Folksy Ltd

Ask Royal Mail your questions in this week's #folksyhour

(Camilla) #1

This week’s #folksyhour was all about postage. We discussed lots of things like:

  • How do you send your work?
  • Who have you found to be reliable?
  • Is it worth paying extra for insurance?
  • Do you have any tricks to make postage easier?
  • How does the cost of postage affect your pricing?
  • Do postage costs put you off selling overseas?
  • Do you think buyers are put off by high postage costs?
  • Are there certain products that are too expensive to send?
  • Have you tried offering free postage – did that have an effect on your sales?
  • How should you price the postage on additional items?

Our very expert guests Royal Mail were on hand to answer your questions and give advice on all their services, tweeting from @RoyalMail.

As usual it went by far too quickly, so if you want to continue the discussion here’s a good place for all your postage questions and answers. And if you have any more questions for Royal Mail, you can tweet them the normal way. We’ll also be writing up this week’s conversation as a blog post, so look out for that.

If you’re new to Twitter or #folksyhour, and you aren’t sure how to join in, find out how it works here…

(Kim Blythe) #3

I would like to suggest that they introduce an ‘extra small parcel’. There is a big jump from a large letter to a small parcel in both cost, and size. I was thinking of doing some 3D Christmas decorations last year but didn’t, as I felt the cost of posting was too high for such a small item at small parcel rate as they would be too fat to go as large letter. I feel there is a need for something in between large letter and small parcel.

(Hobbitgirlie1880) #4

That would be a brilliant idea. As I have a load of cuff style bracelets that are too big to be a small letter. But I can’t post them as the postage would be more than the bracelet.

(Sasha Garrett) #5

I’d like clarification of what is or isn’t covered by the insurance when using first class post? E.g. if I am posting silver jewellery under the value of £20 first class and it goes missing or is damaged can I claim compensation? (their website implies that silver jewellery must be sent special delivery to be covered)

(Stephanie Guy) #6

Wow this should be a good one! My question is: When are customs declarations required?

(Brenda Cumming) #7

My question is a simple one…I know that if I send to the republic of Ireland there is a different charge and I need an airmail sticker…but do I need an Airmail sticker for N. Ireland (eg Belfast)…
I posted a painting on 8th April that hasn’t arrived yet and I didn’t use an airmail sticker to Belfast…so am wondering if I should have put one on the envelope.
I would like to know for future reference.

(Brenda Cumming) #8

Stephie…I am not on twitter, so if you could possible find the answer to my question and let me know, I would be more than grateful…thanks.

(Angela R Connah) #9

I would like to know if something of large letter size (i.e jiffy bag about 15g) that contains jewellery and no letter can be sent to the USA as a large letter or does it have to go as small parcel?

I have had lots of conflicting answers to this from my locals post offices. Some say ‘yes’ as it is based on size of parcel and not content. Others have said ‘no’ because it has a CN22 customs declaration and doesn’t actually contain a letter. I’ve looked on the Royal Mail website but it’s not clear from the information they provide either. I currently always send small parcel to be on the safe side.

(Liz Clark) #10

Great subject, and great to have Royal Mail on board to answer too! I have a couple of questions, but they are more ones that are queries as I’ve read about them from other crafters.

Q1 - If a handmade item goes missing in the post, when it comes to claiming compensation, are you be reimbursed what the customer paid for it or only what it cost to make?

Q2 - I’ve heard some people are reimbursed in stamps rather than money, is this correct?

Thank you

(Roz) #11

I would like to know all of the above and also which box are we meant to tick on the customs declaration form (gift/documents/commercial sample/other) and what difference does it make to any duty that might be due.

(Cade & Co Design) #12

I think it would be really useful if you could buy the plastic letter/ parcel sizers that you see post office counters staff use. It can be tricky to work out what dimensions your packets are when they have varying thickness & the plastic devices are so simple to use. The paper size guides they sent out when they changed the postage just don’t work. In addition some of the rules & sizes of what constitutes large/ small parcel & the costings are so tricky to work out. It is a nightmare why does it have to be so darn complicated & have such big price jumps between categories?

(Helen Smith) #13

I asked RM this very question via Twitter when the international large letter first came in. They replied that as long as it fits the dimensions, anything (permitted) can be sent ‘large letter’ whether it is goods or a letter. And also to tweet the names of any POs who said otherwise to @PostOffice (presumably for official ‘retraining’!!). Probably depends whether you like your PO staff whether you want to do that :wink:

(Helen Smith) #14

You can get various letter size guides on ebay

(Angela R Connah) #15

Thanks Helen. Not sure I would want to ‘tweet’ the names of the post offices that say otherwise, an email would be a little more discrete.

When I posted that question here I also sent a message to RM via their website, they just got back to me and have also confirmed that overseas parcels can go as large letter if they meet the size requirements and that the ‘Large Letter’ part refers to the size of package and not the contents.

I have 6 post offices within a 10 mile radius that I go to regularly depending on where else I’m going. They are evenly split on their opinion on this but at least I now have an email that I can print out and show if need be.

(Roz) #16

I would also like to know if there is any come back for tracked and signed for items that have not been signed for. I used to pay for tracked and signed for both to the UK and overseas for piece of mind that the item had arrived, but tracking them on the RM website I would say at least 75% never get to “delivered” status. I assume they have arrived as I have not heard to the contrary but as I have paid for the service I find it very frustrating - just tend to send standard delivery now unless it is a high value item that is not covered by RM insurance.

(Rosesworkshop) #17

Hi Camilla,
firstly can you say a big “Thank you” for the new international large letter size.

I also like the “extra small parcel” idea. I know they reduced the number of parcel sizes to simplify things, but I agree there is still a gap at the "very light but thicker than 2.5cm " range. e.g. I no longer list small 3D felt items singly, as the postage would be more than the item. I can post a set of ten for the same amount.

I would like the compensation levels increased, e.g. Standard up to £50, Confirmed up to £100. I have previously had to send items by Special Delivery not because the customer needed it next day, but simply to insure against some RM employee stealing my parcel.

(Cade & Co Design) #18

Thanks Helen,

The guides certainly make it easier

(Leathermeister) #19

I would like to know why tracking stops once the packet leaves the UK. when I have paid for tracking i want to see where it is in the world not just on route.
Had a problem with a pkt going to South Africa the customer was not in when post arrived but first they knew was a note it was being returned to us. We had to telephone postal service is SA to find out which post office it was being held at, the pkt had a different tracking number why?
What does 24hr guarantee to Europe actually mean because it doesn’t mean its destination. It often takes 5-7 days for that service and is often quicker by first class mail.
Which is the best way to send to the US? 4-6wks seems an awfully long time for a customer to wait.

(Sandra Taylor) #20

I would like to know why there are so many online postage options. I have a click & account and an online postage account. Both have great individual features that should be merged into one facility. There’s also smart stamp which I believe is also a similar service.
Please could you provide one online postage service which allows the following;
To create an address book / store addresses
Stores payment details
Allows different printing options
Allows payment for multiple items
Allows printing for multiple items
Provides proof of posting
Allows for multiple postage purchases in one transaction


(Helen Smith) #21

Aargh yes, the fact that each label is a separate print job in the online postage drives me crazy! I have found the system so slow to wade through that it’s really no quicker than getting it done at the PO.