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new post prices are out
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Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 13 11:59 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Midland Spinner wrote:
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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Midland Spinner wrote:
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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Midland Spinner wrote:
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.

Rob R wrote:
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



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6495
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
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.


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



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 2931
Location: Under a green roof
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6495
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 13 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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

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