Thursday, April 04, 2013

Going Postal

E - F - A
U - R - F
H - U - C

Rub a chef up the wrong way (5)

* * *

So this is one of my fave bugbears. The Royal Mail. There seems to be a very blinkered view of strategy by the top brass. Is it really true that everything possible is being done to make it look profitable ahead of the sell-off this year? With absolutely no vision for the future? 

They killed their Christmas/Easter card business with the 2nd Class price rise - and, as many people had stocked up on stamps before the price hike, this year will be far worse. But that will be after the sale so who cares? Parcel prices have just gone up again on Tuesday. Fantastically stupid move that moves the RM virtually out of the small-company parcel business completely. I sell books - and traditionally, book orders to bookshops are free of shipping costs. Therefore, those costs are crucial to my bottom line. A normal order for 5 copies of Night Climbers in paperback @ 2kg now costs £8 to mail within the UK. My profit on those 5 books is £10. Ergo I make a whole £2. 

Or, I can use Parcel2Go - one of several new delivery companies taking advantage of RM's shortsightedness. They'll deliver it for a fiver. I've just increased my profit 150%. Goodbye Royal Mail.

I used to do mailshots to indie bookshops. It just about paid for itself before 2nd class stamps went to 50p. Now it doesn't.

Imagine if they took a pro-active measure. What if they introduced a 3rd class mail? The mailman's going to be delivering anyway so why not? Franking machines will only reduce small bulk mailings like mine a little. I would jump on a chance to mail bookshops for delivery in two weeks' time at 20p a letter. And I'm not alone.

But I guess Ms Greene's bonus for selling our institution will be plumper this way. Whatever.