You know what a computer virus is right? Something that gets into your computer and causes you some kind of cyber misery! You might be surprised to note that even if you have an anti virus program installed on your computer that they can still sneak in and cause chaos on your computer.
In this post I’ll tell you about a virus which eBay buyers may be more susceptible to than anyone else.
Why? Because ebayers love getting parcels and because curiosity killed the cat!
Action Fraud reported in back in February that those naughty fraudsters are sending out emails which claim there is a parcel waiting for them at their local Royal Mail sorting office.
The scammers are hoping that you’ll be expecting a parcel and let your defences down and open the email. Even if you’re not expecting anything everyone likes to think they’re getting a package and it’s like Christmas or your Birthday if you don’t know what it is!!
The hustlers are preying that curiosity gets the better of you and you open the attachment to learn more. And by doing so you are opening the door to a whole lot of trouble. The email itself isn’t dangerous, it’s the attached virus “Cryptolocker” which if opened and installed encrypts your personal files and holds them to ransom! It demands you pay for their safe release. The rub here however is that it’s a time limited offer, if you don’t cough up the readies before the time expires then the photos of your children that you haven’t backed up are deleted, possibly forever!
So this warning serves to teach two lessons, don’t open suspect emails and back up your important files.
Action Fraud advise:
“If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to us.”
Royal Mail advise that unless a customer has actually requested something from them they won’t send emails with attachments so if you get an email like this, either hit the spam button or report it via Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call on 0300 123 2040 or use the online fraud reporting tool.
If you know someone who could benefit from the information here make sure you let them know. I for one am going to make sure my mum knows because I’ve fixed her computer countless times after virus attacks!
As Royal Mail begin to prepare for their price increases at the end of the month. Rival courier company myHermes have just announced that they will be slashing prices on lighter parcels, no doubt in an attempt to claw back some custom from the big RM.
I have been a regular myHermes user since Royal Mail annoyed a lot of people when they moved the goalposts on small packages in 2012. After this it was often more than £2 cheaper to send an item with myHermes, that’s when I jumped on the bandwagon and I’ve been riding it on and off ever since. Royal Mail saw the error of their ways and changed their dimensions for small parcels again in 2013 this saw a lot of my smaller, under 1 kg items go back to the Post Office.
This announcement today however may see me running right back to the parcel shop for the extreme majority of my items here’s why.
cheap, good value, they have extremely competitive prices for sending anything up to 15kg at parcel shops and they can generally blow out of the water anything other than the letter service that Royal Mail offers.
The following table is a comparison of current vs the new prices for dropping off parcels at parcel shops. For courier (pick up) prices add 20p to the price including VAT.
As you can see the prices for 0-1kg and 1-2kg are extremely good in going up against Royal Mail in the price stakes, but as we all know price isn’t everything and sometimes it is worth paying more to get more. So what else do myHermes offer?
Size of parcels
The myHermes network can carry boxes which are up to 120cm long, as long as the following formula is adhered to:
So that is a pretty generous dimension allowance, a parcel which measures 120 cm x 25 cm x 25 cm and weighs less than one kilo will cost only £2.78 to send! Something that size would cost nearly £12 via Parcelforce!
Size guidelines for Royal Mail services are as follows:
- Small Parcel dimensions not to exceed 45cm x 35cm x 8cm OR 35cm x 25cm x 16cm
- Medium Parcel dimensions not to exceed 61cm x 46cm x 46cm
- Large Parcel dimensions not to exceed 150 cm length and 300cm length and girth combined and are only available via Parcelforce rather than Royal Mail.
Tracking and signatures
With myHermes tracking is included with every item sent automatically and it doesn’t cost a penny! If however you want to provide tracking on a Royal Mail item you will have to pay an extra £1.10 for “Signed for” delivery. This option is available to ensure that the item is signed for and not left on a doorstep or in a porch etc.
If you want an item signed for with myHermes it costs an extra £1, so for a fully signed for tracked service myHermes is 10p cheaper.
Insurance up to £50
Every item sent with myHermes gets up to £50 free insurance for loss, damage etc, you can pay for extra depending on the value of the item you are sending but for me £50 is generally enough. In order to get £50 compensation with Royal Mail you need to get signed for delivery which again is £1.10 extra on top of the cost to send the item.
For a long time now eBay have offered Royal Mail and Collect + directly from within eBay meaning you can pay for and print labels without leaving your account.
myHermes have very good eBay integration once you have linked your accounts together, simply log in and go to send an item and all sold and paid for items appear ready for you to buy labels.
A new feature that they are offering is direct integration with the tracking system whereby if you do buy the tracking information is uploaded directly to eBay. They also send your buyer an email to their registered email address telling them that the item has been booked in and a tracking link is there so they can keep tabs on their order.
How useful automatically updating tracking information will be remains to be seen as I have never ever been able to see the tracking option work, neither on the website or from within the app on my phone. Ebay’s tracking system is an absolute joke. I add the tracking details anyway because if a case is ever opened where the buyer claims the item never arrived having tracking details already assigned to the transaction makes things a lot easier.
Speed of delivery
Here is where Royal Mail take the edge as with First Class delivery mail usually gets there the day after it is posted. This is really useful and for some items where a buyer is counting on the speed of delivery I will still use Royal Mail, but for larger items which are more expensive to send at the Post Office I will use myHermes which takes between 3 and 4 days on average depending when I drop my items off.
At my local parcel shop the courier usually comes to collect parcels left in store around 10am, so if I’m any later than that they will be stuck in the store until the next day. As I am lead to believe the parcels then go to a local depot where they may stay until the next day before going on to be sorted and sent to the recipients local depots and distributed from there.
I have been using myHermes for around 2 years now and have a separate account for each of my 3 eBay usernames, I have sent over 250 parcels using their service and I don’t want to tempt fate but have yet to have a problem with either non delivery, late delivery or broken items. I am amazed at this because there are a lot of negative reviews for the service online, but I have had nothing but good experience.
Royal Mail on the other hand have been more unreliable. This may simply be because I have sent over three times as many parcels with them, but I have had items broken, lost, delayed, returned and delivered to the wrong addresses. I put up with this however because they have a fairly decent customer services team who can generally sort things out when things do go wrong. Unlike some other courier services I have used in the past!
Given some of the items I have sold recently I will do a comparison on what it would cost to send each item with both Royal Mail and myHermes to see how much I could have saved by going with one over the other. Assuming time is not of the essence and no added extras such as signed for delivery are needed.
Item: Small Purple Jumper
Size: A4 Cardboard Envelope
Weight: Less than 500g
Royal Mail Second Class: £1.48
Weight: Less than 700g
Royal Mail Second Class: £2.80
Item: Sewing Machines
Size: 70 cm x 50 cm x 40 cm
Weight: 12 kg
Royal Mail Second Class: NA
(I actually used Yodel for this as next day delivery was required)
Item: Gamecube and game
Size: 50 x 30 x 30 ish
Royal Mail Second Class: £13.75
Taking everything mentioned above into account I think that using one service exclusively over the other is a mistake, you need to shop around to find the best deals and know which companies can save you the most money whilst still providing a great service for your buyers. With that in mind I will continue to use Royal Mail when it makes sense to do so but now myHermes are a very compelling option indeed!
And then of course there are the oversize parcels which are too big for either of these networks. Currently Parcel 2 Go gets the nod for this, they also offer myHermes as a delivery option and it is the same price so it can be worth running all of your parcel quotes through them just in case.
myHermes have just announced that they are responding to Royal Mails price increases with new prices of their own. They however have made the decision to slash their prices on lighter items to make them just about the most competitive company on price in the marketplace right now.
There’s a full breakdown to come but for now you can see that the change in price structure will really please your wallet and if George Osborne’s budget announcement has you heading for the hills this will surely be good news.
Introduction of the 0-1kg parcel band
This used to be an option on the myHermes website but at the last batch of changes was swallowed up into a 0-2kg weight band. It used to cost a total of £3.90 for this service.
This is being split in two with the lighter parcels up to 1kg costing only £2.78 including VAT. Compared to what will be £3.20 at the Post Office this is a nice saving on lighter parcels.
The 1-2kg weight band will reduce from the £3.90 to £3.78 which will be a lot cheaper than Royal Mail.
The heavier package weight bands are increasing in price on a par with Royal Mails increases but myHermes will still be cheaper!
Here’s a breakdown of the new and old pricing structure and look out for a deep dive on what this means for us eBay sellers going into the Spring selling season.
If you have read my review on Parcel Monkey you will be aware that for the most part I am very happy with the service they provide, however recently I have noted one of their shortcomings. Customer service.
Customer service is a vital part of any business, if you don’t treat your customers right they wont come back. Selling on eBay as I do I recognise this fact and try to do all I can to answer my customers questions and deal with their problems without any effort on their part. And that’s where this story begins.
It all started innocently enough when I sold an item on eBay. It was a Cluedo board game from the 1950′s, it didn’t weigh a lot but it was vintage and sold for £50. When it sold I was quite happy because it had been listed for a while. I wasn’t quite so please when I realised it had sold to a buyer in the USA.
I am usually quite willing to send items internationally, but generally transactions fall through when a customer realises how much they are going to have to pay for shipping. In this case I had looked for quotes on various websites and the cheapest price I could find for shipping to the USA for this parcel was with Parcelforce through the Parcel Monkey website. The price to send the parcel was a whopping £29.59. I was offering free shipping to the UK and so to keep things fair I gave the buyer a discount comparable to the cost of UK shipping and they paid £22.39 for shipping. The cost to send was so much because I require tracking on items I sell overseas that sell for more than £20 in order to protect myself.
I booked the courier, filled out the customs forms and Parcelforce picked up the next day which was 22nd January 2014. As far as I was concerned the buyer would receive their item a week or so later. Being the good customer servant I am I marked the item as dispatched in eBay and also sent the buyer a message which contained a tracking link so they could see the progress of their parcel as it winged its way towards them.
Weeks went by and I forgot all about it. I didn’t receive feedback for the item but that’s not unusual as probably less that half of the items I sell get feedback. Then a month later on 22nd February 2014 I got a message from the buyer.
“I have yet to received my thing. Has it been returned to sender.”
At first I thought that possibly it had indeed been returned to sender due to the buyer not picking it up after a missed delivery, but then I checked the detailed tracking on Parcelforce’s website.
As you can see from the image above the item was with the delivery agent on 27th January 2014 and even if the courier had to walk to deliver the package it shouldn’t have taken this long to be delivered. Surely this must be easy to sort out. A quick message to Parcel Monkey and they should be able to do some enquiries for me. Right?
I used Parcelmonkey’s support centre and opened a ticket. The conversation went as follows:
I sent the above order via yourselves with Parcel Force on 22/1/14, the tracking states that it’s been with the delivery agent since 27/1/14.
My customer has been very patient waiting so far however I think that the item may have gone missing. Please can you look into this for me so I can appease my customer. And if there has been a problem can you take steps to resolve them. Regards
We apologise for the inconvenience you and your customer have experienced.
Please kindly provide a full description of the parcel- the contents and how this was packaged as well as the value so we can pass this on to ParcelForce and request an investigation.
Thank you for your quick reply, unfortunately I cannot be very specific as I packed and sent this a month ago.
All I can say it I generally use brown cardboard to pack my items up with and then use white “Fragile” tape on the sides. I will have had the customs documentation on a re sealable packet on the parcel. The contents was a vintage Cluedo board game and it’s value is £50. It will have been wrapped in bubble wrap inside the cardbord box.
Thank you for the details. We will pass this on to ParcelForce for you. Please kindly get back to us on Monday afternoon, we may already have an update by then.
I then perhaps got a little too big for my boots, in hindsight I was a bit arsey and this may have contributed to what followed.
Respectfully, I would expect that if you have an update for me by Monday then you let me know as soon as you receive one. It shouldn’t be up to me to get back in touch to check if there is any news. I will be at work and busy myself on Monday and so would appreciate any news as it becomes available to yourselves.
Parcel Monkey conducts business in accordance with its standard Terms and Conditions of Carriage; these conditions can be found on the Parcel Monkey’s Website or at the time the order was processing. Please be advised that when you or your representative signed the ‘Shipper’s agreement’ section of the Terms and Conditions, you entered into a legally binding contract and agreed that Parcel Monkey’s Terms and Conditions were all the terms of the contract between Parcel Monkey and yourself.
Clause 5 provides that all missing claims must be reported to Parcel Monkey within 7 working days from the scheduled delivery date. Our records indicate that your shipment was collected by Parcel Monkey on the 22nd of January 2014 and that your first notification to Parcel Monkey was on 21st of February 2014
As this falls outside of the 7 working days, regrettably, we are unable to proceed any further with your claim.
Parcel Monkey Claims Department
Ah, well at least they are sincere in their regret. My main issue with their reply was that I wasn’t looking to make a claim. I just wanted them to look into it and see where the parcel was. To see if they could get in touch with the stateside couriers and check to see if it was stacked in a corner awaiting delivery or something. Obviously this didn’t translate so I replied with the following.
First of all I have not informed you that I am making a claim yet. I simply want some help in finding out what has happened with this parcel, where it is etc, which any reputable customer service department would do without complaint. However your recent reply quoting terms and conditions has left me feeling incredibly let down.
Also please can you confirm when exactly this shipment was supposed to arrive? Because I can’t find a quoted date.
I then thought I would take my frustrations to social media in the hope that public shaming may force them to take action so went to their Facebook page but couldn’t see how to post on their wall but I did find their Mission Statement, which prompted me to turn to Twitter.
— Sayzey (@sayzey) February 24, 2014
I followed this up with another message on the support ticket.
Please may I also ask when you are considering wether or not to help me on this issue that the mission of Parcel Monkey is as follows:
To be the most respected courier quotes site on the planet.”
I have definitely lost respect for the Parcel Monkey brand after your latest reply. I am extremely disappointed.
An hour later I received a reply:
We are sorry that a positive outcome could not be reached in relation to your claim.
However, when a shipment is raised to a matter of claim we have certain policy that we have to follow according to the Trading Standards of the Company.
Our record shows that you agreed to our Terms and Conditions and confirmed that if the delivery does not happen within the estimated timescale, you will notify us within 7 working days.
Since you reported the case after the 7 working days unfortunately we had to reject your claim.
A full refund of your delivery charge will be offered back in our next email.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you.
I then got a refund offer. That’s all well and good however they still didn’t understand that is not what I wanted! I accepted the offer thinking it was the best I was going to get, but it would still leave me £40 out of pocket.
Thank you for accepting the offer.
The details have been passed to our accounts team who will credit you within 24 hours.
I will let you know when the money has been sent.
Thank you for your offer of a postage refund. I have accepted this as I know when to quit while I am ahead. Please know however that I wasn’t seeking a refund and I wasn’t making a claim, I simply wanted some help in finding out where the parcel was. I have learned my lesson for next time, hopefully there won’t be one but you never know.
I then cut out the middleman and got in touch with Parcelforce directly. After a few very helpful exchanges they provided me with a direct telephone number for the US courier company for my customer to get in touch and see if the parcel had been undelivered. They also requested parcel details from me so that they could begin the investigation process. I provided all of this and waited.
On 27th February I was under the weather and ill in bed and I got a phone call from Parcelforce customer services. The lady I spoke with was very nice and explained that as I had paid for the parcel through a third party she couldn’t deal with me directly and give me any details of the parcel because that was the job of Parcel Monkey. She also said that they should be the ones who got in touch and then Parcelforce would gladly look into the issue. It all seemed so simple to me, yet the people I was dealing with either didn’t grasp what I needed or weren’t bothered either way. Back to Parcel Monkey I would have to go.
I submitted another reply to Parcel Monkey.
Thank you for my refund. I am very grateful that this was issued. I am unsure if the issue of this refund was due to the parcel already being deemed lost or not, however I got in touch with Parcelforce in the hope that they may be able to shed some light on the location of the parcel and while they were very helpful, as I paid yourselves and not them it would have to be yourselves who initiate the investigation.
They told me to get back in touch with yourselves and inform you that despite Parcelmonkey Terms and conditions, Parcelforce international packages have 120 days in which for investigations into the location of parcels can be made. They informed me that it would be simply a case of yourselves getting in touch with them and they would do the rest.
I hope you will find this an easy way to try and resolve this situation once and for all. Thanks
I wasn’t going to hold my breath. In the mean time my buyer got back to me in a message. He informed me that he had called the number I had sent him and they had told him that his package was returned to sender. Doh!
I gave the buyer a full refund since they were very patient and never complained about the delay. Perhaps if they had complained earlier it may have got sorted, but you live and learn in this business!
After I had issued the refund I had a reply from Parcel monkey:
Although Parcel Force may have 120 days of investigation however your contract was with Parcel Monkey and your claim had to be assessed as per the contract you entered.
I was a little bit annoyed and sent the following reply.
Seriously how hard can it be to send an email? If required I will write the email, I will even supply you with the email address, all I need is someone from parcel monkey to send it. Parcelforce will do the rest.
Is it too much to ask for you to consider this? Is it too much to ask for the customer service team of a business which relies on customers to run to actually serve the customer?
Two days later and I was surprised to receive the following reply:
We have submitted a claim on your behalf as requested and your reference number is AB-123456.
Excellent. I made some progress.
Fast forward two weeks and I haven’t heard anything more from Parcel Monkey or Parcelforce and I don’t think I ever will. As for using Parcel Monkey again, I don’t think I ever will.
An interesting side note to all of this was that minutes after I sent the tweet to @parcelmonkey a rival courier broker, Parcel Hero, followed me, which I thought was rather clever, so I am ready to try them out.
I have run a few quotes through their website and they are competitive on price and use a slightly different model to their simian competitors. They have a very good refer a friend scheme and if you would like to help me out, drop me an email and I will refer you. I’ll get £5 for referring you and you can then go on to refer your friends and earn credit to send parcels that way.
myHermes came to prominence for me when Royal Mail changed their prices structure a year or so back meaning it was extortionate to send most small parcels with them. Since then I have sent hundreds of items using their service and have wanted a way of letting customers know where their item is.
It has always been possible to give the buyer a tracking number and have them visit the myHermes website to enter it and check, but the information given was never that detailed. I don’t know when it happened but sometime in the last few months they changed the tracking system for the better. It was perhaps around September of last year when they updated their website.
As with many, make that most delivery methods, myHermes tracking doesn’t work from within my eBay so if you would like to be able to send your buyers a link that they can click to see a status update then you are in luck.
You can use the following web address to send to your buyers which takes them to the tracking page. Obviously you have to customise it for your own item with your own item number, which is easy to find.
When you have logged in on the myhermes website you need to look in the top right hand corner at the status of your shipments.
Click on the “In progress” link to open up each shipment in turn.
Click “View” for the item you are interested in to open up the Shipment Details page for the order.
Then grab the “Parcel number” from the top of the page you will need it for the next bit. Copy it to your clipboard or keep the page open for the next step.
https://www.myhermes.co.uk/customer/view-order-item.html?itemId=[Enter item number]
Now simply add the above web address with your item number instead of [Enter item number] and test it in your web browser, you should have the detailed status of your parcel ready to send on to your customer. Click here to open the link in your web browser where you can then paste in your item number.
I only discovered this when I bought an item and the postage was ridiculously high, so i contacted the seller and asked them if I could arrange my own courier. I did and during the booking process entered my own email address as the buyer and was sent an update email with the tracking link in it. I never before realised that myHermes did that.
Whether your customer gets this email however is dependent on how you ship your items. If you simply enter in the address details yourself then they will obviously only get the email with tracking details in if you enter their email address. if you import your eBay items from within myHermes however the customer email should be imported automatically and they will receive an automated email.
So it may be that you don’t want to go to the trouble of sending your customer an eBay message with this tracking link in if they have already had an email from Hermes, but I think that the easier you can make it for the buyer to stay informed on their order the better.
When I buy items from eBay I don’t stress where they are on a daily basis and only worry about looking up tracking links when they haven’t arrived after I expect them to, but depending on what you are selling the items could be something that someone is really looking forward to receiving and having something to visually see how their order is progressing can be a help.
Following on from our article on how to view detailed tracking on Royal Mail items, today is the turn of Parcelforce.
Parcelforce are sort of the big brother of Royal Mail, if your parcel is too big or too heavy for the Royal Mail network you may turn to Parcelforce to make sure your parcel gets there. Or that’s the plan anyway!
So after you have sent your item, be it at the post office or via a courier quote company you will now have a tracking number which you will enter into eBay to show your buyer that they can see where the item is on it’s journey. I have however never seen this work in eBay!
So in order to give your buyer the most up to date information which gives them confidence in you as a seller you may want to shoot them a message informing them that they can use the tracking number you have supplied on Parcelforce.com
This is easy enough and if the buyer goes through to the website and punches in the tracking number they will be able to see the status of the parcel i.e. “In Progress” or “Delivered” etc. Unlike on the Royal mail website Parcelforce have a button you can click which shows you the step by step details of where your parcel has been. It is possible to link directly to this using the following link. In this way you can simply paste the link into your buyers email or eBay messaging and all they have to do is click a button.
http://www.parcelforce.com/track-trace?page_type=parcel-tracking-details&parcel_number=[INSERT TRACKING NUMBER]
Simply replace [INSERT TRACKING NUMBER] with your tracking number, which is either a 9, 13 or 14 digit combination of letters and numbers. The number will be on your receipt or email confirmation of the parcel. You can then paste the full link to your buyers in eBay messaging or send to their Paypal email address. Right Click here and copy link to get it into your clipboard.
I hope that you find this helpful when it comes to keeping your buyers informed and also checking on the status of items. This particular link was useful to me recently when I sent an item internationally. Long story short a month after I sent it, it hadn’t arrived and detailed tracking told me it was still at the delivery office in the buyers country. This still hasn’t been resolved but at least I was able to send this link to my buyer so they could see that I had actually sent the item when I said I did and that the parcel was at least in their country. I will be writing an in depth post about this in the coming weeks as I have learnt a lot from it.
I’ve just received an interesting email for myHermes with the subject line reading “An exciting announcement from myHermes parcelshop…”
Curious I opened it up hoping for some groundbreaking new delivery service.
It turns out that they have partnered with Payzone meaning that there will be up to 1000 extra parcel shops across the nation at which to drop off your parcels.
This can only be a good thing in the competitive world of courier delivery.
Find out where your nearest parcelshop is here.
Parcel Monkey are a courier quote website, when you are sending parcels which are a too big to go Royal Mail Small parcel you may want to consider them. If you are familiar with the insurance brokers such as GoCompare and Confused.com, it’s kind of the same thing, but with courier companies. Parcel Monkey have partnered with lots of the most popular shipping companies that eBay users would generally use such as City Link, Parcel Force, DHL etc. Due to their partnerships with these companies and the volume of parcels their customers send substantial savings can be had by using them.
This is good for the customer because everyone wants to save money on shipping don’t they! Especially when eBay are applying final value fees into your postage too!
For example if you wanted to send a large parcel you’ve sold on eBay to the UK, worth £50, packed in a box which measures 50cm x 40cm x 30cm, weighs 5.5kg and it needs to be there in 24 hours. Who would be cheapest to send it with?
What I used to do would be to get quotes from some of the top companies individually and compare them myself. So that’s what I did. Here’s what I found:
Cost to send via Parcelforce: £19.92 (including VAT)
Cost to send with City Link: £14.90 (including VAT)
Price sending with DHL: £19.82 (including VAT)
So now we have the base prices for this experiment. Generally I would go with the cheapest or whatever the customer specifically asked for and was willing to pay for. The cheapest above here being City Link by around £5. Let’s see if we can do any better.
The same parcel at Parcel Monkey gives the following results:
City Link – £9.59 (including VAT)
Parcelforce – £13.19 (including VAT)
Parcel Monkey – £10.91 (including VAT)
As you can see we’ve managed to knock another £5 off the total cost by using the comparison website. For a one time use £5 is a great saving but if you are a regular sender of parcels you can save a hell of a lot of money by using Parcel Monkey! If you only send one parcel a month it could save you up to £60 a year.
So using Parcel Monkey is a hell of a lot easier than shopping around and quite a bit cheaper! If you know the cost to send some of your more bulkier eBay items when you’re listing them you can put a competitive postage cost on them and hopefully beat the competition on price, therefore getting more customers!
So how easy is the site to use?
Parcemonkey.co.uk is a very easy site to use. Simply visit the website and follow the instructions, it is extremly intuituve to get a quote. This simply isn’t the case with some other couriers, for example visit dhl.co.uk of city-link.co.uk and see how long it takes you to get a quote. I would be very surprised if you could get one in under a minute, in fact under 5 minutes as it’s not as straight forward as it should be for businesses who are supposed to want your business!
Do you have to register?
You can get a quote without logging in or signing up so this is quick and easy, but if you do sign up for an account you can speed the process up for the future by entering your regular pick up addresses and payment details so that you only have to enter them once.
Getting a quote
On the homepage are a selection of options which you can choose the best one for you based on your parcel. Click the one that applies and you are on to the next step.
Enter the post codes of where your parcel is being collected and where it’s going, then enter the weight and size of your parcel. It helps if you have a tape measure and scale ready for this step as if you estimate and are wrong you could be charged extra after the parcel is collected!
Choose the best service for you and go on to enter the addresses. Use the postcode look up feature or import an address from your address book for ease of use.
You will be asked to enter the details of your parcel and ensure that it does not breach the carriage conditions. There are some items which cannot be carried, and some which can be carried but on a no compensation basis. I have entered computer in this example and as you can see a little warning has been shown to prompt you to check the prohibited items list. I have also selected to pay the extra 19p for £50 worth of coverage.
You can use all the major cards, Visa, MasterCard etc and as soon as you use one your details are saved for the next time you use the service. You can also use Paypal however that carries an extra 2% fee. There is a way around this by using a Paypal MasterCard. The money comes straight from your Paypal account but you don’t get charged the fee!
You can track your parcel from within your account and depending on the service you have used you can send links to the tracking pages direct to your customers so all they have to do is click a link.
I have had to use the customer service team twice due to problems with item delivery. Both times they did try and fob me off so I don’t rate them very well. But saying that I have sent around 40 parcels in the last year using parcel monkey and have only had 2 issues and in both cases the issues were actually the fault of the courier companies and not Parcel Monkey themselves. Both issues could have been, in my opinion, dealt with extremely easily, however parcel Monkey didn’t seem to want to help. Read my story about my recent experience here.
Overall despite its shortcomings with customer service, Parcel Money is still one of my top resources. It is by no means the only website I use, but considered in conjunction with other similar websites, you will almost always get the best deal possible.
It’s that time of the year again. Royal Mail are putting their prices up. Rumors have been circulating since January that the increases were coming and in line with tradition Royal Mail had their pricing page access controlled from an early stage.
Sneaky beaky types like me who tried to view the pricing page before 1st March 2014 will have first been prompted to log in or register on the Royal Mail website and then saw the access denied message.
Finally come the last day of February the page became viewable to the general public and the new prices were announced and quite frankly they aren’t quite as bad as I was predicting.
The edited highlights being:
First Class Stamps rising from 60p to 62p
Second Class Stamps rising from 50p to 53p
First Class Small Parcel rising from £3.00 to £3.20
First Class Medium Parcel staying put at £5.65 which is is good news, but in my experience anything that won’t send as a small parcel gets sent with myHermes anyway for £3.90!
Check out all of the new prices on the Royal Mail website.
Prices go up on 31st March and whatever you sell, if you use Royal Mail you should account for these changes before then, lest you find yourself out of pocket unnecessarily.
Do you plan on stocking up on first class and large letter stamps, do you plan on ditching Royal Mail in favour of myHermes or Collect+? You can bet that there will be staff from both of the latter sat around a conference room table come Monday morning discussing possible price changes. Expect them to follow suit soon or at least announce like heroes that prices will be staying the same, because they care about your bank balance!