Royal Mail compensation rules for lost coins

10p smLarry, a coin seller on eBay contacted Tamebay to warn others about a loop hole in Royal Mail’s compensation in the event of loss or damage. Larry says that he’s lost nearly £400 worth of coins which were shipped via Special Delivery and Signed For, even though he pursued the claims all the way though to the Postal Review Panel.

99% of dealers selling coins post in cardboard stiffeners with the coin inside sealed and placed in an envelope the envelope is then sealed and taped to protect the edges according to Larry. However he says that Royal mail will only pay compensation if coins are sent in boxes.

Royal Mail’s website statesCoins should never be sent in envelopes – our automated sorting machinery may damage envelopes containing coins, which can lead to delay in delivery and increase the likelihood of the contents being lost“.

Whilst the Royal Mail website doesn’t specify that a box should be used (as opposed to cardboard stiffeners), Larry says that when his coins got lost he was told a box was essential.

Postage BoxesThe nub of the issue comes down to the definition of a ‘box’. Obviously a cube is a box, but how much can the sides of the box be compressed until it’s a letter? Are the card mailers we typically see the likes of CDs shipped in boxes or are they mailers? How thin can a box be be (20mm, 15mm, 10mm thick) before it’s no longer a box?

In my time selling on eBay I shipped hundreds of items in cruciform mailers (purchased from long time eBay trader Rik of Tramiki Suppliers). These could be as thin as a “mailer” or if a bulkier item was being posted I’ve had them as thick as an inch.

If you’re shipping coins, especially if they are exceptionally valuable, check with your Royal Mail account manager if you’ll be covered in the unlikely event they go missing. Make sure that your packaging is classed as a box and not as an envelope.