[OT] Cheap postage

I sometimes see an item from a UK seller on Amazon which is so cheap that it hardly covers the cost of postage.
I pay 54p for a second class letter (74p if it's thicker than 0.5cm)
but some sellers must be paying a lot less than this.
What sort of prices are they paying?
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pamela a écrit :

At a car boot and a bit sceptical - I bought a pile of pre-franked envelopes for TNT Post, marked 'delivered by Royal Mail' for just a few pence. All had a return address on them, which needed deleting. As said, I was sceptical, but I have had none returned as not delivered. They cost just a few pence each.
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On 05/03/2016 12:54, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

But you have broken the law. Send him down.
Cheers
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Syd

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wrote:

I just got a card from moonpig.com. They are based in Guernsey, the envelope was not franked, it had a Guernsey stamp on it that someone had licked and stuck on. (It was cancelled)
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Graham.

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Probably, the seller has, but then who has not used a post paid reply envelope with a label over the original address? Brian
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On 12:41 6 Mar 2016, Brian Gaff wrote:

That's a new one on me. What will the criminal classes think of next? :-)
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Rape and a bit of shoplifting?
--
Adam


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On 06/03/2016 12:41, Brian Gaff wrote:

Even re-using an unfranked stamp is illegal, although I doubt there are many/any prosecutions.
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And its much harder to do now with our stamps that come on a sheet of backing paper that you peel them off from instead of licking the back of the stamp etc.
Anyone got a good way of getting those stamps off the original envelope so they can be reused ?
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http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/RM_Business_Price_Guide_Mar_2016_ENG_V8.pdf
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On 13:44 5 Mar 2016, Peter Johnson wrote:

That document quotes (on page 7) the same prices as I said I was paying.
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On 05/03/2016 13:44, Peter Johnson wrote:

That shows that for 2nd class the price for a small item sent 2nd class can be as low as 37p, a good bit lower than the 55p for using a stamp and 64p for a "large" item. I suppose that some of the items sold on eBay for around a pound actually only cost a few pence each in bulk, so that there is still some profit even after postage and packing, but there cannot be much.
What has surprised me recently is the speed of delivery: in the last fortnight I've ordered from two separate eBay traders smallish low-value items and chosen the cheapest postal option (one was post free, meaning included in the price). In both cases the estimated delivery time was 3-5 days. In fact both were delivered the day after I ordered, and one in just over 12 hours from placing the order. One was delivered by Amazon (but that wasn't where I ordered it from) and one by Yodel. If this happens frequently, and people get to know, then hardly anyone will pay extra for 1st class postage or for Amazon's premium delivery service. My guess is that Amazon are gearing up for the delivery of fresh supermarket produce, but I don't know about Yodel.
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Clive Page

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On 16:49 5 Mar 2016, Clive Page wrote:

I scanned the pdf for what you're referring to and saw "37p" on pages 7 and 9.
How does a vendor qualify to use "Account (OBA code BPL)" as mentioned on page 7?
Similarly for "Mailmark Franking" on page 9?
I know is some poor soul, who recently sent me a small lightweight item which fitted in an ordinary envelope, paid a whopping ?2.70. Yet others pay much less.
I'm interested because, in the end, the buyer pays the cost of delivery.

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Don't go there!
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Just noticed this one: http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/RoyalMail_2016_Online_Prices.pdf
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On 13:48 5 Mar 2016, Peter Johnson wrote:

Page 5 is no different to what I said.
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I get the same with electronic parts from China via Ebay. Often with a total cost little more than UK postage would be for the same item. They do take several weeks to arrive - but are delivered at the local end by the PO. I suppose there might be some form of reciprocal arrangement with China - but can't see 'us' posting things in that direction as much.
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*I took an IQ test and the results were negative.

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On 14:21 5 Mar 2016, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

If the sender of this item from China paid 74p (as I would have to) for second class postage for the UK portion of the delivery then there isn't much left!
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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AIUI it's a troll on the postal treaties. Countries accept international mail on the basis that money from sending mail from a country pays for deliveries into that country: no money changes hands internationally.
This was fine in the days of sending letters, because most letter traffic is two-way, so senders balance out receivers. It also balances out different costs reasonably well: it costs more to send and deliver mail in Switzerland (where wages are high) than in Mali (where they aren't).
It doesn't work when the traffic is mostly one-way - Royal Mail are delivering this stuff for free and there's nothing they can do about it: jacking up the price of letters or packets to China won't help them.
What I can't quite work out is the shipping method... I suspect this is going air freight filling up unused spaces on flights (possibly commercial flights), which is why the timeline can be so variable. Going sea freight is about 30-35 days which is within the time estimate, but many things arrive quicker than this. Perhaps sea freight is used at busy periods of the year.
My most recent delivery from a Hong Kond seller was posted in Vientiane, Laos and others from Phillipines and Malaysia, so there's obviously something more complicated going on.
Theo (who generally buys from a UK seller if possible, but some stuff simply isn't available)
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On 15:41 5 Mar 2016, Theo wrote:

That would mean that the Republic of Bongo Bongo could accept containers full of mail destined for the UK from, say the US, and then require the UK post office to delivery it.
In return, Bongo Bongo receives a dozen dusty Christmas cards from the UK to deliver in a year. Come to think of it that's almost what seems to happen.
It starts to explain why some vitamins I recently ordered from New York came via Sweden.
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