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Components Dispatch and Post|
Updated 27th March 2020
To completely minimise my visits to the local shop
containing a post Office counter, I've found a parcel
postbox on a local industrial estate 1km from the
house. I'll be using this to ship all bulkier
items using correct postage attached to the parcel with
normal postage stamps. To the same end, most items
that are sent in large letter packets which will be
distributed among a few local postboxes where there may
be too many to fit in the large standard postbox on the
I wash my hands, use the hand sanitiser left-over from
the last flu, and follow all UK recommended
precautions. I will close down Useful Components
immediately if I get any cold-like symptoms.
Brexit. So Good, it's on Both
appears that due to the impending UK EU exit, CN22
customs stickers now need to be applied to all packets,
and indeed I am now doing that. The efficient
Germans were particularly prompt in applying this new
rule very strictly, one might think about two months
prior to it actually being required. Unfortunately
this resulted in three packets being sent back and one
lost. Sorry for the inconvenience on those.
Packets to Germany and other EU countries are now
arriving as usual.
I've been happily sending packets to Australia, the USA, and many
other non-EU countries for years now. Australia
have instituted a new system of tax pre-payment for
ebay which appears to work, and all the other non-EU
countries seem to have some value limit before you
will get stung for internal VAT/sales tax when your
packet lands. This varies but tends to be about
$12 and items are marked by me as is appropriate to
their intrinsic value. Whatever the UK Brexit
disaster of self-imposed trade sanctions brings, I'm
open for business to anywhere that I can successfully
General Dispatch and post.
All packets containing small items are standard letterbox size,
so you should never have to go and collect your packet from the
sorting office unless you have requested a signed-for
delivery. The packets are not waterproof, but waterproof
thermally printed stickers are used for the address. The
boxes are made from recycled cardboard, and very small items are
sent in padded envelopes with additional protection.
Larger orders might be in a larger packet. Your address
will appear exactly as you type it in your ebay address fields,
so it needs to be correct to avoid delays. You don't need to
write or select 'default' in empty fields; It confuses the
postpeople and their systems.
Dispatch Time, UK Mail
During Monday to Thursday items paid for before 13:00 are usually
packed and marked as sent by the evening of the same day, but will
always be packed and marked as sent within one working day of
payment unless the shop notices or item descriptions state
otherwise. You should receive an automatic email note when
the item is marked as sent, but I've found that these frequently
get blocked or ebay systems fail to send them. If a UK item
is marked as sent, it has definitely been packed, it is in the
post bag and it will always be posted within 24 hours.
Postal Charges, UK Mail
Within the UK you will only ever be charged one postage charge,
and that starts at £1.48 for 2nd class post for everything.
You can add any number of the same or different items with no
additional postage charge. You need to use the shopping basket
on ebay.co.uk and pay for them altogether for this to work.
it goes wrong, let me know and I will refund the excess.
UK Post Method and Late Packets
Economy post within the UK is sent by second class Royal
Mail. "Standard" post within the UK is sent by first class
Royal Mail. These are more than 99% reliable and packets
generally arrive in good time. I don't recommend 1st class
signed-for, as this system is despised by the postpeople who
often have to write out a card and carry the item back to the
sorting office if there is no answer at the delivery
address. In my experience this actually increases the
probability of your packet being lost.
If your UK packet has not arrived within 10 working days
of it being marked as sent, I will always resend it or refund your
money at your choice. This is my responsibility under
consumer law and there is no reason to purchase extra
insurance. On these rare occasions you will never lose out,
but you may have to wait a little.
If you need something the next working day Monday to Thursday,
then before 13:00 on the previous day, I may well be able to send
it next day special delivery by special arrangement. This
will cost £9.80, but it isn't an option on the listings due to me
being unable to guarantee availability. The best way is to
send a site message before buying to see if I'll be able to reach
a Post Office by the collection deadline that afternoon.
International mail is sent at least twice a week Monday to
Thursday and often more frequently. Unless the shop
notices or item descriptions state otherwise, orders will always
be sent in this time-frame. You should receive an automatic
email note when any item is marked as sent, but I've found that
these frequently get blocked or are not sent by ebay systems,
especially for overseas customers. If an international
mail item is marked as sent, it has definitely been packed, it
is in the post bag and it will always be shipped on the
following international dispatch.
Postal Charges, Economy International Airmail
Prior to a few months ago, using international postage
rate tables as a seller would result in misleading prices
being displayed in search results on overseas sites.
I first reported this as an ebay site problem about five
years ago. Yes, Really! After much telephoning
over months I was finally told it would take two years to
fix. It took five. The incompetence of ebay boggles
the mind. This was fixed recently however, and this
finally allows me to send packets to Italy and some other
countries with lossy postal services. If the economy
international post price comes up as £12.95 in the postage
rates tab, you're in a country with a lossy postal service
and unfortunately, it's the only option available. A
tracked, signed, or tracked and signed service will be
used. It's expensive for small single items, but
don't forget it's a flat rate for any quantity of anything
from the shop provided that you pay for everything
together using shopping cart.
"Economy International Post," that being standard airmail
via DPD-LaPoste to most other EU countries, Australia, the
USA, New Zealand and many others remains a sensible price
for any amount of anything, and is about 98%
reliable. You'll always get a refund if it doesn't
arrive in 31 days but it's usually there within 14 working
Economy International Airmail
Post Method and Late Packets
All economy international airmail now ships by DPD-Geopost / La
Poste International Priority Airmail. This service is an
untracked airmail service which has proved to be very
reliable. Your packet should arrive via the standard
national post carrier in your country. The stated delivery
time is ten business days, but please be aware that it will be
much longer than this for about 10% of packets. This is
the same for all standard airmail carriers. I don't know
why this should be, and I assume that there are random samples
taken for security checking for which there is a queue of
varying length depending on the season and security alert state.
All packets will now be marked with a CN22 customs sticker
indicating the contents and the approximate value.
Depending on your country, sales tax-like charges might be
incurred for higher value items. Most countries operate a
system where there is no charge below a certain value, and many
small items will pass below this value unhindered. If
there is a charge, you will always be notified by some system
operated by the national post carrier, and the packet will not
be lost because of this.
If your packet has not arrived after 20 working days in the EU
or 25 working days in the rest of the world, I will always
re-send it or refund at your choice. This is my
responsibility under consumer law and there is no reason to
purchase extra insurance. On these rare occasions you will
never lose out, but you may have to wait a little.
I may not be able to send at all to some countries, but I am
generally willing to give it a try if it is actually possible.
International Tracked Airmail Service
"Royal Mail Tracked" is available to almost all countries and
claims a 3 to 5 working day transit time. This is fully
tracked only within the UK. The service claims some degree
of expedited passage through customs but this is not
guaranteed. I may not be able to send at all to some
countries, but I am generally willing to give it a try if it is
I only use courier services such as DHL by special
arrangement. Be prepared to pay an extraordinary amount,
in the region of £50 GBP for any item.