If you have any need to send items in the post, you’ll know it can be a nerve wracking experience as you wait for them to be delivered. Of course it’s actually very rare that items are lost or damaged during transit, but it is often still at the forefront of your mind as you wait for your delivery to get through. Sending any item by post can be worrying enough, but you’ll feel the pressure even more when the item you’re sending is very expensive.
Here Dakota Murphey, working with UK based parcel broker Rand Logistics – provides her top tips for any time that you need to send an expensive item by post.
Protect your customers and protect yourself
Remember that when you send an expensive item by post you need to take steps that keep the package safe – this is both for your customer’s protection and for your protection. The vast majority of customers who buy something from you simply wish to receive their item in good time and in good condition. In order to ensure that those customers receive the best possible experience you need to make sure that the items are properly packaged, insured and sent.
Equally, however, when sending high worth items, taking these steps is also a way to minimise the risk placed on you. If an item is damaged or lost in transit the burden will fall on you to replace it or refund the customer. Equally you need to be aware that there are inevitably some customers who are not genuine or who would take advantage of a situation if it presented itself. So to protect yourself from potentially fraudulent activities, you need to ensure the delivery of items is recorded and you are insured for any potential loss.
Of course, expensive items can come in all shapes and sizes. It may be a large electrical item that you are sending or something as small as a fine piece of jewellery. So you will need to develop a bespoke packing system that works for you, depending on the kind of item you usually sell. There is always a trade-off between the amount of packing materials you use to ensure the item is as secure as possible, and the cost of the additional weight.
In general, for high value items it is worth accepting the hit of an extra few pounds on your delivery costs to ensure that the item remains in great condition rather than taking the risk of it being damaged or broken during the delivery.
It is always worth having insurance on any valuable items you send in the post so remove the risk of damage or loss that’s outside of your control. Some delivery services and couriers offer certain levels of insurance or compensation but depending on how much your items are worth, you may need to take out additional insurance. For example on Royal Mail’s Signed For service, the items are covered for loss and damage for up to £50. But if your item is worth more (even if it’s £51) you’ll have to take out your own insurance to be covered. No-one ever wants to be in a position where they need to claim compensation for loss, damaged or broken items, but it’s better to be safe rather than take the risk.
Using Royal Mail and other services
For some people who need to send off items, they only think of going to their local post office and using Royal Mail. But there are actually a huge range of delivery services available, and it’s always worth checking the different prices available. Depending on the size of the item and packaging it may be cheaper to use something specific.
For very high value items you could consider using a courier as there are many professional courier services available. For larger items, courier services are often cheaper than Royal Mail.
Signed For or Special Delivery
If you are sending through Royal Mail you will need to make a decision between their tracked delivery services – you can opt for Signed For or Special Delivery. But what’s the difference between the two and which one is best for you?
The Signed For service simply tracks the delivery and requires a signature from the recipient for proof of delivery. This gives you the simple peace of mind that the item will not simply be left somewhere and that you’ll know it was properly delivered. Signed For is available either first or second class.
Special Delivery is generally required for high value items that need to get to the recipient as soon as possible. Unlike Signed For, where you simply get confirmation of a parcel’s delivery, Special Delivery items can be tracked online.