Every now and again something occurs that I feel compelled to write about and this has been one of those occasions. At The Horse Diva we send out orders daily, using a courier and Royal Mail, and we have to say that throughout the year they both provide an excellent service at what has been a fairly reasonable price. However, this week we have been shocked by the increase in prices at Royal Mail. We did have some warning from our lovely local branch of post office that some changes would occur but we hadn’t realised the true impact of these alterations. The changes are vast and complicated but to summarise the price of sending parcels represent between an 11% and over 100% increase in charges from 2012 prices. Small packets can now only be a maximum depth of 8cm otherwise you face a significant increase in postage charges. We did have a bit of a laugh in the stock room today going around measuring some items to see if we can get them in an 8cm deep box! Can you imagine us at the next trade buying show, getting the tape measure out to see if we can affordably post new products? We do like a laugh but we don’t want this to be a deciding factor for the collections we provide- they will be less fabulous and far more flat!
To get back to my original point… not only have these prices suddenly increased, but business owners have not been clearly informed and unless I am missing something the changes have not been actively advertised. At The Horse Diva we are lucky enough to have picked up on these changes almost immediately, but larger companies who’s decision makers are not involved in the day to day running may not have been quite so quick to react, loosing valuable money and profits to their business.
Of course I understand that Royal Mail costs need to be covered but to me these sudden and dramatic changes seem to only result in one outcome… We are forever reading media articles about the diminishing high street, are we now facing the fall of the online shopping market as well? These prices are too high for small, quality businesses to swallow, yet unrealistic for shoppers to pay, especially during these difficult economic times. Will businesses all now turn to couriers to distribute their parcels, leaving Royal Mail extinct in the long run? I am no top notch business guru but that doesn’t sound like the best business strategy to me.
Here at The Horse Diva we are working hard to find the best compromise on our postage charges to ensure that our customers are fairly charged and we are able to sustain a viable business. However we would urge everyone to sign this petition I came across today (thank you to a very lovely twitter follower) and help us in campaigning against these changes.