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What we exactly get – and don’t get – with first class postage

More than 4 million items are sent every year using first class postage. Royal Mail aims to deliver these items the next working day, including Saturdays, anywhere in the UK. And according to TNS’s independent audit of Royal Mail’s quality of service, covering the March to September 2014 operations, they succeeded in 93.3 % of cases. Furthermore, in case the parcel of letter is lost or damaged, first class customers are entitled to a £20 cover.

firest_class_postage

 

Several products are issued by Royal Mail to make it easier for private or business customers to send first class mail; however, the price chart has to be kept in mind. 

Rates

Size and weight requirements

Several formats are defined, with corresponding rates:

 

  • Small parcels (hereafter referred to as category 1), like ladies boots, portable speakers, desk lamps, must not exceed the following figures : maximum weight of 2kg, maximum length of 45cm, maximum width of 35cm, maximum thickness of 16cm ;
  • The figures for medium parcels (category 2) like gifts, shoes, bulky items are 20kg, 61cm, 46cm, 46cm;
  • Letters (category 3), greeting cards, postcards or bills, must not exceed 100g, 24cm, 16.5cm and 0.5cm;
  • Finally, large letters (category 4), like A4 documents, certificates, magazines, CDs or DVDs in case are limited to 750g, 35.3cm, 25cm and 2.5cm respectively.

  

First class postage rates 2015

Postage rates differ, not only depending on the size and weight class categories, but also depending on whether normal stamps are used, or franking – the latter choice allowing measurable discounts. All prices are exempt from VAT.

 

Stamps

  • Postage for small parcels (category 1) will cost £3.20 and £5.45 for items up to 1kg and 2kg respectively;
  • Stamps for medium parcels (category 2) will cost £5.65, £8.90, £15.85, £21.90, £33.40 for items up to 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, 10kg and 20kg respectively.
  • Postage for letters (category 3) up to 100g will cost 62 pence;
  • Stamps for large letters (category 4) will cost 93p, £1.24, £1.65, £2.38, for items up to 100g, 250g, 500g, 750g respectively;

  

Franking

  • Postage for small parcels (category 1) will cost £3.20 and £5.45 for items up to 1kg and 2kg respectively;
  • Stamps for medium parcels (category 2) will cost £5.65, £8.90, £15.85, £21.90, £33.40 for items up to 1kg, 2kg, 5kg, 10kg and 20kg respectively;
  • Postage for letters (category 3) up to 100g will cost 62 pence;
  • Stamps for large letters (category 4) will cost 93p, £1.24, £1.65, £2.38, for items up to 100g, 250g, 500g, 750g respectively.

   

First class postage related equipment 

Stamp books, stamp sheets and stamp rolls

If a business needs to prepare for the sending out of a large quantity of mailing items using first class postage, stamps may be purchased in bulk formats, exclusively from Royal Mail.

  • Stamp books contain 4 to 12 stamps ;
  • Stamp sheets usually contain 50 or 100 stamps;
  • Stamp rolls have 1 000 or 10 000 stamps.

 

Pre-inked and self-inking stamps

Pre-inked and self-inking stamps with a “first class” or “first class mail” label can be purchased to confirm the item is sent using first class postage, which can be useful when franking is used.

Pre-inked stamps will allow up to 1 000 impressions before a refill, while self-inking stamps rely on even more durable inking pads. Both can be obtained from many online or high-street shops.

 

Prepaid envelopes

Prepaid, self-sealing envelopes with first class postage may be obtained from Royal Mail in various quantities, with or without window. However, only envelopes corresponding to the lowest category of first class letters are currently sold, that is, up to 100g.

 

 

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