps online would make any difference at all as to what day parcels are collected. 'Cos I simply don't follow that at all.

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've already said that I have to take the parcels to the post office as they don't fit in the box. I print a certificate of posting and it goes faster because (unfortunately) I don't use the small post office down the road unless it's a thursday morning. I've also said that the miserable sod....sorry, cashier who works in the next nearest one doesn't stick the labels on properly and they've fallen off(meaning I pay twice for postage)It also means that I can ask my husband to drop it off at any post office he happens to be near, meaning I sometimes don't have to make a separate journey. It's just much more convenient so far. The labels also look more professional.

I wouldn't use it for special delivery.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Stacey wrote:
I print a certificate of posting

Really? How can that be valid for compensation?

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:
Stacey wrote:
I print a certificate of posting

Really? How can that be valid for compensation?


No idea dougal. You could try looking at the royal mail site. Do you have a point of view as to whether it's an ethically acceptable alternative to actually queuing up in a post office or are you just looking for a fight?

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good topic, as I've been using the online gizmo, and really like it, I think it really adds that professional touch.

Like you, I also still use my local Post Office to actually post them, because they're parcels too, so i can't see that it makes much difference ethically.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14964
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Don't you have to pay for it? I did look at it, but I don't post all that many parcels, and it didn't seem worth it. I think it was 4.99 a month, if I posted more than the odd parcel it would be worth it in the time I saved in the post office.

Personally, I would use it, anyway. I use a main town post office, as I work there, and post offices are only open in working hours, so I don't much choice. The queues are so terrible that I have been know to go with a colleauge, and share the queuing - she queues for the first half of our lunch hour, and I for the second!

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
Don't you have to pay for it? I did look at it, but I don't post all that many parcels, and it didn't seem worth it. I think it was 4.99 a month, if I posted more than the odd parcel it would be worth it in the time I saved in the post office.

Personally, I would use it, anyway. I use a main town post office, as I work there, and post offices are only open in working hours, so I don't much choice. The queues are so terrible that I have been know to go with a colleauge, and share the queuing - she queues for the first half of our lunch hour, and I for the second!


No - you can do the small/medium buisness Smartstamp thing for 4.99 a month but the only extra cost to print your own is that you have to provide a label or something to actually print it onto. If it's a letter you can just print straight onto the envelope.

http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/jump3?mediaId=26800663&catId=400043&campaignid=olphomepagepromo

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Stacey wrote:
dougal wrote:
Stacey wrote:
I print a certificate of posting

Really? How can that be valid for compensation?


No idea dougal. You could try looking at the royal mail site. Do you have a point of view as to whether it's an ethically acceptable alternative to actually queuing up in a post office or are you just looking for a fight?


I have asked how it is different to buying the stamps and sticking them on yourself.
I have asked how you can print a "Certificate of Postage" for yourself - which as I'm sure folk will know is a receipt certifying that the Post Office have received the item - and worth 32 if the item gets lost.

I haven't had an answer.
Instead I'm asked if I'm "looking for a fight"!


I don't see how this can be an alternative to "queuing up at the post office" for anything that requires a receipt for the item, or for anything that won't fit into a pillar box.

I recognise that there is a cashflow advantage in not having to buy stamps in advance, and potentially from paying on credit card, but, er, that's about it as an advantage for the poster of things that don't go straight into letter boxes.
As I've said, printing your own good-looking labels isn't difficult.
And there's no need for the chap at the counter to stick anything on - if you don't wish him to. You can stick ordinary stamps on yourself!

The loss of revenue to local sub-post offices from this particular innovation would seem to be less than the losses that they have already experienced from changes to benefit payments, post office bank accounts, passport applications and vehicle re-licensing (and there are probably others).
In the current situation, it would be hard to be cheerful about running most rural sub-postoffices these days.

If you don't mind taking your parcels further to hand them in at another post office, then don't support your local one with your trade - and for things other than stamps, too.
Without trade (not just yours), it'll probably close quite soon, and you'll *have* to travel further with your parcels.
Its as simple as that.
Practicality, not ethics.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 07 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If we had a local post office, we'd use it without question, but we don't, so we use smartstamp - we do post out quite a few parcels a day, so it's worth it to us.

If it's a choice between Smartstamp, and going into town, finding parking, paying for parking, fighting through the people, queueing at the post office, I'll take the Smartstamp I'm afraid.

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