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Subject: Shipping to Ireland / Northern Ireland rss

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Paul Bryant
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I'm posting as we have a quandary and would appreciate some input.

We post parcels containing games to both Ireland and Northern Ireland and have contract rates from both Royal Mail and Parcelforce for these services.

Our >2kg contract rate for Northern Ireland via Parcelforce is significantly more than our contract rates to the rest of the UK (except Highlands and Islands of Scotland) but we try to keep rates to Northern Ireland and to the Highlands broadly in line with delivery prices to the UK.

Our >2kg contract rate to Ireland is significantly lower than our contract rate for Northern Ireland but still more than double our UK mainland rate.

Customers in Ireland are increasingly using Parcel Motel in Newtonabbey to have parcels >2kg delivered which is much more expensive for us than having them delivered direct to Ireland.

If we continue accepting parcels to Parcel Motel we're going to have to charge the full cost, making no difference to the current Ireland delivery price and Northern Ireland significantly more expensive.

If we don't accept parcels to Parcel Motel then we can continue trying to keep our costs for Northern Ireland broadly in line with UK mainland prices though even that policy is under significant pressure.

There maybe cheaper shipping options to Northern Ireland than our current contract rate but all couriers do charge a premium for non-mainland locations (unless you know different!).

An answer of accept the loss or don't make a profit, we Irish gamers are a lovely lot (which you are) unfortunately doesn't quite work for us and we're trying to find a solution that will.

We have spoken to Nightline who own Parcel Motel but they couldn't even give us an option of shipping direct to them in Ireland.

There could well be options we haven't thought of and methods you have already found which would work for us, care to share?
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Old Gamer
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I think that if it comes down to "Stop sending to Parcel Motel" versus "Raise shipping costs to NI" I think you should do the second.

As someone who lives in NI and occasionally buys stuff from you, this makes me sad, but you need to make the cost of things reflect the cost to you. If you say "I won't ship to Parcel Motel" people will find another way to get the cheaper shipping. Most Dubliners have Belfast friends, for example. I know my friends regularly ask to ship things to my house and have me bring them when I visit.
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MC Crispy
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I struggle with this. You say it's more expensive for you to ship to N. Ireland than to Ireland, but you charge more to ship to Ireland than to N. Ireland, which in turn is more than your shipping cost to GB. Yet retail Royal Mail charge the same for the whole of UK. I think my head may explode! Glad I'm not in the business of shipping retail purchases.

Could you not reduce your shipping costs to Ireland to the same as N. Ireland plus the £3 the customer pays Parcel Motel ? Would this subsidy to Ireland be greater than the subsidy you currently provide to N. Ireland when taking volumes and contract prices into account?

Currently, it looks like a customer in Ireland saves about £3 overall using the Parcel Motel proxy UK address. Pretty hard to argue with that.
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Paul Bryant
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mccrispy wrote:
Yet retail Royal Mail charge the same for the whole of UK.

Currently, it looks like a customer in Ireland saves about £3 overall using the Parcel Motel proxy UK address. Pretty hard to argue with that.

Royal Mail do and we don't have an issue where the shipment is under 2kg and is consequently shipped via Royal Mail. It's where it goes Courier (Parcelforce in our current case) that it's more expensive to ship to Northern Ireland than to Ireland that Parcel Motel becomes problematic.

Agree entirely, if I was in Ireland I'd be asking friends in the North or using the Parcel Motel option.

This has arisen as historically the difference wasn't too dramatic but over the last 2 to 3 years the Parcelforce rates to Northern Ireland have only gone up whilst we've been able to get better rates for Ireland.
 
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Peter Millen
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As a NI resident who has only purchased occasionally from you, I think you have to take a hard-headed decision here.

If subsidising shipping to here makes doing business unprofitable, or insufficiently profitable, then raise the rate.

The 'fault' if there is one lies with the market. And ultimately you can't buck the market.
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Paul

I appreciate the problem you have and the fact you have taken the time to raise it here. Would the increase in price to NI make it cheaper to ship in separate parcels? I'll certainly ask around as to what the gamers I know do.
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Paul Bryant
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Yes, we often break orders down into smaller parts and use Royal Mail rather than Parcelforce, that's not possible if someone orders Twilight Imperium on it's own but we do avail ourselves of that option where it makes sense to.
 
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