Royal Mail are reducing the cost of sending a Medium Parcel by over 50% from £13.75 to £6.29 over the summer period.
From the 17th of July to the 16th of October 2017, the cost of a 2nd Class Medium Parcel 2-5kgs purchased online will be reduced to £6.29. 2nd Class Signed For, Medium Parcels will cost £7.29, reduced from £14.75.
We understand that the trial is designed to test the popularity of this price point rather than being a trial of the online channel and that the price is only available online simply because it’s easier for Royal Mail to execute.
This brings the Royal Mail 2nd class parcel price squarely into competition with economy courier services with the price falling into the bracket of services such as myHermes (who offer 2-5kg parcels at £6.49 with a collection and £5.99 when dropped at a ParcelShop).
What would be interesting to know is how many marketplace sellers ship parcels of this weight using 2nd Class post compared to 1st Class or more likely Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48 services. If you’re a relatively large seller then it’s likely that you don’t use 2nd Class untracked postage (although of course buying online should get you a 2D bar code these days).
If you’re a smaller seller without a Royal Mail account, then perhaps this offer will tempt you into paying for postage online and dropping off at a local Royal Mail outlet rather than paying £15.85 for a 1st Class delivery. If so then don’t forget to adjust your delivery promise on your marketplace listings as offering a 2nd Class service when you promised a 1st Class delivery could come back to bite you with your feedback and on-time delivery metrics.
Adjust your shipping charges today for any auctions ending after the 17th of July, perhaps instead of removing other options simply add in a new delivery option for Royal Mail 2nd Class or 2nd Class Signed For. Edit your fixed price listings at the weekend (any time after your Friday shipping cut off, but don’t buy your shipping labels until Monday the 17th) if you want to attract buyers by offering the discounted service ready for shipments next week.