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Product shipping
Do you use regular or recorded delivery?

 7:51 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)


I am starting up a new site that sells physical items and I would just like to know wether other Internet sellers use regular, recorded or some other type of delivery option when sending their items to the customer?

I am thinking of using Royal Mail's Smart Stamp service ([royalmail.com ]) but I am worried that I will send the item out, the customer will realise that they do not have to sign for the item (therefore they can claim they never received it) and then demand a refund or for another item to be sent - does this happen reguarly?


wifi on the fly

 8:30 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here in the states the only way to go is UPS. The mail takes forever and you can't track a thing.

If you have a cheap UPS service over there, go with the tracking AND insurance :)


 8:47 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I use the Royal Mail recorded delivery system or proof of posting at the very least.

the biggest problem youll have is getting the Royal Mail to accept a large number of parcels in one go.

Over xmas I have to arrange with them when I take parcels in.

Belive me Ive been sworn at by RM employees due to teh volume.


 9:02 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

> Over xmas I have to arrange with them when I take parcels in.

I've never had that problem at my local Post Office - in fact quite the opposite. One of the tricks is to stamp everything before you get to the Post Office so it ready to go.

Royal Mail give you insurance. First Class post at 28, Recorded at 28 and Special at 250 (more if you pay extra).

As you can see, there is no insurance benefit to sending an item recorded. You are more likely to get the insurance for ordinary post if you get a Proof of Postage form to fill out (again do this before you go to the Post Office).

I use a range of things in order to decided whether an item should go recorded or ordinary post including:
1) regular customer?
2) previous problems?
3) AVS match?
4) CVV match?
5) going to a company? (could get lost in there!)
6) contact details - free email address?
7) contact details - mobile phone number?

Remember that you can get the Royal Mail to collect from you if everything is stamped. I think the prices were (maybe still are):
a) 5.50 for a one-off collection
b) 260 per year for an everyday collection
c) 460 per year for an everyday after 3pm collection
d) Free for customers that spend over 15,000 per year on Royal Mail postage


 9:29 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have just started an account with UPS in the UK.

We got an introductory rate of up to 60% off their prices for the first month, and then if we send 500 quid or more per week we get 60%..or more after that.
So, from memory we can send anything up to about 5kg at standard for 6.20.

Seems to me that if you are sending high value items as we do that signed UPS delivery is the only way to go...will save you getting burned. If you are shipping small and/or cheap items than you can't get away with charging 6 quid to your customer for then you might want to sort something out with the Royal Mail. If these items are cheap, as one or two of our are, if they get lost, it ain't any big shakes and send 'em some new stuff.



 3:31 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

We ship orders out from Hong Kong regularly using normal non-registered non-insured air mail. The number of claims of non-delivery is extremely small, well less than 1%. The savings in cost of the registration fee is considerable.


 2:23 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here in the states the only way to go is UPS. The mail takes forever and you can't track a thing.

I think that's a bit extreme.

USPS Priority Mail is extremely fast (faster than UPS in almost all cases) and quite reliable in delivery. We ship primarily by Priority Mail, with First-Class following a close second. In nearly 1500 shipments over the last year, we've had exactly 1 that was not delivered and not a single broken or damaged item.

I've shipped about 500 packages with UPS in that same time, and they've managed to destroy 2 shipments and to misplace 2 more. Not exactly a great record.

Use USPS delivery confirmation and you can track it every bit as well as UPS, at least as far as determining delivery. The only thing UPS has going for it is that you can see the package moving through their system, which is really just a feel-good measure for consumer -- if the package disappears during shipment, it's still gone.


 9:35 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have you asked Royal Mail for a PPI account? (I assume you're in the UK?). You stamp all your mail with a First or Second class rubber stamp (or you can preprint it onto parcel labels) and that means that the cashier in the Post Office doesn't need to individually weigh everything. You bag and weigh your mail in-house then hand it in - they check it in a different department. If you need Recorded or Special delivery you can add that on too. If you need a contact I can put you in touch with our rep in Royal Mail Sales who might be able to tell you more about this service.


 10:38 am on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)


yes I would like their contact details, thanks


 12:12 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Faith: I have just looked at the RM website. It is unclear about the costs.

Is there a set-up fee, yearly fee? And is the postage costs the same as standard mail?


 11:00 am on Apr 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

The way Royal Mail's site works makes it a bit difficult to post direct links here, but this page will give you most of the info you need:

If you have no joy here, call their sales team on 08457 950950 and ask about a PPI account.

The costs are about the same as ordinary stamps by the time you've printed your own stationery, but the time savings are enormous even compared to having a franking machine (however they do give you free rubber stamps to use with an ink pad once your account is open so you don't _have_ to print stationery if you're sending smaller quantities of packets.

They invoice you at the end of the month and I think you can drop your mail off at any local post office, although our company is lucky to be located near to the local Sorting Office so it goes straight there.

We've also got the same facility for our International Mail although we do have less overseas customers, so that also saves the dreaded queueing at the Post Office.

peter andreas

 11:16 am on Apr 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

We are considering the same issue. We want to ship things from Australia so postage will be a big consideration. Any tips about Aussie postage?
We were thinking of having cheaper non registered post and full on sign for and track the delivery but at a higher cost. Could this work?

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