Have you increased your carriage costs?

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Have you increased your shipping costs since the Royal Mail price and format changes? I’ve been making a few purchases over the last few weeks and I’ve noticed a significant number of my favourite retailers have upped their delivery charges.

The latest retailed I’ve seen increased costs is Vistaprint. An order I placed a couple of months back had a carriage charge of £3.86. On an identical repeat order today the carriage charge has jumped to £4.70, thats almost a 22% price hike!

Another retailer didn’t increase their prices (they couldn’t – they offered free post). However the one to two day delivery service I’d previously enjoyed has been replaced with a three day service that had me frustrated and waiting for the delivery to arrive.

The good news is that consumers are going to start seeing increased carriage costs from all retailers, not just on marketplaces. The bad news is as a consumer I’m having to pay more to receive the same service.

How are you handling increasing postage costs? Have you absorbed the price increase, raised your carriage charges, or switched to alternative cheaper delivery options?

Retailers can only absorb a certain amount of costs before it quite simply becomes uneconomical to trade. There are also limited alternatives and sometimes if the service your customers have become accustomed to suffers it’s not worth lowering standards. Sooner or later you’re going to have to increase carriage costs, the question is do you hike your prices now or wait until most of your competitors have done so.

As a consumer I’ve not changed my buying habits, I’ve noted the price increases but they’re definitely not welcome. While I’ve not purchased less online the fact remains I’m now paying more for the same service and in truth I’m probably now paying closer to what the service costs to provide and in the past was enjoying cut price subsidised service with someone (probably Royal Mail), making a loss.

12 Responses

  1. There hasn’t been much change in my cost, before it was £2.20 and now its £2.22 after opening the RM OBA but I’m thinking to increase it slightly now that I can not claim compensation. The ratio of parcels that are being lost is no way near RMs stated stats.

  2. The Price has to change to reflect the cost.

    It has to be noted that this will only INCREASE constantly. Amazon has done a CLEVER THING with Amazon Prime. Where one has to pay increased shipping with Amazon Price its one cost per month ! Consumer is certainly a WINNER with Amazon Prime.

    Do you think Retailers would start “Amazon Prime” example ?

  3. Perhaps not entirely relevent but most of the units I sell are sent via pallet so the change in Royal Mail prices have had no effect on my carriage charges. On that note depsite the massive increase in fuel prices I have not noticed a huge increase in the price of sending pallets around the country. There is a fuel surcharge but even with this it still only costs around £40 to send a pallet from our Central Scotland base to just about anywhere in the country, excluding the Highlands and Islands.

  4. So far I’ve absorbed the increase with my OBA. The biggest issue is returns. What used to cost £2.30 to send back now costs double that, so if you refund return post it is an impact. I am now telling customers not to return by Royal Mail, and I prepay and send them a label for My Hermes or Collect Plus together with where they can drop it off. If normal was 2nd class then Royal Mail have made themselves seriously uncompetitive, and customers must surely question if it is worth sending with Royal Mail. This is genius marketing by RM.

    Re losses, overall Royal Mail are very good and I don’t have an issue. I used to claim compensation but can’t now and often it took longer to fill in the detail and provide paperwork for a bulk claim than the item was worth. The question I have though, is if we don’t claim and therefore almost certainly don’t report, Royal Mail’s loss figures can’t possibly be accurate.

    I lose pro rata far more mail to Italy, France and Spain than I ever do for UK delivery.

  5. I only ever buy on “total” price be that on ebay/amazon/websites. I’m not bothered at all what I’m charged for postage, as long as the total price is acceptable ie matches High Street price including the cost of diesel and parking. If it’s cheaper then it’s a bonus.

  6. We have just changed all RM stuff from 1st class to 2nd class. We are actually better off now!

  7. A classic case of “catch 22” here.
    Raising delivery costs may mean lower sales whereas aborbing the costs may mean lower margins. The key is to get the engine as lean as possible by looking at all aspects of cost. Everything from the delivery method to the type of packaging used are opprtunities.
    The recent RM hike has seen a considerable rise in the number of sellers turning to fulfilment houses as a way of sourcing lower delivery costs. Anyone doing 100 orders upwards per week may well find sufficient enough savings to warrant outsourcing order fulfilment and delivery.


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