Stamp price rise hit

Time 10:19 am, December 28, 2008

Price of a stamp up in AprilFIRST and second class stamp prices are to rise in April 2009, by 3p a letter – to 39p and 30p respectively.

The price rise is for standard letters weighing up to 100g. The confusing ‘large letter’ prices rise to 61p and 47p respectively.

This will impact on dealers’ mailout activity. It potentially pushes up the price of a 10,000-strong mailshot by £300.

Despite the price rises, Royal Mail claims stamped mail will remain a loss leader for the business. Stamp prices are also still ‘among the lowest in Europe’.

Franked machine is a way to save on mailouts. It cuts 3p from the price of first class mail – and reduces second class standard mail to 25p, a 5p discount.

There are also bigger discounts for machineable mail, and some business services have lower than inflation price increases.

Luisa Fulci, Royal Mail’s director of marketing services, said: Business customers will see price increases averaging 4.2 per cent, but the changes include a range of measures to ensure that both large and small businesses can get the best value for money from Royal Mail’s services.

‘We are committed to ensuring that prices remain as competitive as possible, while complying with the price controls set by the regulator, and ensuring that Royal Mail can continue to fund the one-price-goes-anywhere stamped mail service to the UK’s 27 million addresses – against the backdrop of greater competition and falling mail volumes.’

Deregulation of the postal service means there are now many competitors to Royal Mail. Many offer extremely competitive bulk postage rates to businesses. Mail volumes are also falling, by around 7 per cent a year.

The full details of new prices are published on Royal Mail’s website.

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