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New Royal Mail Sizes

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    New Royal Mail Sizes

    I'm in the process of updating my site to Seller deck 2013 and redefining our shipping options so that we don't overcharge customers for the postage. This was going well until Royal Mail changed the packet size into small parcel and medium parcel sizes with prices for the same weights, and I've been trying to figure out how to implement this into the shipping tables without having to relay on the customer selecting the size as well as level of service from the options and I'm coming up with a blank.

    I have a mix of products, some which can go letter or large letter and they are fine, some products can go as small parcels and some would have to go medium parcel, however I don't really want to charge my customers for the medium parcel price if something can go small parcel.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I could implement this please?


    Do you send over 1000 parcels per year with Royal Mail, if you do it would be worth getting a Royal Mail account as you would then be able to access the new Royal Mail 24 and Royal Mail 48 parcel rates (previously known as PacketPost) which do not have the small / medium sizing applied to them and the prices are also cheaper.
    You also benefit from using averaged weights instead of per parcel weighs which is handy if you have a mix on weights as a 100g packet and a 1800g parcel average out as 950g and both parcels are charged at the lowest price band 0-1Kg.
    Darren Guppy
    Golf Tee Warehouse
    Golf Tees and Golf Accessories.


      Unfortunately at the moment we donít, but Iím hoping that soon we will be in a position for the royal mail account.

      Iíll keep at trying to make this work for now.


        I think this is really going to hurt a number of small merchants. We have a range of core products which cost less to purchase than post. Luckily for us we've a contract so the changes won't hurt us much, but it's bonkers that we can send some goods on a next working day courier for the same or less than the Royal Mail tariff price for 1st class post. It will put the smaller merchants at a huge disadvantage and stifle growth.


          I am spending a bit of time sorting our shipping rates for next week - we don't have the quantity to be "business" so post at the post office.

          My most common sale is a product that weighs 1,250g - currently £5.60 "first class"

          Now if I have read the leaflet correctly, this now gets sent "small parcel" and falls into the 1-2kg range so £6.85 for "first class" with just £20 compensation.

          However if I split it into two parcels under 1kg the cost is £3.00 each - a saving of 85p and both are covered for £20 each.

          More work for me, more work for Royal Mail - for medium parcels the pricing anomoly does not occur, so why does it on small ?

          It seems a tad bonkers


            Yep, totally bonkers!

            Basically, we are going to be forced to use 2 boxes instead of one to get a cheaper price - its madness. What is also madness is the max dimensions of the new small parcel - what on earth can be packed into this- Its smaller than a shoe box...!
            Online Shop at:


              I sent an email to Royal Mail CEO, Moya Greene, and to my surprise got a reply - promising a full and detailed explanation to follow..


                Dealing with Royal Mail is bonkers.
                The postie van stops outside our building every day at 16:45 (it's a Stop sign).
                They still charge us £750.00 per annum to walk in and collect our mail!
                We don't send enough to have an account with Royal Mail (the quantities required are in my view ridiculously high) so we use their online postage purchasing website.
                It's full of bugs, crashes, is unavailable at peak times and once you have made the purchase, it hangs while obtaining the labels, so you have to refresh the page to get it to work; there is even an instruction on the page telling you to refresh! How crap is that?
                Then the size of the text on the labels is about 8 point - it must drive postmen nuts trying to read it.
                There is no facility for setting your preferred labels, return address etc so each time this has to be done.
                Most of our stuff goes with UPS who are brilliant, but for packages less than 2 kg it isn't economic.

                Or at least, it wasn't - looking at the prices being quoted in their new pricing, coupled with UPS having just reduced their contract rates, we may send everything with UPS from now on.

                No wonder RM is struggling.

                Soz - rant over
                Kind Regards
                Sean Williams

                Calamander Ltd


                  No idea what will happen on Tuesday 2 April

                  We use Royal Mail Despatch Manager Online, which is online booking software, set up for one's particular account, which we use to despatch everything Royal Mail - Tracked, PacketPost, letters, Airsure, International Signed for, etc. Nothing at all has been said about any changes to anything on this. When they have previously updated anything on this, it has put it out of use for anything from one day to a lot longer. Next Tuesday, as it is the next working day that anything can be despatched, there will be all orders to be despatched from Thursday evening through to Tuesday afternoon, about 5 days of orders, so it will be an exceptionally busy day for us. Any problems with booking the Royal Mail despatches will have a major impact on us. I don't want to contact anybody at the RM as we are due for a price review soon, which I don't want to remind them about. Just keeping our fingers crossed for Tuesday. If necessary, we would have to use our other carrier.


                    First use of the new system today.

                    Parcel weighing 1,273g - but 0.5cm too wide to be a "small parcel" so fee requested was £8.90 with £20 compensation

                    So I split it into two - paid £6.00 to send same goods to same address, no doubt on the same lorry, processed by the same system and delivered at the same time by the same postman (with a bit of luck!) - however my goods now covered combined for £40

                    So how can it cost 49% extra to send as a single pack ? ....


                      Reply in full - fair play very quickly.

                      From: David Gee []
                      Sent: 04 April 2013 10:37
                      To: Mark Evenden
                      Subject: Royal Mail

                      Reference 1-2470142012

                      Dear Mr Evenden,

                      Thank you for emailing Moya Greene on 26 March 2013 regarding our new parcel prices. I have been asked to look into this and provide a response.

                      We have introduced a number of changes to our products and services at the same time to make things easier and simpler for customers to use our parcel services. These include increasing the weight limit of 2nd Class mail to 20kg, the same as it is for 1st Class mail, and simplifying our pricing structure by reducing the number of weight steps. At the same time, we have also made changes to our formats to better reflect our costs for handling, transporting and delivering of larger sized parcels in our pricing, by introducing a Small Parcel and Medium Parcel format for 1st and 2nd Class parcels.

                      The scenario you describe in our pricing structure is an anomaly weíre aware of and was caused by our aim to offer the best rates possible to customers as we reduced the number of services offered. With the removal of our Standard Parcel product and the added weight bands in 2nd Class mail youíre right that it is cheaper to post two 2nd Class parcels at 1kg, instead of one at 2kg.

                      As you may know we have combined the first two weight steps for 2nd Class parcels, so there is now only a single weight step of 0-1kg instead of two, of 0-750g and 750g-1kg. In deciding the price to charge at this rate we were mindful of the price change for customers who posted items at the lower weight step of 0-750g. Whilst those posting at the higher weight step of 750g to 1kg will see a decrease in their prices, those at the lower weight step of 0-750g will see an increase of 40p, from £2.20 and £2.60.

                      At the same time we have simplified our parcel products for those wanting a 2-3 day service by creating a single 2nd Class product that goes up to 20kg. We did this because we knew that customers were often confused by our 1kg weight limit on 2nd Class mail, beyond which customers would have to use our Standard Parcel service instead, for heavier items. You are correct that customers posting at the new 2nd Class 1-2kg weight step will now pay £5.60 for a 2nd class parcel. Previously, a customer wishing to post an item at this weight would have to use our Standard Parcel product and would be charged £5.30. Again in deciding upon the appropriate new price at this level we needed to ensure it was at a level that would not result in an excessive price rise for customers but also one that ensures we cover the cost of providing the service.

                      The alternative to this approach would have been to set either a higher price for the 0-1kg rate which we wanted to avoid because of the price impact on those posting at the lower end of this weight band or instead, to reduce the current price at the 1-2kg parcel rate Ė which would not be reflective of our costs. We recognise that some customers can benefit from breaking down items in this way if they are posting multiple items at the same time.

                      We review our prices on a regular basis and always welcome feedback from our customers so that we get it right.

                      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

                      Best regards

                      David Gee

                      Chairman and Chief Executive Office

                      100 Victoria Embankment LONDON EC4Y 0HQ


                        Possibly I'm just a miserable moaning git or one of the few here who are reliant on RM's services without a business account, but I'm quite surprised that more hasn't been said about the small / medium parcel pricing that is now in place for 1st & 2nd class post.

                        A very large percentage of our orders go out at over 8cm depth & won't fit into the 16x16x16 exclusion, so overnight the majority of our postal prices have nearly doubled! We do have an account with Interlink, but it's quite expensive & generally works out at a 3 day service (2 day with a 9.00am cut-off) as were at the arse-end of country in terms of delivery.

                        I thought that at the turn of the year RM were bashing on about how they had to open new centres due to their increasing volumes of "small" parcels & locally anyway, they have replaced a number of walk & bike rounds with a fleet of small vans to cope with their lucrative & growing "small" parcel business?

                        A quick look about the web gets a number of business & Ecommerce site that have traders up in arms about the 8cm carry on & a number of people, particularly Ebay traders & Amazon Marketplace traders who are suggesting that it may cause them to close their virtual doors...

                        Any thoughts or comments welcome.
                        Air Tech Equipment Ltd - Online Airbrush, Craft & Graphics equipment supplier


                          I don't think you're a moaning minnie - the changes seem ludicrous to me, from the point of view of small businesses anyway.
                          As seems to be the usual case, RM are managing to shoot both themselves and their customers in their collective feet.

                          You can get fairly good courier rates from Interparcel.

                          Very much worth a look now is UPS who have re-organised their contract pricing structure.
                          There is no longer a minimum number of parcels per week - even for 1 to 10 items the prices are OK. from 11 to 30 or so they are good and above that they are excellent. This is for their standard, next working day service, which in our experience is extremely reliable.

                          Regarding putting Amazon and Ebay back bedroom sellers out of business - bring it on.
                          Their insistence on working on tiny margins is causing a lot of decent, solid longstanding businesses to go west.
                          I almost never buy from Amazon - their margin of 0.5% or less is causing havoc in our industry, as I'm sure it is in many, many others.

                          I say almost never - such has become Amazon's ubiquity, some products are now only available from them as their competitors have gone out of business
                          Kind Regards
                          Sean Williams

                          Calamander Ltd


                            Originally posted by Sean Williams View Post
                            You can get fairly good courier rates from Interparcel.

                            Very much worth a look now is UPS who have re-organised their contract pricing structure.
                            There is no longer a minimum number of parcels per week - even for 1 to 10 items the prices are OK. from 11 to 30 or so they are good and above that they are excellent. This is for their standard, next working day service, which in our experience is extremely reliable.
                            Interparcel are about the only company who offer a realistic service up here, the problem is that everyone with the exception of TNT (who won't play ball with rates) use 3rd party collection agents, most of whom are simply not reliable enough - some can take up to a week to collect....

                            Originally posted by Sean Williams View Post
                            Regarding putting Amazon and Ebay back bedroom sellers out of business - bring it on.
                            I agree with that completely, but I imagine that there are some "proper" (especially new / growing) Ecommerce operations out there that when taking their order value & average pack size into account in relation to the new small/medium parcel sizes/prices will be scratching their heads.

                            On a side note, I believe that the volume for RM business accounts has been reduced to 1000 items per year - does anyone know if collection is standard with a business account or if it's an additional cost?

                            Air Tech Equipment Ltd - Online Airbrush, Craft & Graphics equipment supplier


                              You are a bit out in the sticks aren't you - didn't realise.
                              I'm assuming you've looked at everyone - such as DPD, Yodel, even HDN?

                              Another solution is fulfillment of course, but I'd bet the fees would outweigh the extra RM costs.

                              AFAIK, RM collection is a separate charge - about 750 squid p.a. around here
                              Kind Regards
                              Sean Williams

                              Calamander Ltd