Monday, November 25, 2013


The price of postage, like everything else, is an expense that has got to be carefully budgeted for.  I was really taken aback when I posted a few cards and a couple of packages abroad, recently.  Not only are the weight gates for all these items very narrow, just a few grams for letters  before the cost hikes up to another silver plated level, parcels are in a gilded price class of their own as well.

I had already decided that I was going to reduce on festive mail with all its associated costs, but, in all honesty I had not realised just how much it would have to be pared down.  Where I can, I shall be emailing greetings and delivering cards myself.  I think the electronic card business might be expanding and I might swell their number. With this in mind, I am making sure people have my email address, and I want theirs too. 

The counter clerk now asks what I have packed into my packages, though not in my large letter?!  She needs to know, she says, when I stand there, silent, trying to remember what I wrapped up sometime ago. It's a memory test.  It is becoming like airport security, without the x-ray equipment at the input end...yet.
  • Five cards slightly over 10 grams each - not over-sized-  for mainland Europe cost me £1.28p each
  • A Parcel about 780 grams  was a whopping £6.30p 
  • So, in the next consignment, I sent slightly smaller cards, they were just under the 10grams @ cost 0.88p each
  • One larger card weighing under 10grams had a smaller one tucked into it to pass onto a family member; total cost £1.28p instead of 88p each.  I saved 44p 
  • Surface mail USA £1.33p (Airmail would have cost £1.83p. The 50p stayed in my purse). 
  • A couple of years ago I discovered  sending a package to mainland Europe by surface mail was just  5p cheaper than using air mail!!!
  • UK letter mail up to 100g second class is 50p and 60p for first class mail. In addition, there are different charges for large letters. Woe betide you if your first or second class letter, or, even your large one, do not fit through the template gauges. If that happens, reach for your wallet or purse.
Goodwill becomes more than a little jaded with the kind of charges that are being imposed from many quarters. Something has to give.


flightplot said...

I've pared my Christmas post down to a minimum but I draw the line at deliberately choosing smaller cards.
It must cost some people a fortune. Now that they've been sold off I'm sure costs will rise sooner rather than later. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hello Mr F,

My cards are deliberately smaller too, though, obviously, they were not small enough.

Prices of postage have been forced up for the sale of the service; it wouldn't have been an attractive business proposition otherwise. As you say, undoubtedly, there will be more hikes to squeeze the purse/wallet.

It is sad really, as I would rather have Royal Mail as a service than many of the private contractors who with-hold deliveries, so that they can cut back on employing suitable staffing numbers to fulfill the requirements of the job on a daily basis. Generally, national contractors are not reliable in remote places.

Snowbird said...

It's so sad isn't it, especially when you think that it's the older generation who send cards more than anyone, how can our pensioners afford

ZACL said...

You make a pertinent point Snowbird. Sprog expressed surprise upon discovering I still sent cards. I shall be carefully sorting and filtering to whom I send future cards. I.T.savvy people of all ages will, in future, receive an e-greeting. Packages will receive careful consideration as well.

A number of people I have spoken to, have already been doing what I intend. I have been slow off the mark.

zalandeau said...

C'est de l'escroquerie pure et simple.

ZACL said...

Salut Zalandeau,

Je suis totalement d'accord avec ton commentaire.

Zep said...

We sent roughly 45 cards to Holland, Australia, Belgium & Germany last year. It cost a fortune and Astrid got up early on Sunday to do this year's batch. We try to double up sometimes, much to the chagrin of the queue behind us in the post office when we weigh almost each card. Phew, managed to get all the way through a post about you know what without mentioning the long word with "mas" at the end. Yes, I'm a humbug.

ZACL said...

Hi Mick,

It is fun and games with cards and parcels,and the cards issue is one game I am intending to foreshorten in expense.

On top of everything else, our main post office is worse than airport security; not only do they have exclusions in what you post, they want to know what is in the parcel, or, they won't take the item. A wee post mistress a few miles away refers the customer to the posters about the restrictions, like the airport check-in staff do.

Happy holidays to you and Astrid!

thehumanpicture said...

Unfortunately, I think that the old mail system is on its way out and will soon be a service that we'll have to pay for dearly. It's a good idea to move to email greetings.

ZACL said...

Sadly, I think you are right, Shimon. The post office services are on the wane. People are being priced out of the mailing market. Email and e-cards do appear to be a very flexible manner in which to maintain contact and offer special greetings to people, worldwide.

K2 said...

It's not the same getting an e card

K2 said...

It's not the same getting an e card

ZACL said...

Hello K2,

Thanks for your comment. Digital imagery is not the same as a physical card, I agree. A card does have tangibility and I have thought hard about the changeover, where I can, and also where it will be enjoyed.

By reducing on the cost of sending large numbers of cards, I have been able to add to charitable donations. I think that is important too.