Royal Mail price hike: First-Class stamp up to 60p

No primary category set

From 30th April, Royal Mail will increase the price of postage on a range of services including first-class and second-class stamps. First-class will rise from 46p to 60p and second class is set to increase to 50p from 36p.

The 30% first-class increase, and 39% for second-class, are the
the biggest annual hikes in percentage terms since 1975. Ten years ago, a first-class stamp cost 27p, and a second-class cost 19p. Since 2006, mail volumes have declined 25%.

Here are some of the key increases:

  • First-class stamp for a standard letter: from 46p to 60p
  • Second-class stamp for a standard letter: from 36p to 50p.
  • First-class for a large letter up to 100g: from 75p to 90p.
  • Second-class large letter up to 100g: 58p to 69p.

Other services, including parcels, franked mail, recorded post, redirection services and PO Box will also be increased. Royal Mail have published complete details on their website here.

What will this mean for your ecommerce business? Obviously, buyers shoulder most of the costs of postage but any price rise is clearly not a good thing.

Royal Mail previously announced business tariff postal price increases which come into effect from the 2nd April

31 Responses

  1. I think that we should all pay a fair price for a fair service. without a good delivery service all eBay businesses would not be able to operate. The price increase will be the same for all sellers so noone is at anymore of a advantage than they already where. The buyer will have to pay slightly more but if they still want the good service Royal Mail offers then they should not complain about the incrase in price.

  2. Is there an alternative to Royal mail? Does anyone use TNT? Will they be cheaper for UK packet up to 250 grams (royal mail price 2.5 GBP per packet now)?

  3. .
    Just noticed the hike in Airmail prices +30%……

    Oh, and AU is now rest of world 2, must be on another planet!!.

  4. I’m quite shocked by these price increases!
    As a RM business account holder most of our parcels fit into the packet rate & average just under 250g, the price for this is going up from £1.96 to £2.70. Whilst I appreciate that will be a rise in prices, this is much higher than I would expect, especially as Tracked is only a few pence more for up to 5kg!

  5. Our concern is not just the huge increases about to be slapped on us, it is more about our position in search results. eBay, as I understand it, favours sellers who offer free P&P. Now, we sell many thousands of relatively, low value ‘small packet’ items. We have an account with Royal Mail and use Packetpost. As weights are being combined to 0-750grams and VAT added to most services, we have calculated that the worst case scenario will result in an increase of almost 100%. We are not quite at the VAT threshold, so cannot claim that back. We cannot, swallow the increase and still be able to offer free ‘1st class’ P&P. So, the result, increase our purchase prices or start to charge P&P. The first results in us being less competitive and the second means losing a good position in search results. We are thinking of offering 2nd class with free P&P as our default service and then charging for 1st class with ‘Recorded'(I believe Recorded is going to be about 94p + VAT) as standard, as an option. ‘Next Day’ services will just be put up or switched to courier. Is it not time that eBay took into account the difficulties sellers face and removed the benefit of search for free P&P offerings and make a more level playing field.

  6. The UK keeps pricing itself out of the competitive worldwide market.

    I have just bought a magazine from, with free shipping cheaper than I can buy it from the shop in town.


  7. There is one upside to this for some sellers, not all but some.

    For example one seller joe (large seller) who sells a product and the margins are tight on it, a small seller mary who sells out of there back bedroom can undercut joe as they dont have the overheads joe has, now mary will have to pay a much higher price for RM services than joe does as a larger seller, levels out the playing field a bit.

  8. From 00.01hr on the 27/04/2012 all of our P&P will be defaulted to 2nd class, with the option for the buyer to upgrade to 1st class.

    We Cannot see an alternative & all those that offer ‘free’ Post, will have to do the same or hike the post prices way up.

    The bigger problem is the packet post that falls into the 0-100 & 101-250gram weight bracket, as effectively they will no longer be worth selling.
    Cannot see how we can charge over 2.50p for P&P on an item that costs less than 80% of the P&P costs.

    With ebay hiving off 10% of the post costs with free P^P listings it will be very, very difficult to swallow that now, 0n any cheaper items.

    Personally I think RM are making a big mistake by loosing the lower packet post bands, as previously for the sake of 1-2mm [in thickness] they gained 0.81p just to go from Large Letter to Packet post [ie: 0.55p to 1.36p] @ 1st class old prices.

    > > > BE AWARE, BE AWARE, BE AWARE < < <:

    I just signed into our OBA account [02/04/2012] & the new prices for STL post are now showing @ NEW PRICES with VAT Charged.

    YOU HAVE TO USE CODE BPL [check your Product Codes] to get old prices & NO VAT.

  9. Just bear in mind that even the lowest priced basic franking machine has an overhead cost of around £700 a year inclusive of any capital costs.

    The saving on 2nd class packets up to 750g is only 28p and it seems much larger as a percentage for everything else so it does seem that Royal Mail have rigged this somewhat to discourage those who ship up to 2500 lightweight bulky items each year from using franking machines.

    And you cannot frank recorded or signed for items.

  10. join The Sandbag Protest

    The Sandbag protest is for the reinstatement of the Royal Mail lower weight bands (100gm – 250gm and 250gm – 500gm)

    for all items you send that are under 750ms – make up the weight to nearly 750gms with a sealed bag that contains sand and a sticker explaining to the surprised recipient why they have a bag of sand in with their goods (you are protesting, trying to reduce their postage costs)

    If you are sending a 110gm package but having to pay for a 750gm package why not use that extra weight to protest this extraordinary anti-small business new tariff
    i personally will be adding between 5 – 10kilos on an average day to RM by doing this
    if all sellers who are hit by this new levy (the loss of the lower weight bands) joined the sandbag protest then Royal Mail might grind to a halt under the weight of its own greed!

    Please encourage others to join the sandbag protest


Royal Mail hits first milestone in rollout of renewable fuel

Royal Mail hits first milestone in rollout of renewable fuel

Kretinsky Royal Mail takeover progresses - Will we see Rico back?

Kretinsky Royal Mail takeover progresses – Will we see Rico back?

Royal Mail drop-off now available at Collect+ stores nationwide

Royal Mail drop-off now available at Collect+ stores nationwide

Are reputable shops selling fake stamps

Royal Mail cease fining recipients of fake stamps (and fine senders instead!)

Royal Mail Bladed Items; Sharp Objects and Weapons update

Royal Mail Bladed Items; Sharp Objects and Weapons update

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars