Royal Mail has introduced a brand new parcel pick-up service that will see postmen and women collect parcels directly from your doorstep for a small fee. But is the new service good value? Let’s find out.
How will the new Royal Mail parcel service work?
Royal Mail’s new service is part of the company’s aim to secure a bigger share of the booming parcel market. This boom is partly attributable to a surge in online shopping triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The new service is bound to be particularly popular with the millions of people who are currently stuck at home due to the government’s tiered lockdowns.
Customers will be able to have parcels collected from their homes every day apart from Sundays and bank holidays. Royal Mail says that parcels can weigh up to 20kg but mustn’t be bigger than 61cm by 46cm by 46cm. There’s also a limit of five parcels per address per day.
To use the service, you need to book and pay in advance online. You’ll then have to print out a label at home to attach to the package. Bookings can be made up to five days in advance. For a next day collection, you have up to midnight the day before to make a booking.
Parcels can be handed to a postman or woman from your doorstep during their regular delivery rounds. Alternatively, you can leave them for collection in a designated ‘safe place’.
What will it cost?
The cost for the new service is 72p per parcel in addition to postage costs.
For prepaid return items bought, for example, from online sellers, the cost is 60p per item.
Is the service good value?
Well, this depends. For example, if you live a distance from a Post Office, this new service might be perfect for you. It’s also a valuable service during these times of coronavirus, when we are being advised to stay at home as much as possible.
On the other hand, if the nearest Post Office is within walking distance, you can probably do without the extra expense of home collection.
Keep in mind also that there might be alternatives out there offering the same service at a much lower cost.
Though this is the first time that Royal Mail have offered such a service, the idea of parcel collection isn’t new. Competitors like Hermes, DPD and TNT already collect parcels from people’s homes. So, if you want to have your parcel picked up and delivered at the best possible price, it might be a good idea to first compare prices across all providers.
An online price comparison suggests that for smaller parcels that weigh up to 2kg, Royal Mail’s prices are unbeatable. For example, home collection and second class delivery for a 2kg small parcel using Royal Mail is £3.67 whereas, with a service such as Hermes, it is £4.92.
But for larger, heavier parcels, you are much better off using other providers. The cost for the same home collection and delivery service for a 10kg parcel are £20.97 with Royal Mail and £7.72 with Hermes.
In a nutshell, it’s clear that the new Royal Mail parcel service has a place in the market. It could offer good value for those without easy access to a Post Office and those who could benefit from the convenience of having parcels collected from their doorsteps and delivered.
The post Is the new Royal Mail parcel service good value? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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