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1st Class Stamp Cost Rises to 95p

From the 4th of April 2022, the price of a 1st Class stamp will increase by 10p to 95p and the price of a 2nd Class stamp will increase by 2p to 68p.

That’s a massive rise in the cost of a 1st Class stamp and would appear to be a clear statement of intent that they’d rather you just settle for 2nd Class or not post letters at all… parcels is where they see their future. Indeed Royal Mail say that they have considered these pricing changes very carefully in light of the long term structural decline in letter usage and rising inflation. Letter volumes have declined by more than 60% since their peak in 2004/5, and around 20% since the start of the pandemic.

Overall, these changes are broadly in line with inflation and are necessary to ensure the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service remains sustainable. The Universal Service Obligation (USO) requires Royal Mail to deliver letters to 31 million home and business addresses across the UK six days a week at the same price.

– Royal Mail

What we’d really like to see is if the price of a Stamp is now going to cost 50% more than it did 10 years ago, (In 2012 the price of a 1st Class stamp rose to 60p), whether we’ll get the service to match the price. In their latest Quality of Service report they only achieved 76.8% of 1st Class mail being delivered on time (against a target of 93%).

We understand that many companies and households are finding it hard in the current economic environment, and we will always keep our prices as affordable as possible.

Whilst the number of letters our postmen and women deliver has declined from around 20 billion a year to around 7 billion since 2004/5, the number of addresses they have to deliver to has grown by around 3.5 million in the same period. We need to carefully balance our pricing against declining letter volumes and increasing costs of delivering to a growing number of addresses six days a week.

As customer needs change and we see a greater shift from letters to parcels, it is vital that the Universal Service adapts to stay relevant and sustainable. These price changes are necessary to ensure we can continue to maintain and invest in the one-price-goes-anywhere Universal Service for future generations.

– Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail

Royal Mail say that their stamp prices remain among the best value in Europe compared to other postal operators, with their research showing that the European average price for 1st Class letters (0-100g) is £1.36.

Royal Mail Parcel Price Reductions

While the price of a 1st Class Stamp will rise 10p from the 4th of April, many parcel prices will be going down.

With these price reductions, if you normally pack up parcels over the weekend ready for shipment on a Monday then on the weekend starting Friday the 1st of April you would be advised to hold off purchasing your postage for most parcels until Monday the 4th.

New Royal Parcel Prices from 4th April

If you are posting a typical package up to 1kg, here is a sample of the new parcel prices. These prices are all based on you purchasing your postage online – if you buy stamps at the Post Office or have a business contract with Royal Mail then you’ll see different pricing.

Special Delivery by 1pm

Currently the parcel price for a 1kg Special Delivery by 1pm would cost you £8.85, from the 4th of April this drops to £8.45.

Small Parcel Tracked 24

The current cost for Tracked 24 for a small parcel is £5.46, from the 4th of April this drops to £5.45. But the band is expanded to include parcels up to 2kg instead of a limit of 1kg (previously 2kg parcels would cost £7.80 but will be £5.45).

Medium Parcel Tracked 48

The current cost for Tracked 48 for a small parcel is £7.26, from the 4th of April this drops to £6.35 and as with Tracked 24 the weight band covers parcels up to 2kg (as was previously the case for Tracked 24 parcel prices.

UK Standard

The cost for a 1kg small parcel sent 1st Class is currently £3.35. This changes to £3.95 but now includes parcels up to 2kg. A 1-2kg small parcel would previously have cost £5.07 so whilst it’ll cost more to post parcels up to 1kg there will be saving for heavier parcels.

Are these new stamps the Royal Mail Revolution?

The beloved postal service Royal Mail has been going for over 500 years now. You’ll have your own personal experiences with the service, whether it’s sending a card using one of their stamps, receiving a parcel from their little red vans, or having a friendly chat on the doorstep with your local postie. This delivery service has served the nation well, but maybe it’s time for some upgrades…

With the intention of providing customers with convenient and modern servicing, Royal Mail are now trialling the use of barcodes on stamps. Queen Elizabeth’s face has been the icon of the stamp for as long as we can remember, with a peel and a stick then your post is usually ready to go. But how would you feel about a unique barcode number being added alongside your 2nd class stamp?

Retailer Viking Direct will be behind the pilot scheme of around 20 million stamps which are now available to buy both through the retailer and via Royal Mail itself. The idea behind this scheme is to create more transparency for the customer of the process behind the mail delivery; they pride themselves on doing whatever they can to meet customers’ ever-changing needs. However, all we know is that this barcode will be sitting next to the perforated line, but we aren’t aware of the exact function behind it which we’re guessing will be released depending on how the trials go.

Most likely, the barcode will make it more efficient for when customers have a missing parcel, act as an easier delivery location tracker or just be a form of confirmation. Either way, we’re intrigued by these new stamps and are excited to hear feedback of whether they’re here to stay.