Royal Mail Stamps Online vs Post Office Prices

By Chris Dawson February 24, 2020 - 10:00 am

If you are a smaller seller who still visits the Post Office on a regular basis, it’s time to start buying your Royal Mail Stamps online in advance of your trip to the Post Office. Savings of 10p, 12p, 15p or even 20p per parcel are available if you buy your Royal Mail Stamps online, depending which services you use. Below are the prices from the 23rd March 2020, although savings are still available on the current prices before that date.

There isn’t a difference for letters, but as soon as you start sending parcels weighing up 2kg for 1st Class and 5kg for 2nd Class the savings are significant. You can link your marketplace accounts to Royal Mail Click and Drop online postage and in addition if you’re sending more valuable items, you can also buy Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 services online with compensation up to £100 instead of £20.

Once you’ve purchased your Royal Mail Stamps online and applied the labels, you can still drop at your Post Office as normal, or you can drop at a Royal Mail delivery office or deposit your parcels at any time of day or night in one of the new Royal Mail Parcel Postboxes (pictured above).

1st Class / Tracked 24 Royal Mail 2020 Prices – Online vs Post Office


Weight up to and including

1st Class Post Office Price

1st Class Online Price

Tracked 24 (online only)

Letter 100g 76p N/A
Large Letter 100g £1.15 £4.02
250g £1.64
500g £2.14
750g £2.95
Small Parcel 1kg £3.70 £3.58 £5.46
2kg £5.57 £5.47 £7.80
Medium Parcel 1kg £5.90 £5.78 £8.46
2kg £9.02 £8.92 £11.94
5kg £15.85 £18.00
10kg £21.90 £21.60
20kg £33.40 £33.60
Includes compensation up to £20.00 £100.00


2nd Class / Tracked 48 Royal Mail 2020 Prices – Online vs Post Office


Weight up to and including

2nd Class Post Office Price

2nd Class Online Price

Tracked 48 (online only)

Letter 100g 65p N/A
Large Letter 100g 88p £3.60
250g £1.40
500g £1.83
750g £2.48
Small Parcel 1kg £3.10 £2.95 £4.74
Medium Parcel 1kg £5.20 £5.05 £7.26
5kg £8.99 £8.79 £10.55
10kg £20.25 £16.80
20kg £28.55 £30.00
Includes compensation up to £20.00 £100.00


  • Nick
    5 months ago

    It’s true that if you print your own postal labels you can “still drop at your Post Office as normal”, but beware.

    Some post offices are refusing to send “pre-printed” parcels on the same day, others are grumbling that they’re not receiving any commission. If the viability of your local PO is marginal, then dealing with stacks of pre-paid parcels could be a significant challenge.

    If you’re only posting a few parcels a day, consider supporting your local post office by letting them print your labels for you. It’ll cost a few pence more, but it’ll save on the cost of labels and printer ink, and could make the difference between your local post office surviving or disappearing.

    • Charlie
      5 months ago

      I have been told by my local Post Office that it is people like me (with a handful of small pre-paid parcels for which they get paid nothing) that are killing them off.

      This is an utterly ludicrous situation whereby the Royal Mail directly competes against the Post Office by selling their own postage online, and then the Post Office apparently agrees to process it for free.

      The Post Office should tell the Royal Mail it will scan in their pre-paid postage, issue the customer a receipt and charge a fee for doing so.

      That way everybody is happy – the local Post Office is making money, people can take their pre-paid postage in without having a massive guilt complex dumped on them, and there isn’t a massive queue forming behind them either.

      As I have said before, the Royal Mail and the Post Office have a fabulous infrastructure between them and could really sweep up a large volume of the ever increasing small to medium parcel market if everyone involved got their acts together.

  • 5 months ago

    Strange to compare the cheapest version of 2nd class post with tracked 48, the most expensive. Surely regular RM48 would be the fair comparison?

    RM48 with an online account is going to be £2.61 for a parcel in the 1kg+ to 2kg range. Compare that to second class small parcel price, and it’s a bit cheaper. But compare it to the second class medium parcel and it’s nearly half the price! And that’s without all the other considerations, like average weight and volume discounts.

    • robin
      5 months ago

      But £2.61 is on account and WITHOUT compensation – it is better to pay £2.90 for 2nd Class Small Parcel instead 🙂

    • 5 months ago

      It doesn’t add up though Robin.

      Delivery confirmation scan for RM24 and 48 has helped reduce the number of item not received claims (in my business anyway) to such a low level, that it would not be worthwhile paying extra for compensation.

      The difference in price is at least 34p on sub 2kg parcels, but can be as much as £2.44 if it’s a medium. Even if only sending small parcels, 34p x 1000 = £340. How much would the refunds on lost parcels from that 1000 parcels come to? For my business, probably about £20. That’s how rare it is with INR claims now.

  • 5 months ago


    Also if you send Tracked 24 or Tracked 48 the items need to be taken to a sorting office and not the local post office – (in my area anyway) so while may look cheaper for some people it is just not cost-effective to do this

  • 5 months ago

    its all very marginal if one can use a service such as Hermes.

    RM have tried to be helpful on their website/s – but are confusing because of the detail – they are trying to get volume where it may not exist.

  • Jonny
    5 months ago

    My post office actually prefers if you buy online and bring your packages already labelled, especially during busy periods, as there’s far less admin for them to do and it doesn’t annoy people standing at the back of the Post Office, waiting in the queue to be served, so much. Faster for them, faster for me (you).

  • 5 months ago

    This is what kills local post offices.

  • Barry S.
    5 months ago

    I always pay for my packages in the Post Office, never online. For a start, I don’t trust buying stamps online. I’m going to need proofs of postage anyway, so may as well buy in store. I am old fashioned I guess, I like human interaction and receipts printed on paper, not email or whatever. The Post Office is the hub of our community and if it went, then no more banking services for us either. The staff are always very friendly too.

    The true cost of something is not just the financial cost, there is something more that you can’t really put a price on…If a few extra pennies per item keeps my local PO going, I’m more than happy to pay it.

    • 5 months ago

      All very well and good while your business is small enough. But as your business grows, you realise those “few extra pennies” per item have become hundreds or even thousands of pounds per year.

  • jim
    5 months ago

    sod the local post office their a bunch of jobs worth’s

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