In today’s article we are bringing you an insight to what PacketPost is and how you can really benefit from it if you send out more than 100 parcels a week.
Packet Post is a service created by Royal Mail designed specifically for all different business types. It cuts down the time spend processing packaged parcels as well as offering a discounted price for each price band compared to Post Office prices.
One major different with Packet Post is the way you process an order, for most sole traders getting their parcels to the customer involves them visiting the post office and having each item checked and paid. This is not only time consuming but incredibly frustrating for other customers waiting in line. You could always leave your parcels there to be done throughout the day but you wouldn’t be benefitting from a cheaper rate.
- You will be required to label each parcel with a PPI logo and correctly formatted postal address.
- In terms of payment everything is done from your own computer and a direct debit is taken from your bank account once a month (if you choose so).
- You need to weigh each load and divide by the amount of parcels you have this must be broken down into the weight bands of Large Letter and Packet’s they cannot be weighed all together.
- Input data into the OBA website each time you need to post and then drop parcels off at a Post office or set up a collection.
- Securely seal up you with documentation in a pouch, cable tie your mailing bags provided (note: Royal Mail provides all mailing bags/cable ties/pouches at no additional cost and delivers within 3-5 days).
- You need to be sending out 5,000 large letter and/or packets per class a year.
You will be benefitting majorly cost wise with a Packet Post account as Royal Mail provide a much cheaper tariff than standard Post Office Costs.
You can find out all of the standard costs here, if this gets you excited on the amount of savings which you could be having then please do read on!
A PPI logo? - What is it?
Well a PPI logo is a Printed Postage Impression, in basic terms a logo Royal Mail can relate directly to you and your account.
On each postage or mailing bag you will be required to display this PPI logo as it explains what class of service (1st/2nd Class) it will be using and also your account number for identification/billing purposes.
Working Out the Average Weight
One important thing to remember is that the way you calculate costs for the postage is significantly different to paying at the Post Office. You must separate all your parcels into Large Letter and Packets. Once this has been done you need to count the amount in each area and weigh the combined weight.
30 Large letters 20 Packets
30 LL Weight: 5KG
20 PK Weight: 8KG
You now need to divide the weight by the amount of parcels in each weight band to find the average weight.
For example: 5,000g / 30 = 166.6g – So now we know you will be charged for 166g x 30 times.
You can probably work out already you could make even more savings here if you were to have 29 large letters which are lightweight (under 200 grams) and then 1 large letter weighing 700 grams you will not actually pay that full cost for the 700 gram larger letter instead you pay the combined cheaper rate with the additional 29 large letters.
OBA stands for ‘Online Business Account’ and this is your area for submitting daily postage sheets to Royal Mail. These are used for reference when billing to your account. Even though they are electronically submitted they will also need to be printed and submitted with each mailing bag for proof of what’s being sent in case anything needs to be checked.
You will need to log into the OBA website and create an order; from here you can process it for billing.
Within the OBA there are also areas to view your invoices and create reports which are useful for determining your costs on postage during a certain month. These can be downloaded as excel sheets, very helpful when submitting your tax return.
Another key thing to remember is that on the OBA website you will be able to purchase your grey mailing bags/pouches/cable ties and tags. All these are used daily and from time to time you will need to put in an order for them. They do not cost but a fair usage policy is applied to each item.
On Your First Day
When it comes to the day of submitting your first PacketPost order you need to ensure you get everything right. Below is a quick overview of what we do (and plenty others do) and some little tips which can make your life easier.
1) Package up each item with the address and PPI in suitable mailing bags or jiffy bags.
2) From here separate the pile into Large Letter and Packets and weight each pile after counting how many parcels are in each (ensure no Large Letters/Packets are outside the boundaries set by Royal Mail).
3) Load Large Letters and Packets into two separate grey mailing bags which are supplied by Royal Mail.
4) Log on to the OBA website and submit your weight costs for Large Letters and Packets (we won’t go into detail about this as it’s fairly easy to get to grips with).
5) Print off your submitted order we would recommend one for yourself and two others as you have separate bags.
6) Take two yellow pouches (document for Royal Mail sit inside these) and store one document in each, these will sit inside the royal mail postage bags soon.
7) Write your account number on two tags (red being first class and green being second class) and tick the relevant boxes (one for large letter and one for packet).
8) We then put these inside of the yellow pouch bags above the documents so Royal Mail Employees can see what class of service to send it via.
9) From here take a cable tie and run it through the yellow pouches you can then attach it to each hole on the mailing bags and seal it up tight.
10) Your first order is now ready to be dropped off at the post office.
Hopefully this has made life a little easier when working out whether Packet Post is a good idea for your business and also cleared up any questions you may have.
If you do decide to take up the above tips please understand that we cannot be held responsible for any problems that could occur. This is an informative guide designed to give you a better understanding of the PacketPost service rather than a step-through guide on what to do.