Following on from my ‘Fast Post’ tip in mid-January (which you can read here if you missed it), and whilst chatting with eBay workshop attendee Gordon on Sunday, I learned something new too!
Can these postal services increase your eBay business productivity?
I don’t know whether it’s because I live out in the sticks, but Gordon mentioned ‘Post & Go’ as a method of posting your eBay parcels.
Now, I don’t mind admitting that I had never heard of this service – and neither had quite a few other people – so I’ve done some investigating and can bring you up to speed about it today. It wasn’t easy finding this information either as Royal Mail seems to be quite shy about publicizing this service!
What is Post & Go?
Well as the name implies, ‘Post & Go’ is a self-service system where you can literally ‘post’ and ‘go’!
If you spot a big red monster of a machine in your local Post Office looking extremely menacing in the corner then the chances are that it’s a Post & Go machine! Here you can weigh letters and parcels all by yourself and print the necessary stamps. It caters for 1st and 2nd class, international and signed for postage – basically everything that you would normally queue up and do at the Post Office counter – and when you’re done you simply pay by cash or card via the machine.
The thing is that the Post Office has not actually been advertising these self-service machines anywhere – not even on their own website as far as I can see – which is probably one of the reasons that I (and many others) had not heard of this service! That coupled with the fact that I upon investigation I realised that the nearest Post & Go machine to where I live is over an hour away, so it’s not especially time efficient for me!
Anyway, you might be in luck and find one near you as there are quite a few Post & Go’s dotted around – apparently over 220 terminals in 146 Post Office branches – but the majority of them do seem to be in and around London and the bigger cities.
If you’d like to know whether there’s one near you, click here to get the most recent location list.
Now, having never used a Post & Go machine myself I’m afraid I can’t comment on how efficient or easy to use these machines are but I can definitely see the potential for speeding up the posting process (no more printing your own lables at home… no more queueing!)
So, if you are reading this and you are a regular Post & Go-er then please let me know how well (or not) it works for you! Especially if you are posting a large number of parcels each time you use it…
A new service from UK Mail
Now, still on the subject of postage, this week I also want to tell you about UK Mail, you’ve probably seen their vans around – white with a blue and red logo. Well, they are the largest independent parcel service in the UK and they have set up a new service called ipostparcels. You can visit their website at http://www.ipostparcels.com
What they wanted to provide was a user-friendly service which allowed customers to easily organise next day deliveries and collections at an affordable price. And this is the best bit – they did exactly that and have a specific ipost eBay service. How brilliant is that!
You can actually sync your eBay account to ipostparcels so that when you sell an item you can immediately, automatically, fill in the ‘quote and book’ form on their website with your sold item details – this in turn gives you access to next day delivery. You can link to eBay here.
Don’t worry, eBay won’t release your account or password details so it’s perfectly safe. ipostparcels also offers discounts for multiple consignments and so is ideal for you as an eBay seller!
Here’s how it works:
You simply name where you would like your parcels collected from (home/work/etc.) and where you would like them delivered and ipostparcels will collect and deliver with a fast next day service! This way you can guarantee a quick delivery which means your customers will be really happy! With all orders you have the option to select delivery before 9am, 10.30am or Noon. You can also request pre and post delivery advice notifications by email or SMS text. The pre advice delivery is sent to your customer informing them that their delivery is on its way and when to expect it and if the delivery day is not convenient then your customer even has the option to rearrange it via SMS if you have included their mobile phone number at the time of booking.
This is absolutely fantastic customer service and can really help with positive feedback on your eBay account. Plus a proof of delivery is available with all bookings where a signature has been requested, so again this can help with any potential missing parcel disputes.
I think this is a great innovation that offers a viable alternative to queuing at the Post Office and is definitely one to look into as an eBay seller – especially if you need a fast delivery service at a low cost.
Look out Royal Mail!