How to Beat Royal Mail Price Increases

By Dan Barraclough | Published: 10 April 2017

This article will look at the history of stamp prices from 1985 to today, and present the differences between standard postage costs, franking costs, and Mailmark franking costs


Rising Stamp Prices

Last year, on the 26th of March, Royal Mail raised the prices of postage again. They stated that these price rises were necessary to “ensure the sustainability of the service”.

The price of a first class stamp increased by only 10p between 1985 and 2005, but has been rising rapidly since 2003.

Graph of stamp prices since 1985It seems the main reason for the soaring price of stamps is the popularity of online methods such as emails, texts, and social media. These have become the main channels for communication.

Royal Mail reported that the number of UK letters being sent declined by 6% between April and December of 2016.

However certain information and items simply cannot be sent electronically. Businesses such as online retailers and financial firms are still required to use physical postal services.

Therefore the upwards trend of postage prices could have a significant impact.Fortunately there is a simple way businesses can remain economically efficient. It is now more cost effective than ever to frank your mail.

▶ Find out more: Royal Mail franking license

Royal Mail Postal Savings

Expert Market UK took a deeper look into the prices of standard postage, compared with standard franking, and modern “Mailmark” franking, to find out the true benefit of these machines. The results may come as a relief to many businesses who rely on physical post.

The full data is laid out in the table below.

UK Delivery Normal Price Franking Price Savings with Standard Franking (%) Mailmark Franking Price Savings with Mailmark Franking (%)
1st Class Standard Letter (Up to 100g) £0.70 £0.64 8.5% £0.61 12.9%
1st Class Royal Mail Signed For® Letter (Up to 100g) £1.90 £1.84 3.6% £1.81 4.7%
1st Class Small Parcel (Up to 1kg) £3.55 £3.48 2.0% £3.48 2.0%
1st Class Small Signed For® Parcel (Up to 1kg) £4.55 £4.48 2.0% £4.48 2.0%
2nd Class Standard Letter (Up to 100g) £0.61 £0.47 23% £0.41 32.8%
2nd Class Royal Mail Signed For® Letter (Up to 100g) £1.81 £1.67 7.7% £1.61 11%
2nd Class Small Parcel (Up to 1kg) £3.00 £2.90 3.3% £2.90 3.3%
2nd Class Small Signed For® Parcel (Up to 1kg) £4.00 £3.90 2.5% £3.90 2.5%
Special Delivery™ UK Letter – Guaranteed Next Day By 1pm (Up to 100g, with £500 insurance) £6.60 £6.35 3.8% £6.35 3.8%
Special Delivery™ UK Letter – Guaranteed Next Day By 9am (Up to 100g, with £50 insurance) £19.28 £17.96 6.8% £17.96 6.8%
International Small Standard Letter (Up to 10g, any destination) £1.35 £1.25 7.4% £1.25 7.4%
International Standard Letter within Europe (Up to 100g) £1.60 £1.50 6.3% £1.50 6.3%
International Standard Letter outside Europe (Up to 100g) £2.30 £2.20 4.3% £2.20 4.3%

These comparisons make it clear that the investment of buying or renting a franking machine will pay for itself, in the savings you can make on each letter or parcel.

In particular, franking machines using the most recent technology- Mailmark barcodes in replacement of stamps- offer the quickest and greatest financial benefits.

This is true even for small businesses. For those who send just 250 standard second class letters a week, Mailmark savings of 32% mean that £45 of savings can be made on postage, in 5 working days alone.

Rental costs start at just £20 a week, so that still leaves £25 extra profit that a small business can make, without doing any extra work. In other words, that’ would be £1300 extra each year for free, simply by acquiring a franking machine.

For higher postage rates and larger businesses these savings are even greater, and can lead to many thousands of pounds added revenue each year.

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Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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