2011 Royal Mail tariff: April/May price increases

By Chris Dawson March 24, 2011 - 11:08 pm

Royal Mail have announced their price changes for this year. There are two different price changes, one tariff for stamps and franking (opens in .pdf) customers which comes into effect on the 4th April 2011 and another tariff for account customers (opens in .pdf)which will be introduced on the 9th May 2011.
The cost of a basic 1st class stamp will rise for those buying stamps from 41p to 46p, a 12% price increase. As a seller on eBay you’ll need to check the prices for the service and weights of the products you sell, but expect the cost of posting a 251-500g packet to rise from £2.24 to £2.48 a 10.7% price rise.

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If you’re a Royal Mail account customer you’ll also need to check the new rates to determine the rise in postage costs that you’ll be charged, although they won’t change until May.
As an example we’ve checked the costs for Packetpost, for which charges are based on the average weight and format of all the parcels you post. For low weight items the price increases are as steep as 15% for both first and second class post, although if your average weight is higher then the percentage increase drops to around 5%.
Which ever method of posting you use the price increase is bound to be unwelcome, but compared to courier Royal Mail is still the most cost effective method of delivering low weight items within the UK.
Which postage services do you use and how will the price increases affect your business? Are the price rises high enough to make couriers attractive for your products or will you stick with Royal Mail?

  • jacl
    9 years ago

    For me there is no option.
    Its Royal Mail or nothing.
    My solution is to buy stamps before the April price hike, as much as cash flow allows.
    Currently a cut price large stamp costs just under 62 pence (66p rate).
    Come April this is worth 75 pence. So by buying now this is a 17.3% saving. That is a huge saving even if the stamp stock is kept for a year.
    Now look at the price for Special delivery. Currently £5.05 for standard rate and from April – £5.45. Using 75p stamps x 7 + 20 p, this will cost only £4.54 (ie 7 x 62 + 20p), approx 16.6% saving. Similar percentage savings can be made for many postal tranches.
    Its a no brainer.

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    As items above 500g are rising by a significantly lower percentage (is there more competition at these price levels?) then I will be looking at bundling more of the lightweight products and pointing out to buyers that the combined shipping savings are now even greater.

  • northumbrian
    9 years ago

    wewould rather pay that little extra if it means standards are maintained reliability and speed are as important as cost to us

  • The price for 2nd Class Packetpost for both the 101-250g and 251-500g weight bands are now the same at 144.6p, is this a printing error or intentional.

  • Cambridge_Blue
    9 years ago

    Textbook example of price gauging by RM.
    They know there is little effective competition to them in the sub 500g market segment so they have creamed their customer base accordingly.
    Only competition can redress this and there is little prospect of that anytime soon.
    Up will go our prices so we will doing our best to help stoke the inflationary fires later this year.
    pip pip

    • Old Hand
      9 years ago

      No competition in the sub 500g (I’d say 2Kg) market because Royal Mail is an incredible value, even at the new higher rates, no other company could get close to those prices with equivalent service. Package weight has little influence on cost of delivery at this price point, personnel time is much more for RM. For us wages and materials are much more. Most important convenience for customers, they know RM, they know the postie, Hermes, HDNL etc turn up all kind of times, depots miles away, offer software instead of service.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      9 years ago

      We don’t care what drives the costs in the RM business and whether they are based on weight, volume, wage costs or the number of bacon butties consumed daily by ‘posties’ in your area.
      We are not so sanguine about cost increases to our business as you appear to be.
      We do not regard a cost increase by any supplier of over three times inflation as remotely acceptable to us and would happily place a share of this business elsewhere if there was a serious alternative available.
      The question of ‘value’ is of no interest to us whatsoever and without any real competition and choice it is essentially subjective.
      pip pip

    • Gerry007
      9 years ago

      I’m with old hand on this one..

      55p (PPI) for a 1st class Large letter, anywhere in the UK, beat that mate!!.
      And, if you’ve a RM account, this is the 1st increase in 2 years.

      Other points, is how much was diesel this time last year?…probably under £1.09p litre..

      Local sort offices (ar the moment). Local collect.

    • SWD
      9 years ago

      Royal mail delivers all sub 500g mail at a loss so there isn’t going to be any competition at this level. They can double there prices and they are still better value than any courier.

      There rates also compare very favourably with most other European domestic postal services.

      If you’re moaning about a 15% hike then wait until they are semi privatised and have to realign their prices to market rates based upon the true cost of delivering the service…then you’ll be in for a shock!

  • BigPoppa
    9 years ago

    Is flat rate always a better option than daily rate?

  • Bunchy
    9 years ago

    Can’t believe the increase in collection fee from £500 plus vat to £650 plus vat !

    • BigPoppa
      9 years ago

      That charge is for a timed collection, which you also don’t have to pay if you spend over something like £15K a year I believe.

    • Warren
      9 years ago

      I drop mine off as I can’t afford the payment and my sales aren’t that big at the moment. I’m only glad I got a PPI account in the first place.

    • Bunchy
      9 years ago

      You are mistaken
      Weekday Collection £650
      Weekday Timed Collection £1500
      plus VAT

  • Warren
    9 years ago

    PPI’s still worth having, I only got my account last April when the ordanary postal charges were increased so even with the lastest PPI increases, my postal charges from the Royalmail are still cheaper than the ordinary postage I was paying in 2009. I can’t moan at that.

  • 9 years ago

    These price hikes combined with the changing of eBay fees (on shipping) looming… are going to have either pass this cost onto the customer or save money internally.

  • elvis
    9 years ago

    I got the prices for packet post items from above which is for large letter and packets but can anyone please post a link to the new prices for packetpost customers in regards to international mail as I can’t find it anwhere.

    Many thanks

  • 9 years ago

    The new international prices can be found on page 11 of the new Royal Mail Price Guide here:

    But I’m a little dubious about the accuracy as there seems to have been a decrease in the 300g weight (£2.61 Europe/£4.26 Rest of World from the current £2.65/£4.47)

    Does anyone know if it’s correct?


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