Don’t forget: Royal Mail prices change today

By Dan Wilson March 31, 2014 - 4:42 am

It comes around every year. But today Royal Mail changes come into force. Headline stuff will be the rise in price of first and second class basic services:

1st and 2nd Class mail
1st Class Letter will cost 62p (from 60p)
1st Class Large Letter (up to 100g) will cost 93p
2nd Class Letter will cost 53p (from 50p)
2nd Class Large Letter (up to 100g) will cost 73p

For the full digest and details of what will be changing today, do check out the Royal Mail website. There’s loads of info there and it will affect different customers differently so do take a moment to check it all out.

It does open up competition though, as quite a few couriers and carriers have been quick to point out.

James Greenbury, CEO of says: “In recent times, the 1KG parcel has been Royal Mail’s bread and butter but the price increase highlights that these days may be at an end. We’ve long predicted this as a result of the privatisation and the price war currently happening is just another manifestation of this. As more of us shop online, consumers are going to become hungrier for the value and flexibility parcel delivery comparison websites such as offer and will increasingly seek out the cheapest option available.”

And it isn’t just them. MyHermes have also introduced a £2.78 inc vat under 1kg tariff. Check out their website for details. And blimey, there are so many carriers out there.

Greater choice and competition is always welcome. But the hassle and research required to get the best deal is not. Basically, the best advice to shop around to find the best deals.

If you find a cracking good deal, do tell us all. 🙂 How will these Royal Mail changes affect you?

  • Alex
    3 years ago

    Isn’t this a non-brainer?

    Hermes charge £2.98 for up to 1kg and even heavier is still less than RM so now Royal Mail get all Large Letter up to 750gm and Hermes get everything else.

    Really very simple.

  • paddy
    3 years ago

    Invoices – sent by E-mail
    Payments – received by BACS
    Small parcels – sent via private courier

    Apart from the occasional customer who insists on written statements we barely use Royal Mail these days.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    For my higher value items under1kg or 2kg its RM orange label signed for v Hermes tracked. Both have 100% record for me in last 12 months. So who am I leaning towards right now?

    Royal Mail do need to make signed for = tracked. The systems are already in place for Special Delivery and the PPI tracked services so why not utilise this same process for 24/48 orange label signed for? After all orange label packages are sorted into separate mail bags so its not a sorting issue.

    • Chris
      3 years ago

      Most probably because Royal Mail already have a tracked service, but it is more expensive per parcel.

      We’ll be sending more myHermes (as we did last year for a month or two before myHermes stopped their 0-2kg £3.30).

      To be fair, this has come out better £2.78 inc vat, tracked is very good value.
      We have the odd issue with myHermes but nothing really more than any other couriers.

      Though, I’d like to see/view the signature like you can when you track a parcel on Royal Mail implemented to see who actually signed for a parcel.

  • radroach
    3 years ago

    For some sellers it will be the changes in the overseas rates which will have the most detrimental effect, with the introduction of Pricing In Proportion, and the lack of any “large letter” rate, meaning a big increase in the cost of shipping small items.

    • Bertie
      3 years ago

      I was told by my Royal Mail business adviser/rep that they were bringing in large letter format for internationals? Maybe it’s just for OBA users? I am yet to fully investigate myself but that’s what I was told last week.


  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    were great believers in the pay peanuts and you get monkeys adage ,
    were very happy to pay a reasonable fee for a reliable service

  • J R
    3 years ago

    Airmail small packet costs for anything over £250 appears to have gone through the roof.

    It seems Royal Mail will not offer insurance on anything over £250 via the small packets method, this has to be one of the worst business decisions Royal Mail has made in recent times.

    How do you now send a small item worth £450 for example with relevant insurance ??

    I appreciate you can use Parcelforce however this is very costly and not really suitable.

    I’m stumped by this change and I think it will hurt a lot of businesses and Royal Mail.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      what insurance? try claiming ,

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      Uk Mail has some good international rates.

  • Dan
    3 years ago

    ill be really hurt by the size limits on airmail, 5mm thick etc, just like with the uk letter size. i may have to add postage on to all airmail now, whereas i offered free postage worldwide. with most items costing 1.28 in EU or 1.88 worldwide up until yesterday. now its 3.odd if its over 5mm thick. or i may split the difference with the buyer, ill pay the first 1.28 / 1.88 and they pay the diff.

    also i don’t really send in volume to qualify for other RM products – an average of 100-200 items / month, which is small fry in the RM world i would think, so all in all, worldwide postings are gonna be hurt hard i think for me.

    • Martin
      3 years ago

      You might still want to give them a call as the contract rates are available so long as you spend more than £5k annually.

      Not sure if that’s just on International services or overall but still worth checking.

  • Tony C
    3 years ago

    Once again the distinction between small packets and letters is not clearly defined. I sell CDs and mail them in thin cardboard mailers 125mm square for a total thickness of no more than 3.5mm. Is this a letter or a parcel? What constitutes a parcel, and what constitutes a letter? Not as if they open things to see what’s inside, or at least not often, and what’s to stop me putting a letter in a CD envelope and sending that as a letter; what’s the difference? Anyone know, please?

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      It’s a parcel and where applicable needs a customs declaration. Letters never need a customs declaration. Letters are correspondence.

    • 3 years ago

      I’ve put the link for the International tracked/signed in with this post (click my name above) so that has more detailed information specifically for International Letters, Large letters, etc… but here’s a quick summary:

      A Letter for the purposes of our Tracking and Signature Services is considered as anything that is:
      Over the size of 140mm x 90mm
      Under the size of 245mm x 165mm
      No more than 5mm thick
      Less than 100g in weight

      A Large Letter (formally known as Flats) for the purposes of our Tracking and Signature Services is considered as anything that is:
      Over the size of 140mm x 90mm
      Under the size of 381mm x 305mm
      No more than 20mm thick
      Less than 500g in weight

  • 3 years ago

    Tracked is very good value for us. The international services are unreliable and expensive, though – and they have all gone up well above inflation, again. The technical transition to the new international services in Dispatch Manager has been a farce.

    • 3 years ago

      .. and still is.

      It’s currently impossible to send anything via the new contract rate International Tracked & Signed for service and they’re currently saying Friday before it’s all fixed (assuming that’s not just wishful thinking).

      Price changes are one thing but the lack of coordination within the company is really showing.

      EDIT: Just to note I posted up a workaround for the issue noted above. You can reach it on UKBF if you click on my name/link above. Hope it helps anyone else who’s been in limbo since yesterday.

    • 3 years ago

      Thanks for the workaround Martin. We were also able to use our ‘old’ Online Business Account facility rather than Dispatch Manager Online, albeit with a lot more work involved.

      The codes for the new ‘Tracked & Signed’ product have now, finally, been added to our DMO account. We’re pretty low down the food chain, so hopefully everyone else has got the update too.

      The new range of International products has, imho, only added further complexity to a system that was less than ideal in the first place. Some countries you can send to as ‘tracked only’ or signed only’ but not as ‘tracked & signed’. Some countries you can send to as ‘tracked & signed’ but not ‘tracked only’ or ‘signed only’.

      Conversations with the dispatch manager team and my account manager have been disturbingly ‘Monty Pythonesque’! Perhaps it’s all an April Fool!

    • 3 years ago

      Oh I know… The conversations I’ve had in the last 24 hours have been completely bizarre with everything from “Did you know the earth was flat… Yeah, no, really!” (or a translation thereof) and just plain weirder.

      The true irony is the bit about “Simplifying International” services.

      I’m still trying to find which dictionary they got their definition from but the long n’ short of it is that they’ve identified a way to make people pay more for services that ISF and Airsure already covered.

      Either way… Total FUBAR with added SNAFU…

    • Chris
      3 years ago

      Paul, What are the codes?

  • 3 years ago

    LOADS of my clients can’t ship anything out. Systems crashed, not sent the new labels…massive changes that they have not been told about.

    At a standstill with parcels piling up!!

  • J R
    3 years ago


    Just wondered if anyone could assist me.

    Due to the compensation changes for airmail small packets, now a max of £250 !!

    How would you send a small parcel, under 90cms in total (i.e 30cm by 30cm by 30m) weighing 1 to 2 kg’s with a value of £500 and insured to this value ???

    Any ideas ??


    • Martin
      3 years ago

      I’d seriously consider Fedex as an option… Their International Contract rates are heavily discounted.

      May not be perfect but given the runaround you get with RM regarding compensation anyway, I have to question if the cover is worth the paper it’s printed on anymore.

  • Mike
    3 years ago

    Here’s a little anomaly that I’ve been talking to the Royal Mail about today…

    10g letters are 97p with stamps for world zones 1/2 but if you have a franking machine it’s £1.17 for exactly the same, although franked mail to anywhere in Europe is 85p…

    I guess they thought nobody used that rate, but they do…

  • Gerry007
    3 years ago
  • Hereford_United _Fan
    3 years ago

    The price doesn’t really matter today as DMO is broken. Nothing can be sent first or second class.

    I spoke to them and they said there was not a solution.

    I said I could send everything special delivery but it would cost £600 and asked if they would pay it.

    They said no and I should just apologise to my customers.

    Thanks Royal Mail.

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