Friday 27 October 2017

Finance Fridays – Courier and postage charges

We launched the 40 item selling challenge in last week's Finance Fridays. How are you getting along? If you are selling things through sites like eBay you'll probably be needing to send any items you have sold to your buyer through the Royal Mail or a courier service. When listing your item you'll need to provide a precise postage price to your potential buyers. With some companies wherever you send it to in the UK they charge a single standard price. For others though certain postcodes and regions will attract an additional cost or they not even deliver there at all. Let's have a look at what some of the main delivery services are charging.

Royal Mail
The cost of sending items through the Royal Mail has shot up in recent years. It hasn't been helped either by them changing the dimensions of the parcel sizes. One benefit of the Royal Mail is wherever you send something in the UK as long as it has a valid postcode the price will be the same. You can find their prices here or alternatively you can take it to a Post Office and ask them for a price before sending it. 

myHermes state that they cover most of the UK but they may have trouble getting to remote areas. If you do a quote on their website and the postcode doesn't come up then it means they won't deliver there. When I did two quotes for a medium sized parcel weighing less than 2kg the London postcode quoted £3.99 and the Shetland one quoted £5.99 and stated this was a 'Remote postcode'.

myHermes also have a long list of 'excluded' items. These are items which they will send as parcels but will not compensate for any loss, damage or late delivery. These include china and glassware, instruments and kitchen appliances such as coffee machines and microwaves.

The DHL website is quite baffling as it has so many categories however when I did manage to find the right page it seems it has no restrictions on postcodes. What was rather shocking was when I did a quote for a parcel measuring 20cm x 20cm x 16cm weighing 1.9kg the cheapest price came out at £16.01! The cheapest price Royal Mail offer for the same size and weight is £2.90 for second class and £5.50 for first class.

Yodel offer three types of service for sending parcels around the UK – 24 Hour Delivery. 48 Hour Delivery and Area Delivery. Our Shetland postcode comes under the 'Area Delivery' service and a standard parcel costs £12.59 to send as opposed to the 48 Hour price of £7.19 for other UK areas. I did notice that sending a parcel to Northern Ireland counts as an 'Area Delivery' so this would incur a £12.59 charge.

A couple of times a week a UPS van comes down my road. I'm not sure what keeps being delivered but I do know that UPS are certainly not cheap when it comes to small parcels. Our standard parcel comes in at £7.70 for next day delivery to London. There is a range of different delivery options but this is the cheapest. If I wanted it to go to the Shetland Islands it's a completely different matter. The cheapest price option comes out at £30.88 and they all take 1 week to get there!

I have to say I was quite surprised in the difference between delivery services just for a standard delivery let alone if you want to send a package further afield. As with anything it pays to shop around.

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 31st October 2017 to join in.
Finance Fridays

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