Retrofanattic and Royal Mail

Royal Mail is a company delivering letters and parcels in the UK and abroad. 

Did you know that Royal Mail was originally established in 1516? It was a public service until 2013 when the majority of its shares were floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Royal Mail proposes a wide range of services: Universal Service, Special Delivery, Business Services, International Services.

With the Universal Service that guarantees delivery everywhere in the UK, you can dispatch your items: 

- 2nd class "Standard delivery" 
- 2nd class "Signed For delivery"

- 1st class "Standard delivery" 
- 1st class "Signed For delivery"

Most of the time, Retrofanattic uses the Signed For service. Customers only pay for the Standard Delivery service if they choose 2nd class at checkout. They pay for the Signed For delivery if they choose 1st class at checkout. 
Sometimes the Standard Delivery service is used for less expensive or smaller items. 

I am constantly improving the choice of services for my customers. "Special Delivery by 1pm" has been added on the online shop and the Etsy shop, and it will soon be added on the eBay shop. More services will be added in the future on the three shops.

Royal Mail increases their prices twice a year, usually in March and October. In consequence, Retrofanattic also revises postage prices twice a year. Sometimes no change is made, which was the case in October 2017, sometimes prices slightly increase, and sometimes they can even slightly decrease!

Retrofanattic always uses "Tracked and Signed" service for international customers. It is the equivalent of the domestic "Signed For" service. International customers always pay for the T&S service. 

When using Royal Mail, the price of the postage is determined by the combination of the size and the weight of the item (= letter or parcel). 

There is four categories of items: 

- the letter
- the large letter
- the small parcel
- the medium parcel
- Royal Mail does not send large parcels. Retrofanattic uses Parcelforce or another courier to send large parcels.

Sizes for domestic letters and parcels are: 

Sizes for international letters and parcels are: 

The more protection you use around an object, the bigger the parcel will be. The maximum depth of a small parcel sent to the UK is 16 cm. Sometimes, 16 cm is not enough to allow to fully protect the object with bubble wrap and polystyrene peanuts. 
This is why, unless the object is very small, Retrofanattic always sends fragile items (glass or ceramic items) is medium parcels or large parcels, and not in small parcels. This increases the price of the postage, but guarantees you that your object will arrive undamaged. 

The maximum weight allowed when posting with Royal Mail small parcels is 2 kg. This is why heavier parcels will have to be sent "medium", even if the object is small. This is only theoretical as usually small items are not very heavy, and so far it has never happened that I had to post a small object at the price of a medium parcel.

Anyway, it is more interesting to post with another courier than Royal Mail parcels that weigh more than 2 kg: the price is the same or cheaper with another courier (example MyHermes) and you benefit from a better tracking service:

For domestic postage, Royal Mail does not offer a "fully tracked service" when you send your parcel Signed For. This means that you will only have two informations: when and where the parcel was dispatched, and when it arrived (+ signature).
A fully tracked service scans your parcel at every stage of its journey, so you know exactly where it is and when it should arrive to your door. 
You can have a fully tracked service for domestic parcels if you choose Special Delivery at checkout, but it is much more expensive. However, Special Delivery is ideal when you want a present to arrive on time, if you have sent your Christmas parcels a bit late for example.

International services.

Royal Mail offers a fully tracked service for international customers with two international options: 

- International Tracked and Signed (option used by Retrofanattic)
- International Tracked

The option "International Signed" does not offer a fully tracked service, but covers more destinations than the previous two. This option is not used by Retrofanattic.

Royal Mail also offers two more international options, but they are not used by Retrofanattic at the moment:
- International Standard
- International Economy.

Any more questions? Please feel free to contact me. I am here to help!