Lavender Hill now has a special postbox for parcels – it’s on Tipthorpe Road about half way along, next to The Crown pub, and right beside an existing letterbox (Google map of the precise location here). It’s ideal for anyone selling small volumes of goods on ebay or amazon, as well as for the likes of ASOS returns.
The postbox is rather larger than the usual design, and its secure slot can fit parcels up to 44cm x 35cm x 16cm. Standard postage services can take a maximum weight of up to 20Kg, though unless you run a lead weight shipment business you’ll struggle to make a parcel that size weigh that much.
If you’re posting something with a returns label (which will usually have a barcode on it), you can just post it directly – but if you’re creating a new parcel you’ll need to be able to weigh the parcel (which means digging the kitchen scales out, or making an informed guess if you’re brave and / or send a lot of parcels), and then buy a postage label online and print it at home. Obviously this only works for standard parcels – if you want tracked delivery or other services, you’ll need to be visiting the post office.
The box itself was actually there before, but for business use only (for those with a franking machine who are typically sending out a lot of letters) – we suspect its location was deliberately close to Battersea Business Centre! The post box still also accepts franked mail, but it’s had a repaint and a general makeover to become a parcel postbox.
It’s good to see Royal Mail trying out something new (there’s another one near Battersea Square) – and with ever more being sent by parcel delivery, we suspect this will be a useful local facility.
“Obviously this only works for standard parcels – if you want tracked delivery or other services, you’ll need to be visiting the post office.” – You can buy Tracked 24 and Tracked 28 online! As soon as it gets to the local mail office (usually Jubilee Mail Centre when you post around here) the barcode is scanned and the progress is tracked. The one thing you can’t get if you use these postboxes is a ‘Proof of Postage’ certificate stamped, but having the item scanned at each point in its journey should reduce the need for those.
This box is super handy if you’re a small business sending out a lot of packages and use Royal Mail’s Click & Drop. With that you pay less because you avoid the post office markup, you print off the mail and have to drop it off at Royal Mail depots. But they’re only open 7-9am at the moment, and closed on Wednesdays. They claim ‘bigger’ offices are open, but I can’t find any in south London which are, which mean all the orders my website gets on a Tuesday and Wednesday don’t usually get into the mail system until Thursday. Thanks to these post boxes, I can drop them in there and know they’re at the mail centre on Wednesday evening. Super handy! Wish they’d install one in Clapham where I cycle up from.