Parcel Motel allows you to send items to the UK starting at €14.50 however they also offer a UK ‘Returns service’ to companies including Royal Mail, Collect+ and MyHermes. This allows you to send items to the UK for a lot cheaper although it is a slower service. You could print Royal Mail postage online at RoyalMail.com and then use Parcel Motel to bring the parcel up to Royal Mail in Northern Ireland. You would pay €3.50 to Parcel Motel and however much the UK postage is for Royal Mail. I have used the Royal Mail service once and found Royal Mail to be awful. Completely washed their hands of any responsibility and then just outright refused to respond to emails. Parcel Motel on the other hand were much quicker to reply and I’ve no complaints about them.
This post will cover my experience posting items to the UK using a combination of collect+ and Parcel Motel. These parcels were all going to Amazon FBA Centres. An Amazon FBA (Fullfillment by Amazon) centre is basically Amazon’s warehouses in the UK. I sell products on Amazon but they deal with the storage, processing and posting the items. Collect+ parcels are delivered by Yodel. There are two services offered by Collect+ Standard (3-5 working days) and Express (2 working days). The price depends on the weight of the parcel and the service required. The maximum size you can send using Collect+ is 60cm x 50cm x 50cm but if you are using Parcel Motel you are limited to 41 × 38 × 64 cm. The items I were sending to Amazon were quite light so using Parcel Motel + Collect+ worked out a lot cheaper than using Parcel Motels send to UK service.
The service comes with £50 cover and no signature but there are more options you can pay extra for.
I didn’t bother with any extra coverage or signature. Purchasing the label is very simple and I paid using my Revolut card to avoid any currency conversion fees. After paying I was given a label to print and attached to the parcel. Once I had my Collect+ label on the parcel, I then needed to sort out my Parcel Motel label. When logged into your Parcel Motel Account, click returns and select Collect+ under “Return To a Retailer or use a prepaid label”. On the next page, confirm the parcel size and that it is under 10KG. Once you press continue you will be presented with the price. Then continue on to pay. You will now be giving a Parcel Motel Label. This label needs to go onto your parcel as well. I use clear packing tape to cover the entire Collect+ label on the top of the parcel. I then use two stripes to securely attach the Parcel Motel Label to the parcel but still make it easy to rip off. Both labels should be displayed on the parcel. Don’t place the Parcel Motel Label on top of the Collect+ one. The reason I don’t tape down the Parcel Motel label completely is I presume they either remove it or cover it in Antrim before they deliver it to Collect+ so I want to make their lives a bit easier. But make sure it is secure. You don’t want the Parcel Motel label falling off!
Once the parcel is prepared its time to go to your local motel to drop it off. When you get to the motel select ‘Send a Parcel’ Once selected, the barcode reader under the screen should illuminate. Place the barcode of the Parcel Motel Label (not the collect+ barcode) in front of the scanner. Once its read, a locker should pop open, place the parcel in the locker and close the door. That’s your work done! If the parcel does not fit into the locker you chose when printing the label, you can select to open a larger locker. I sent the parcel a few weeks ago before the Black Friday/Christmas rush started. I am wondering what are the chances of getting to a motel now and it being full so you can’t send the parcel are.
I dropped the parcel off at the Motel on a Sunday Night and it wasn’t collected until the Tuesday at 10PM. It left Dublin on the Wednesday and was delivered to Collect+ on the Thursday. So it wasn’t exactly speedy delivery up to Northern Ireland. However, for €3.50 you can’t really complain. The only thing I was a bit surprised by was it wasn’t collected on the Monday evening. The rest of the timescale took as long as I expected. Overall, I was very happy with sending with Parcel Motel and Collect+. Although with the delays that are currently ongoing, it may be quite delayed service until things die down again after Christmas.