Hundreds of thousands of parcels are sent every day in the UK alone, with all sorts of weird and wonderful parcel sizes being handled carefully by many dedicated couriers.
But every now and again, senders don’t quite choose the right postage size for what they’re sending. At best, this makes delivery a little more expensive, and at worst it results in a surcharge from the courier who, after having expected a small parcel, got was something much bigger instead.
Well, here at Parcel2Go we want you to save money by ensuring your items get into the right postage size bracket. Here’s a breakdown of the postage sizes you can send:
With that in mind, we whipped up a quick guide to parcel sizes using five examples that you might have found yourself sending from time to time.
Books come in all shapes and sizes. And while that may sound romantic to lovers of literature, it can pose an issue to booksellers that are shipping dozens every day.
Imagine sending out a few copies of a bulky novel like Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick, alongside slimmer volumes like Dale Carnegie’s famous self-help kit, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Though both books, they fall either side of a size divide.
Our rule of thumb? Paperbacks of less than 200 pages can be sent as large letters, whereas hardbacks and thick paperbacks should be sent as small parcels, since they'll match our defined small parcel dimensions.
If you’re sending stacks of books, though — maybe you’re moving home and you want your impressive library to get there safely ahead of you — you’re best booking a large parcel service with a courier like UPS.
Verdict: Large letter or small parcel, depending on the book.
- Letters and Small Parcels by Whistl (for sending multiple books individually).
- myHermes Small.
- UPS (for a large amount of books going to one destination).
With the success of online clothing retailers like ASOS and Boohoo, consumers now do a huge amount of their clothes shopping on the internet.
But with that success, senders need to know which clothes fit what postage sizes.
T-shirts are some of the most common items and are fairly light, typically weighing between 150–200g. If folded up properly with a piece of cardboard to stiffen the packet, you could send t-shirts as large letters.
Light jackets and jeans are a little heavier and require a little more room, so small parcels will do.
Heavier clothes like biker jackets and shoes will require a standard parcel delivery if they cross the 2 kg mark (items like boots are particularly susceptible).
Verdict: Large letters for t-shirts, parcels for the rest.
3. Games consoles
Games consoles are hugely sought after by teens and adults alike but brand new PS4s and Xbox's are still on the expensive side. Grabbing a bargain console on eBay is the ideal solution for parents looking to find a really memorable birthday or Christmas gift, so senders need to know what postage size will be required to make sending fast.
Most current generation consoles weigh in at around 3 kg by themselves, but if you throw in all the accessories (controllers, cables, packaging and the Kinnect on the Xbox One) it’s more like 5 kg.
Our verdict: 3 kg parcel if console-only, 5 kg if including accessories.
4. DVDs and Blu-Rays
Despite the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, true cinephiles still treasure the feeling of ownership that purchasing a Blu-ray or DVD provides.
DVDs and Blu-rays are easy to send as letters, though they’ll need to be large letters since their width and height exceeds the restrictions for a standard letter. Just remember to package them with a lining of bubble wrap to cushion them.
Our verdict: Send as large letters with a little padding inside.
5. Greeting cards
Happy birthday to… who? That’s the question the greeting card sellers need to address with their online stores of hand-crafted gems ready for all occasions.
You’ll be happy to know that greeting cards are perhaps the easiest to sort on this list. They can be send as standard letters using the Letters and Small Parcels service.
Just be sure to put any greetings cards with additional appendages — embarrassing birthday badges, for example — into a large letter, as the additional width could push it beyond the thickness requirements for standard letters.
Our verdict: Send as letters.
- Letters and Small Parcels by Whistl (sending multiple items).