UK Online Merchants Must Manage New Royal Mail Rates

royal mail rates

New Royal Mail rates in the United Kingdom have affected small business owners adversely. The issue should serve as a cautionary tale for businesses in the U.S. dependent on the U.S. Postal Service.

The Royal Mail said in a statement when it first proposed the increased rates in December that the changes will bring the service “in line” with other similar postal services across Europe.

Online merchants, especially small businesses, are now being forced to reconsider how they handle their shipping operations, according to a post at WholesaleForums. There, John Hayes writes that business owners in the U.K. need to examine different ways to manage the new rates.

Royal Mail rates rose 3p for First Class standard letters, to 47p per item, and 2p for Second Class standard letters to 33p per item. Metered Royal Mail rates for “large letters” rose 5p per item, to 71p for First Class and 58p for Second Class, according to Post & Parcel, a jobs site for the global mail and express community.

For merchants on a site like eBay, offering free shipping on items is an incentive to the buyer, but the merchant must now consider the new rates when posting a price. Merchants may have to consider slower delivery methods or forgo offering free shipping.

EBay’s Manager of Strategic Shipping Partnerships, James Miles, said in a statement to Tamebay, “These changes are an important reminder that getting the right portfolio of services to serve your customers is vital, with research showing that over 4 in 10 shoppers have abandoned a purchase due to the delivery date not matching their expectations.”

Royal Mail Photo via Shutterstock

1 Comment ▼

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Assistant Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, Joshua got his start in the rough and tumble newspaper business of Pennsylvania's coal region. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a beat reporter covering daily news. He eventually founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown. Joshua supervises the day-to-day operations of Small Business Trends' busy editorial department including the editorial calendar and outgoing assignments.

One Reaction
  1. Shawn Hessinger

    Hi Josh,
    Changes in postage rates may seem minor to some, but any change, no matter how small, can affect businesses. Every little bit increase can impact your bottom line and make your business model unworkable.

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