Royal Mail will collect your post from your door for free until 30.04.2024 Royal Mail has once again extended its free collection service, this time until 30.04.2024.
Normally, Royal Mail will charge you 72p per parcel to collect from your home, to save you having to pop to a Post Office to send off your parcels or letters, but it has been a while, frankly, since I've actually seen them make a charge for this service, the free collection period just keeps getting extended, and I for one think its really useful! You can choose for someone to collect just a single letter or a big pile of parcels. It's super convenient and has proven to be really helpful for anyone who struggles to leave the house or perhaps someone selling items on EBay, Etsy or runs a small business from home, as it means you don't have to spend ages in a line in your local Post Office waiting to hand over your parcels/letters etc, which is really frustrating for everyone!
The service works in two ways:
If you have something you want to send, and you need to pay for the postage, head to the Royal Mail collection website, where you see a send an item now box. Clicking on this box takes you to a screen where you select the type of item you wish to send, be it a letter, large letter, parcel, etc. and tell the system how much it weighs.
You can then choose what sort of service you'd like to send the item on, for example, a tracked service, special delivery, signed for, or just a standard 1st or 2nd class service, and you'll then be given a price for the service you have selected, and from there, you enter the recipient's details and also your details/collection address. You will then be asked if you want to drop off your item or if you'd like to have it collected for free and you can also choose if you'd like the person collecting your item to bring a label for you to apply to the parcel for free as well, which saves you from having to print out a label at home, which is automatically set to happen unless you deselect that option. Once you've completed your collection address, you'll then be able to add another item if you wish, or you can checkout and pay using your debit/credit card or PayPal. You'll be able to select what day you'd like to have the item collected; it's normally a next-day collection unless you live in a remote location, and it will give you an estimated collection time window. The postal worker will then come and collect the item from you, apply the label if you've selected that option, and then take it away with them to the local delivery office. The item will then start its journey to the recipient.
2. If you have something you need to return, perhaps a parcel you want to return to a retailer, and you have a pre-paid Royal Mail postage label with a printed tracking number or postage ID number, you can avoid the Post Office queue, by going to to the Royal Mail collection page where you will be prompted to enter the parcels tracking or ID number, and this will then allow you to book a collection day for your return and this will then be collected for you free of charge.
The service is really useful, and especially so when free to use! I've used this many, many times as part of my full-time job, and for things I need to send from home, it's always worked perfectly, and I've had no issues! Would I spend 72p to have an item collected? Probably not, if I'm honest, unless there was a really good reason I couldn't leave the house! Perhaps if I wanted to avoid a Post Office queue at Christmas when it was heaving, but otherwise, it could get expensive if you send a lot, but I guess if you are selling something on eBay, you could incorporate that 72p into the shipping charge, that would work!
Who knows if Royal Mail will extend this offer of free collection further; it's probably expensive for them to operate. However, for someone such as myself, working in E-commerce, we only use Royal Mail because of this current free collection, and don't send enough to get free business collection, so we tend to stick with other couriers, as we frankly do not have the time to drop the parcels off and don't want to pay 72p for every item collected, so if they stopped it being free, we wouldn't use Royal Mail, plain and simple, especially after the nightmare of the postal strikes over the last year which caused us and many other retailers major headaches and soured our relationship with this iconic British delivery service, and so I suspect Royal Mail are using this service as a way to try and claw back business from rival couriers who picked up their business when they were unable to deliver promptly, and may well keep it free for a time to come yet!