Spill the beans... on cutting Post Office queues (revisited)

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  • Noggin_the_Nog_2
    Noggin_the_Nog_2 Posts: 57 Forumite
    edited 12 August 2009 at 2:23PM
    If you're posting a parcel and don't want to queue for ages, you can weigh it at home and find out the postage online with this Royal Mail price finder. Of course you'll need to have enough stamps of various denominations ready. Once you've got the postage on, even if your parcel won't fit into the postbox, most post offices have a sack near the till that you can just put your parcel into rather than queue. I would suggest erring on the safe side if you're weighing your own parcel using ordinary kitchen scales as they're probably not that accurate - if you're close to the weight where it might cost a bit extra, I'd pay that rather than risk the recipient having to pay a penalty at the other end.

    Also, if you're selling something on Ebay, they have a facility where you can pay online for a postage label including postage, again avoiding the post office.

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  • elfen
    elfen Posts: 10,213 Forumite
    Oh, also if they have them, try the Post and Go machines. Say what size it is, put it on the thingy and it'll say how much it costs. Can do more than one item too and just print out the stamps (but remember to put them on in the correct order)
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  • Hezzawithkids
    Hezzawithkids Posts: 3,018 Forumite
    Once you've got the postage on, even if your parcel won't fit into the postbox, most post offices have a sack near the till that you can just put your parcel into rather than queue.

    Also, if you're selling something on Ebay, they have a facility where you can pay online for a postage label including postage, again avoiding the post office.

    But that doesn't get you a certificate of posting does it? Not that I've ever needed one yet but there's always a first time so I will always queue up to get one rather than risk it (especially given the antics of some buyers out there as reported on this forum :rolleyes:)
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  • goanmad
    goanmad Posts: 1,644 Forumite
    Our Sub Post Office is truly amazing! We drop our parcels off with the type of postage required written on the parcel and then collect our recipts and pay the next day.
    It was due for closure last year but a massive petition from all it's grateful customers gave it a reprieve.
  • mnt99york
    mnt99york Posts: 129 Forumite
    Speak to them. I used to do Paypal postage, and they politely asked that I didn't do that as they didn't make much from it, and said that I should support local businesses. I pointed out that I didn't want to be in there for hours each day, so they now let me simply drop off my parcels (I don't even have to queue, I can just go straight to the side window), and they sort them for me. I pay what I owe a couple of times a week.

    Works great for both of us.
  • Alloydy_2
    Alloydy_2 Posts: 16 Forumite
    I used to go to my local PO. Regularly 15 to 20 minute queues, and then 2 of the most miserable faces I have ever seen serving me - which also took 15 to 20 mins with an ever increasing queue forming behind me. Surprise surprise, royal Mail closed this local, and "forced" me into travelling an extra quarter of a mile in the other direction.

    I am now greeted with a huge smile, whereupon I pop my items behind the counter, and return later in the day, or sometimes the next to settle my bill. Bearing in mind I spent over £5K last year on postage, I wonder who is now kicking themselves!!

    A smile costs nothing, and I often wonder what I would say to the two miserable !!!!!!s who used to run my local if I bumped into them now.

    Ebay might be a lot of things, but to Royal Mail, it must have been the biggest lifeline ever thrown.
  • amcluesent
    amcluesent Posts: 9,425 Forumite
    I go to my local Mail Centre (which is a few mins in the car), they open silly early so I can get everything posted and still get the 07:30 train to work.

    They hate peeps faffing about buying postage, but take pre-paid stuff in a trice. Obviously at that time in the morning, it's not busy :)
  • toao
    toao Posts: 23 Forumite
    I print out my own postage and take direct to the sorting office, Very handy, Now i know them i just take straight round the back and load directly onto their trolleys, Its a couple of miles further than my local PO but well worth it if i have alot of items.
  • m5rcc
    m5rcc Posts: 1,544 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    London's Mayfair branch is notoriously busy and even with ten kiosks, the queue is outside the PO. One trick is to get a quote from the FX kiosk and then not go ahead with it and then do what you actually came in to do. Cheeky, but effective!
  • Lethal
    Lethal Posts: 299 Forumite
    1. Get Certificate of Posting form filled in before you go.
    2. Use the Royal Mail post office locator to search for your closest Post Offices, then go to the one which is in the least busy area. Next to my house i've got 2 within 0.5 miles and 1 within 0.6 miles. Two are on high streets whilst the third isn't. I always go to the third one as the biggest queue i have seen there is two people. So choose by level of how busy the post office is rather than convenience
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