After the latest soar in Royal Mail prices, I decided that I’d ‘test the water’ with other delivery services. With my latest eBay weekend (while trying to de-clutter and add some more funds to my driving lessons jar), I chose to try out collect plus with my five parcels.
Although all of my items were significantly lower than 2kg in weight (which is the lowest collect plus pricing band), I always send eBay parcels recorded. Although Royal Mail may have been pennies less for two of the parcels, collect plus was cheaper for the rest (and was more convenient).
Initially I didn’t know Collect+ required payment before sending, I actually presumed you took it to one of the Collect+ stores and paid at the till. However, you pay online and receive a ‘postage label’ which needs to be printed. When I did find this out, I was a little worried because our printer was low on ink, but thankfully there was enough! During the process I realised how handy the system actually was i.e. you can use PayPal payments made by eBay buyers to pay for the postage directly. Sometimes the cost of sending parcels requires me to make a cash withdrawal from the bank, so it was rather convenient e.g. if I was paying at the till, it would have been £19.95.
After the parcels were packaged and the postage labels were printed and attached, all that was left was to take them to my local Collect+ store. There, you just go to the till, and they give you a receipt – very simple!
When buying the postage (through eBay), eBay automatically lists the parcels having been dispatched and adds a tracking number. However what I later found out was that eBay adds the ‘barcode number’ but you actually need the seven character tracking code which can be found on the receipt.
The results of my deliveries are below:
1. Booked Sat 27th April 15:48 – Arrived Thurs 2nd May
2. Booked Sat 27th April 15:48 – Arrived Thurs 2nd May
3. Booked Sat 27th April 15:48 – Arrived Thurs 2nd May
4. Booked Sat 27th April 15:48 – Arrived Thurs 2nd May
5. Booked Tues 30th April 15:24 – Arrived Wed 8th May
Collect plus states that parcels are normally delivered in 3-5 working days, and the four orders sent on the 27th April arrived within 4 working days. The 5th parcel sent on the 30th April arrived within 6 working days (excluding the bank holiday).
All of the parcels arrived within a reasonable time scale, and were trackable the day after being ‘dropped off’. The issue with eBay adding the barcode number automatically I feel is not down to Collect+, although Collect+ may find it valuable to arrange with eBay a solution.
I was happy with the service offered by Collect plus, it was convenient for me, the parcels all arrived in good condition and they provided a lower cost option for me. Unfortunately, even though the delivery service, delivery cost and the estimated time was accurate on eBay, I received ratings of 1 and 2 stars for delivery (I really could go off on one about some eBay members!). So I'd now be wary of using the economy option if selling on eBay.
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