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(PRBuzz) June 12, 2012 -- 30th April saw a 30 per cent increase in the price of a first-class stamp from 46p to 60p. Second-class stamps rose even more, from 36p to 50p.
The 30% first-class increase and 39% for second-class, are the biggest annual hikes in percentage terms since 1975. Ten years ago, a first-class stamp cost 27p, and a second-class cost 19p. Since 2006, mail volumes have declined 25%. Other services, including parcels, franked mail, recorded post, redirection services and PO Box also increased.
There are concerns that the price increases will have huge impact on small business that rely heavily on Royal Mail to send out orders and correspondence. The current prices will force them to look for alternative methods to reach their customers.
"With the Royal Mail price rises, our overheads are going to rise by 30%. We currently send all orders under £50 and under a kilo, by Royal Mail first class postage. Royal Mail has already proved that sending anything of any value with the service is a waste of time due to the poor complaints procedure... it is easier to self insure or send via courier," says Rupert Cross, small business owner of a graphic design agency and online gift boutique.
"Assuming the couriers don't take this as an opportunity to put up their prices, we'll simply be sending more items with them and not the Royal Mail. But we are going to have to revaluate what we charge for postage on small orders - currently £3.50 on orders under £35.00 within the UK," he told AOL Money.
But there is also a positive element of this issue: people will get less unsolicited mail through their mail boxes!