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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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.