Friday 7 December 2012

Do's and Don'ts for Christmas Posting

Every December I think to myself 'why do customers do the same stupid things year after year, I should write to Moya about this.' It is an annoying time of year because people who don't send a letter from one year's end to the next suddenly start putting things into the postal system. Often they have really bad handwriting. If you are about to post your seasonal greetings cards and parcels here are a few bits of advice.

  1. Know the correct address of your F&F  -  if you are not sure check it. Go to the Royal Mail Postcode Finder and be sure to copy it down carefully. Letters are sorted by a machine that reads the postcode, if you get it wrong the letter will be delayed by being sent to the wrong office.
  2. Check the size of your card and put the correct postage; you can use the price finder tool on the Royal Mail website to check, some larger cards may need a 'large letter' stamp. If you put something, even a small item, into the envelope with the card and it is fatter than 5mm you need a 'large letter' stamp. Even though it's Christmas we will surcharge your F&F if you have not put enough postage on, this will include a £1 admin fee on top of the unpaid postage. 
  3. Even if you are posting it to somewhere local and think the intended destination is obvious always write the full address. If not it may end up mis-sorted and will disappear down the black hole of the returned letters office.
  4.  If you can't remember the house number don't just miss it out or put a question mark and hope for the best, give someone a call and find it out. The road might be very long, and while I personally would probably go to the bother of checking through to find the right house some less dedicated people might just send it back as 'address incomplete'. 
  5. Do not write 'Granma and Grandad' or 'Auntie Jean', use the person's full name, i.e. with surname, that way, if you have the number wrong or it is unclear or the ink gets smudged, there is a chance of it arriving at the correct house.
  6. While it is very nice if you want to get your young child to write the address, we very much want to encourage youngsters to use the postal system, please write it again in clear printing underneath. 
  7. If you know you have poor handwriting then please PRINT.
  8. Do not use fancy Christmassy gold or silver pens, especially on red envelopes, they are illegible.
  9. Please seal the envelopes on your cards, do not just tuck the flap inside. This is especially important on large cards as other smaller cards can become caught inside and transported to the wrong office. 
  10. While we're on the subject of size, don't buy cards so tiny that you can barely fit the address and a stamp on, they are just plain annoying to deal with and can get lost at the back of the sorting frame.
  11. If sending a card to someone you have not heard from since last Christmas put a return address on the back, that way if they have moved you will get the card back and you won't have to wonder why you don't hear from them any more.
  12. In fact the 'put a return address on the back' rule applies to everything you put into the postal system at any time.
  13. If you've moved in the last year post early, and then all the people you forgot to send change-of-address cards to will know where you are.
  14. DO NOT just wrap your parcels in Christmas wrapping paper - it is not robust enough to withstand being passed through the system and will arrive in tatters . It annoys me that post offices still seem to take parcels from people that have been badly wrapped. Also don't add ribbons, they won't survive either. Use brown paper.
  15. If you know your F&F are not at home during the day consider sending your parcel to their work address. If you are ordering something online and you are not at home during the day consider having it delivered to your work address.
  16. Beware slightly of those padded enveloped, they are pretty good but I always add extra sellotape to the seal. Buy a size that fits the item reasonably snugly, if it can slide around inside the envelope it is more likely to tear, particularly important for items with sharp corners.
  17. Bear in mind that packets are tipped in and out of sacks several times in the course of their journey, so wrap them accordingly. Anything fragile will survive much better packaged in a box rather than a padded envelope.
  18. Last posting dates can be found here.
(Disclaimer: this is not official Royal Mail advice)


  1. Unfortunately my work has a blanket " no personal post/packages" for anything, the meanies! :-(

    And a confession - my friend did send a card to me once and used gold writing on a red envelope but lo and behold and yay for you fab post people, the card got to me safely!! Yay!

    Take care

  2. I'm guilty of small cards - that way I don't have to fill so much blank with 'news' - sorry, I'll do better next time.


Thanks for stopping by. Thoughts, opinions and suggestions (reading or otherwise) always most welcome.