Folksy Ltd

Royal mail insurance cover (or not) - jewellery sellers take note

(Sasha Garrett) #1

Following on from lastnight’s twitter hour and the on doing discussions about postage rates I decided to do a bit of digging about whether the jewellery that I sell for under £20 would be covered by RM’s first class post insurance (which provides up to £20 cover). After emailing RM direct - they didn’t clearly answer the question lastnight - they replied with jewellery is not covered by first class, it has to go special delivery for them to cover it, even if it has a sale value under £20. They consider jewellery to be anything made of precious metal, diamonds and precious stones and then the catch all phrase of ‘similar articles with an intrinsic value other than the value of the workmanship’. So if you make jewellery with (expensive) semi precious stones, pearls, crystals or glass beads you could find yourself not being covered because of that last statement even if the item doesn’t contain precious metals. I’d love to know the details if anyone has ever had to claim to RM for a piece of jewellery that went missing in standard first class post.
However I then decided to look into Paypal’s seller protection. So long as you send to the address registered with paypal and have both proof of sending and delivery you are covered against fraud and items not recieved (but not items damaged in transit). So RM’s first class signed for seems to meet Paypal’s criteria. The Paypal seller protection seems to cover the whole amount of the transaction not just upto £20 like RM would cover with this method of posting. Again if anyone has ever had to claim using paypal I’d love to know the details.
This doesn’t solve the whole issue of ‘will people be put off by higher postage rates’ and it should be said that I’ve yet to have anything I’ve posted go missing regardless of how its been sent so RM is pretty reliable.
Hope this info is useful to you.

Post question
(ElizabethGaultJewellery) #2

That’s interesting thank you. I think I will continue to send the items less than £20 by standard 1st Class and just accept that if it does go astray I will probably lose out.

(Diane Burton) #3

I’m not a jewellery seller so this doesn’t really affect me (apart from when I buy) but I read a thread (not sure if it was on here or not) about the same subject not too long ago and someone on there gave this advice, he/she used standard 1st class for jewellery items under £20 BUT put to one side the extra cash it would have cost to send special delivery with the thought that in the rare instance that something went astray and RM wouldn’t pay up there would be enough in the ‘kitty’ to make/send a replacement or refund the customer. Don’t know if this helps but it seemed a reasonable piece of advice :slight_smile:

(Eileens Craft Studio) #4

Most people here don’t sell Jewellery in the correct sense of the word but they sell Fashion Accessories. As they don’t use jewells in their work.

(Samantha Stanley) #5

That may be true Eileen but that’s the devil in the final catch all clause, because even if the item is made of glass the beads will have an intrinsic value even before they are arranged as jewellery. I use Murano glass from time to time and the value of these beads can be higher than a decent quality amethyst cabochon.
Besides, what is “the correct sense of the word.” The British Museum considers that the history of jewellery making started when the first shell with a hole in it was strung onto a piece of sinew. In addition the Alfred Jewel, which is regarded as priceless, is only enamel on gold with rock crystal, yet it is still (correctly) described as a jewel. I suspect you are referring to so called “fine jewellery,” however I can testify that much of that which falls into the category (because it is a diamond set in a gold ring, for example) has been mass produced and only quickly finished by hand. (Looking at the ring components and blanks available on the Cookson Gold website is quite revealing.)
Counter assistants in the post office have indicated to me that costume jewellery would be excluded under the Royal Mail’s policy but it is cause for comfort that Paypal provides better cover.

Love Sam :fish:

(Deborah Jones) #6

I had a conversation on here last week with a maker of button based costume jewellery about this very topic, as my post office had always flatly said jewellery wasn’t covered first class (they had never asked about materials) but she said she had successfully claimed many times,and been paid no problem. So it is worth a try if you think you comply.
Personally I go with the self insuring method. I have had a couple of thousand on line sales and have only had to replace 2 items .

(Samantha Stanley) #7

I agree Deborah! It is much better to self-insure if you can and Post Office charges for special delivery are far too high to pass on to customers. Sad to say but the bad experience (only one) that I had on E-bay was more a case of somebody who falsely claimed they had not received the thing I sent. They disappeared when I gave them proof of postage.

Sam :fish:

(Sasha Garrett) #8

I’ll probably try the self insure method for my cheaper items and send them standard first class. However where I’ve spent a lot on the materials (and I’ve had matching stones custom cut for some cufflinks which doesn’t come cheap but Alex produces wonderful things which people always admire) I want them to be shipped with some sort of cover be it first class signed for to meet paypal’s requirements or RM’s special delivery.

(Deborah Jones) #9

People do seem quite prepared to pay for special delivery for valuable items , I send out quite a lot that way too-if it is something I would struggle or wouldn’t want to repeat or where the metal /stone cost is high.

The self insuring method also means that if people want to return something or want a different size there is a bit of money in the kitty to cover it ( not fun when it is Special delivery though )