Royal Mail increase in stamp prices

Ok, so from a sending mail perspective, this hardly affects me or my Wife because we hardly ever these days post anything, that includes Christmas/Birthday cards as we stopped doing that years ago, but for those where sending that sort of stuff including dare I say it, writing letters, is still very much a thing, then you’ll pleased to hear that despite making huge profits, Royal Mail is once again increasing the cost of stamps:

From a receiving perspective, well thankfully, mostly, our family and friends finally got the message some time back not to bother wasting their money on cards or stamps, so we don’t get that guff through the post any more. We do however order plenty of things online, so I suppose the price of products will go up as businesses need to cover their costs.

Me and the Wife didn’t in the end bother to send our old expired/change of address driving licences back to DVLA last year, purely because they expect you to pay for the postage to send them back. Absolute bloody cheek if you ask me! especially when we had to pay £14.99 each for a new photocard licence anyway, so I just cut the old ones up. Funny old thing, never had any correspondence from DVLA asking where our old photocard licences are.

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My mom is still old school and sends cards, so bought books of first and second class last Thursday for her, prior to price hike.

Should be enough to get her through the year.

They not useable in 2023 though, so hope she has none remaining then.

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No offence but, Royal Mail makes pittance in profits. 12bn+ turnover and I think profits peaked at 700m due to pandemic buffed spending (when we got 80% of wages to sit at home and couldn’t spend socially). Regularly it has been 300m.

I have a relative who works fairly decently up the ladder and they’re trying to cost cut and gain more profits so they can invest in the longer term. Right now they’ve barely got a pulse.

Think about it this way: they have legal obligations, far more than DPD/DHL and have to compete with them, while offering a cheaper service

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As obliquely referred to above, Royal Mail are changing the design of their stamps and most of the current stamps in issue will not be valid after 31 January 2023.

Details of the changes and instructions on how you can swap your current stamps for the new designs are at https://www.royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps

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Purely from a customer perspective ( and I’ll admit my usage is negligible) the cost of the stamp has always struck me as excellent value.

Given what actually happens to get the envelope from the post box to the letterbox at the other end I’d say a quid is pretty good.

As @Recchan indicates, mail delivery isn’t a level playing field. With 3rd party deliverers snapping at RM’s heels, it surely requires agile thinking to keep The Post Office in the game.

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Totally agree! You can send something from Penzance to Land’s End for a quid, that seems pretty good value to me

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Very much so. People don’t understand that Royal Mail can’t charge the premiums that DPD etc can do with no care in the world; for example, Royal Mail have millions of U.K. households that they have to visit 6 days a week. If they cut that back (the area) or days, to 5/week, RM would save millions.

Pretty sure that most people don’t need post 6 days a week, too.

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The problem is that it costs far more than that £1 to send even a small letter across that distance, so Royal Mail have to hope that more local postings and parcels cross-subsidise the standard universally-priced letter posting. This does present a difficulty for them as there is definitely a £1 psychological barrier which the public won’t be happy about paying, so they can’t really increase prices much more.

I suppose the other difficulty is that, while moving something across the country for under £1 is objectively excellent value, the alternatives (email, other online services, etc) are usually free. It is also difficult to cross-subsidise letters with parcel revenue when there is heavy cost pressure on parcel pricing too due to the other competitors in the market.

I’m very much a digital person, but I’ll admit there is still something special about a physical birthday card or Christmas card!

I have been impressed by Royal Mail’s recent digital initiatives too - getting your postman to collect parcels from your door, their app, and a much better website than they had before.

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I agree and now bar codes [or QR codes] on stamps. Play a birthday message [or anything else] by scanning the code. All for a quid! Brilliant value. R-

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Never get royal mail bashing. Try and take something to the otherside of the country for 95p or 68p.

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Some silly analogies here.

It’s network economics - the same reason a dedicated fibre optic connection is much more expensive than using a BT or Virgin connection ultimately shared by other customers.

But so much of the subject quality is lost using that explanation, I feel. Folk have a real soft spot for Royal Mail.

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This is in itself a confused analogy tho - not least because private FTTP providers (like CityFibre) are popping up left right and centre with local offerings (which I think would be analogous to a packet courier) to rival Openreach (which hold the universal service obligation in that marketplace) - and the service they offer is comparable and often cheaper in price.

The internet is by definition a shared platform - your fibre line terminates in a server somewhere beyond which you are subject to the same bottlenecks as all other traffic.

Network economics apply but the comparison here is reductionist to the point it’s not really helpful.

Not that I have a better one to offer.

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I actually think @Oberoth was referring to a “leased line” or dedicated uncontended line compared to standard “residential” grade broadband. In that case, there is a difference although I accept your point that, ultimately, there will always be bottlenecks elsewhere in the network.

Yes but Royal Mail still has to fulfil DHL level service while charging a lot less? Try sending a letter via DHL from London to Manchester. Will cost more than the quid it costs via Royal Mail and Royal Mail will also pretty much go at the same speed as DHL (next-day is common for First Class)

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Royal Mail 1st class (letter) is not in any way comparable to DHL’s 1 day service.

DHL charge the same rate for sending a piece of paper as a 15kg 60cm cube, which will come with full point to point tracking. The closest comparable service would be Special Delivery but I think it’s more accurate to state they simply don’t compete on low-value letter delivery.

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Yes, a local fire broadband provider is broadly comparable with Openreach or Virgin Media. A dedicated point to point connection would be substantially more expensive hence why people use VPNs.

Any network service with a flat fee will usually mean that exotic locations will be subsidised by the mundane locations - there is nothing special about it.

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