Friday, 22 March 2013

Royal Mail prices, eBay, and Filofaxes.

This week I thought I would list a couple of Filofaxes on eBay.
I get rather bored reading endless basic descriptions so I try to tell a potential buyer more about the item, and why I am selling it.

This week is the last time you may get really cheap postage on eBay. It's not widely known but Royal Mail are changing the way parcels are priced so that it isn't just weight which is taken into account. From April 2nd, you'll have to consider volume as well.

They have sneaked this in under the wire and it's not at all easy to work out the details, but essentially a parcel which now costs £2.70 to send, First Class, for up to 750g will cost £3.00 for up to a Kilo. 
Not so bad, you may think. Sadly, that's not the end of the story.

Parcels will now be calibrated by size, and it's not a very big size!

You'll be fine for items which are flattish and thin. A parcel under 8cm high will fit into the new £3.00 price band. 

Step over that, up to 8.1cm and your parcel jumps to (I would sit down if you are of a nervous disposition) £5.65.

Five Pounds and Sixty Five Pence

It will be cheaper to send a parcel to new Zealand, airmail - £4.80 - than to send it up the road to the next town.

Even Second Class, your 8.1cm package will cost £5.20.


Out go the reused jiffy bags, the use-it-again-to-be-green boxes and in comes Very Carefully Trimmed Bubble Wrap (no more Christmas gift parcel type folded over ends) and squashing, lots and lots of squashing. 

Anyone selling clothing is going to have to get rather inventive because an item which starts out carefully folded as a flat parcel, may scrunch up in transit to a rather fatter item at one end of a slippery poly postal bag and incur excess postage (and potentially negative feedback). If you plan to sell shoes, or  toys, or anything bulky, I would forget ten day auctions and list them now for five days so they can be posted well before the change happens on the 2nd.

Box sellers (also on eBay) are already changing what they offer, and a number are selling 7.5cm or 3 inch boxes to allow for any slight bulging of the contents. I can see vacuum sealing becoming popular.

And for the record, a chocolate Weeto box is less than 8cm deep, just be careful of that bulge!

I'll introduce you to my new Filofax soon!

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