Rip-off Royal Mail

In the UK, it costs £1.70 to send an international postcard. A slower service (outside Europe only) is available at £1.45.

Yet I see postcards arriving from Germany and USA and the sender pays half of what I do. Yesterday I received a card from Japan, the stamps totalled 70 yen. I converted this online and it came to £0.46.

I wonder why the UK is so expensive for posting abroad? Actually, our inland rates are very reasonable.


I have often thought this aswell. I think we are quite expensive at £1.70 to send, as it does tot up when sending frequently. I have noticed that we do receive ours quite quickly though.


Though not as expensive as UK international mail, Canadian international postage is a ‘pretty penny’, too. $2.71 Cdn = £1.57.
Still, I console myself; it’s cheaper than gambling. :wink:


That is the down side of a Privatised Mail System. With little or no subsidises from the Government.

Correct me if I am wrong, Germany & Japan still are state owned (or part state owned).

Letters (and postcards) are usually subsidised by the parcels sector of the mail system and with competition from (other) private mail carriers and falling Letter numbers, the price of sending letters increases to compensate.

Other factors are also taken into account, such as cost of transporting mail, cost of living, inflation, etc.


Ireland is the same. 2 Euros for a postcard anywhere abroad, almost the same as the £1.70. :frowning:

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Actually we pay a LOT of money to send postcards. The rip off postal service just raised our postage another 10 cents higher so it is now $1.30 to send a card overseas and 40 cents to mail a card within our country. We also do not have the surface mail/economy/slow mail like many other countries do. Our post office is run by the federal government and they have no competition to keep the rates lower. I feel your pain! :disappointed:


German Mail Service (Deutsche Post) is privatised since 1995 :wink:

And yes, German postage is lower compared to some other countries (I count only countries with similar basic requirement, like similar GdP, wages ect.) but don’t think it has still the same quality as it had before privatising. I would love to pay more if that means the service gets much better.

Edit: I think it’s important to mention that we’re not allowed to send any things but documents in a letter. If I want to send one or two tea bags abroad I must choose package for 9 € (inside Europe) which is also not insured. Actually you also cannot send let’s say 10 blank cards in an envelope because it’s not a document.* So low postage does not always mean low postage at all.

*Of course you can try it nevertheless and hope it works sending by letter but I know a few people, some also postcrossers who got the letters returned because it was obviously that the envelope wasn’t filled only with documents.


Ah you’ve just raised a point I want to mention.

What can you send with just €0.95 stamp?

In the UK that £1.70 stamp can not only be used to send a postcard worldwide
(100g Europe, 20g - Most of the World, 10g - Australia, New Zealand, Singapore & US)

I have participated in various tags and Round-Robins where I have sent Tea-Bags, Chocolate bars, Sheets of Stamps and about ‘five’ postcards in an envelope to European countries with just a £1.70 stamp.

So when I think about, it sometimes is value for money.

I joined postcrossing in March 2019 when the rate was £1.25, just before it went up to £1.35

In 2020 it went up three times to £1.42 then £1.45 then the largest increase to £1.70 in the New Year (2021) just as I joined the forum.
Like many of my UK postcrossing colleagues, I’ve seen a £0.45 price increase per international postcard.

The only benefit of the £1.70 rate personally is it is the same as two domestic 1st class stamps (£0.85) which are Non-Value Indicators (NVI).
So if you bought 1st class stamps 10 years ago at £0.40, they are worth £0.85 today

Gradually over the years Royal Mail has been privatised from the early 90’s to the mid 2000s.

Like many industries in the UK a legacy of Prime Minster Mrs Thatcher who paved the way of privatising industries such as the railways, telecoms, the postal network and much more.


Couldn’t you send it as a Warenpost? Would be cheaper?

A simple standard postcard.

Standard letter up to 20 g: 1,10 €
Letter up to 50 g: 1,70 €
Letter up to 500 g: 3,70 €
up to 1,000 g: 7,00 €
1,000 to 2,000 g: 14 €

Remember - just documents.

Postage for outside Germany, worldwide. No different between EU and Non-EU, Europe or any other continents. The differents (and the difficulty) appears with parcels, packages and whatever you think you could send along. If I want to send you e. g. a box of tea I have to choose at least Parcel XS. Up to 2 kg, no insurance. Costs me 8,89 € online purchase. And the custom things ect. of course.

@Tull as I’m a private not a business sender - no, it’s not longer possible (since 2019 meanwhile).


Ah I remember, that’s loonie prizes

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In a way its kind of relative,

Postcards being subsidised by the rest of the mail network.

Mind you I was in Germany in 2018 and the postcard rate was €0.90
A 5 cent increase isn’t bad (depends on your perspective)


In no way, that’s totally right. And I’m happy with that postage, especially when I look to other countries. I write so many postcards a month but with much higher postage I’d have to cut down very much.
I’m only frustrated with the mail service here. Though I guess it’s a very local problem.


And it’s getting worse in Britain. A couple of month ago, a friend has send me a small box of peppermints from the UK. I had to pay 7 Euros custom fees. This is ridiculous. Brexit has made everything mad like hell.


Within the EU you can send the smallest parcel (Päckchen XS) for 4,89 €. Without insurance.

I would still prefer it, if I could send small things like teabags in letter.
I have successfully cheated in the past though :grin:


Yes, you’re right. But that quote was related to Maddymail from UK.

I ordered for ~ £ 80 / € 90 at Royal Mail on Sunday. The first time since Brexit. I’m curious what will happen when I get the parcel. I prefer to collect it personally from customs as it’s not far away from where my husband works and in the past I made the experience it’s easier as if it’s delivered by Deutsche Post…


In Finland, the postage has increased rapidly past few years. Nowadays it cost 1,95€/1,85€ per piece (priority/economy) to send cards overseas. I just checked that when I joined Postcrossing in 2013 the postage was a bit under an euro. Also the reliability of the postal system has decreased a lot! And Finnish Post dares to wonder/complain that people don’t use mail as much anymore :joy:

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Yes, there seems to be a pattern of hefty price increases within a few years. That does not bode well for the future! Certainly in the UK, the core business of the postal service is now packages rather than normal size envelopes. No concessions made to those sending a mere postcard.

Ugh, I would hate to see this happen here. USPS is partially privatized now, but people of a certain political persuasion [cough] are chomping at the bit to privatize it completely (along with education and other necessities).


In Sweden we pay £2.03 for any country abroad and I also think it is very expensive…for domestic it is exactly half.

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