The logic seems to be this. The Royal Mail loses money on every package it
delivers so by not delivering any packages at all, they won't lose any
money. There's probably a flaw in that argument somewhere but I haven't yet
figured out what it is?
The charge wouldn't be so bad but the customer has to do all the work for
them. They no longer deliver charged items so the customer has to make a
special journey to the sorting office. Quite often they don't even bother
putting a card through the door saying an item is awaiting collection.
Parcelforce now simply send an invoice for the handling/customs and want it
cleared before they try and deliver. And they reserve the right to charge for
failed delivery attempts. As well as Saturday delivery.
I live in Portland, Oregon. I purchased some models last week from the
UK, and they sent it Royal Mail on Monday. The models arrived on
Thursday. The postage charge 4.95 pounds.
The US post office frequently takes a week or more to get a package from
New York City to here.
UPS? Fed Ex? Take a look at what they charge for UK to USA services!
The kits I ordered only weigh about 1 lb total for purpose of rate
What really got me annoyed was the US$6.50 charge for "foreign transaction
fee" charged by the credit card company. Next time I'll mail a good old
fashioned paper check made out in foreign currency.
That may be a big hit, but keep in mind that a customs broker or private
courier company will charge you a good deal more. Eg, base UPS rate is
$38, not including taxes, excise, duties, etc. About 15GBP according to
the exchange rate, over 30GBP in terms of purchasing power.
Also, international postage rates are not set by Royal Mail. They are
negotiated between Royal Mail and all the other postal authorities in
the world. A hefty chunk of that rate goes to the other postal
authorities, as regulated by the International Postal Union.
International Small Packet Rate for 540-560g is £6.32, which is what was
charged. The seller ate the 32p.
The item including plastic box weighs 400g, so I guess the rest was
external packing. Those Corgi boxes weigh 150-200g alone.
Maybe there wasn't such a big increase; an order for 2 Corgi models last
September cost £2 more for postage than a 9F loco plus a Pocketbond
Classix truck in August, but on checking I find the 2 Corgis weigh more!
I'm surprised to see that Royal Mail overseas rates go in 20g increments;
Canada Post goes 100g - 250g - 500g - 1kg - 2kg for small packets.
Well, yes and no. We have lower rates to the USA, just as GB has lower
rates to the EU, and for the same general reasons. At one time, we had
lower rates to GB and the rest of the Commonwealth countries, and vice
One thing that a lot of people seem to be unaware of is that
transporting small freight (letters, parcels, etc) to many destinations
is very expensive compared to transporting bulk freight to one or a few
destinations. If it weren't for various direct and indirect government
subsidies, we'd be paying a lot more. (For that matter, all transport is
subsidised - it's just usually not obvious where and how the subsidies
accrue. Also, some subsidies may be private, as when shipping charges
are waived for large orders.)