Free delivery changes at Fighting 15s

Fighting 15s has, as previously posted, been trying different delivery options for orders, prompted by the risk of industrial action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that would disrupt the usually good service provided by Royal Mail.

A number of Fighting 15s’ customers will have received orders through MyHermes, which although not the cheapest of the budget couriers does seem to offer a good balance of delivery attempts for the price. Parcels are also far more trackable than the cost equivalent of Royal Mail Signed For, although delivery does take three to five days.

One thing that is abundantly clear from this experiment is that, for a VAT-registered business such as Fighting 15s, the Royal Mail has cut its own throat on parcels above 1,000g in weight. For orders in the 1,001g to 2,000g weight range courier services offer a decided advantage, not only because they are cheaper, but because VAT on delivery becomes a neutral tax when a parcel is sent using a service that charges VAT. Ian can give you a long explanation about why it becomes a neutral tax if you suffer from insomnia and desperately need sleep.

So, the good news: Fighting 15s is keeping its free UK standard delivery for orders above a certain value. That threshold, currently £60 ex VAT ex delivery, is reviewed in December at the same time as valued customer discounts.

However, any order that qualifies for free standard UK delivery will now be sent by the cheapest method: this will usually be Royal Mail below 1,000g and MyHermes or another courier above 1,000g. The exception is if an order includes water-based paint, which is a prohibited item for the budget couriers and means that the order must go by Royal Mail. Fighting 15s does not sell aerosols and solvent-based paints which are prohibited items for the budget couriers and for Royal Mail alike.

If speed of delivery after dispatch from Fighting 15s is important, customers who qualify for free standard delivery can instead opt to pay for special delivery.

Several years ago it would have been impossible for a small business such as Fighting 15s in an island location to use an alternative delivery service to the Royal Mail without vastly increasing delivery charges. It’s a sign that the world has changed: the CWU should really take note.

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