The real cost of asking the postman to collect your packages

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The letter carrier now offers an additional service in addition to delivering the mail – picking up packages from households for delivery elsewhere. Although this is a new idea for Royal Mail, the concept of picking up letters and parcels from your home has been around for over a decade – offered by competitors such as DPD, Hermes, DHL, TNT and the Royal Mail spin-off. Parcelforce.

The new Royal Mail service is called Parcel Collect and will mean the postman comes to your door to collect up to five items. The service costs 72 pence per item on top of the usual postage – or 60 pence for returning items purchased from online sellers such as Amazon.

So a letter sent second class will cost £ 1.37 instead of the normal 65p, while an average 10kg parcel costing £ 16.80 to mail to a post office counter will cost £ 17.52 for to be picked up. The same package picked up by a rival courier can cost as little as £ 6.46 (Hermès), while DX charges £ 7.86 and DHL £ 7.98. Collections must be booked online through the Royal Mail website – and a secure collection location must be designated.

Convenient: The new Royal Mail service is called Parcel Collect and means the postman comes to your door to collect up to five items

Authorized letters and parcels can weigh up to 20 kg and measure up to 46x46x61cm. Payment must be made at time of booking via credit card or PayPal online payment system. Customers can download a paid label which needs to be stuck on the letter or package. Reservations can be made up to five days in advance, but pickups can be made the day after a reservation is made.

The consumer website’s money-saving expert says, “This initiative gives more recognition to working from home and is welcome.

“But if you’re looking for the best price, it’s important to look for alternatives. Royal Mail is hard to beat when it comes to sending cards and letters, but becomes less competitive when sending larger parcels – and that’s when a courier can be. cheaper.

For those looking for a good deal, use an email comparison website like Parcel2Go, Parcel Hero, or My Parcel Delivery.

Although they do offer door-to-door pickup options, you will usually save money if you are willing to drop the item off at a local store. Those who prefer to avoid long queues at the post office can use courier services such as those offered by Hermès or DHL. Visit courier websites and type in your zip code to identify nearby drop-off points.

Courier comparison websites can also sometimes offer better prices than going direct to the courier. This is because they buy postal slots in bulk, which allows them to offer individuals a lower price than that paid by large companies which get the most competitive offers due to greater purchasing power.

Couriers typically calculate the cost based on delivery speed, size, and weight – so it’s worth checking out different suppliers based on how quickly you want an item to be sent and how much space it takes. of its weight.

To guarantee compensation in case of breakage or theft of an item during transport, insurance protection is recommended.

For coverage up to £ 500, it will cost up to £ 10 – plus delivery costs. Rosalind Hunt, e-commerce director for courier competitor Hermes, unsurprisingly finds Royal Mail’s reservation system relatively ‘clunky’ – as customers first have to pay for a printed mailing label attached to it. a package. They then have to pay the additional 72 pence pickup fee separately.

She says, “We try to beat our competition by offering a next day pickup service that promises to deliver a package within three days – it’s cheaper than the next day delivery that many others are focusing on.

Nick Landon, Commercial Director of Royal Mail, says: “Parcel Collect can help people who work from home. It can also help those who want to return unwanted items or send a gift.

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