The Consumer Council advises posting early this Christmas

Many Northern Ireland consumers will be sending festive cards and presents to family and friends through the post over the next few weeks.  We have put together some top tips to help consumers ensure their cards and parcels arrive on time and get the best deal on postage.

Michael Legg, our Head of Postal Services said; “Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the postal service with many consumers ordering goods online and sending festive gifts. Follow our top Christmas postal tips to help your mail arrive on time and safely.”

Our Christmas postal top tips are:

  • Check the last posting dates before sending items - Royal Mail has changed its last recommended posting dates for domestic and international mail. The current last posting dates for Second-Class and First-Class post are 12 and 16 December, respectively. For the most up-to-date information check Royal Mail’s website. If you are sending a parcel with a different parcel company, they may have different last posting dates so always ask when is the latest you can send a parcel.
  • Order online and post early - check what is happening with Royal Mail Strike Action. Consider how postal delays will affect you, plan ahead, post items well in advance of planned strike dates, and order goods online as early as possible. Keep up to date on what is happening by visiting Royal Mail’s website.
  • Shop around and pay the right price - shop around for the best deal before purchasing your postage so you can avail of economy postal services, such as Second-Class mail or other standard services. For parcels, shop around for the best deal. Watch out for postage surcharges. These are extra delivery charges when sending from Northern Ireland to other parts of the UK.
  • Avoid unnecessary higher prices - measure up and check the weight of the item to make sure you get an accurate price for sending parcels.

Michael added: “It is important to know what to do if something goes wrong with one of your postal items. Below are some tips to help protect yourself.”

  • Ensure items are covered by compensation - always tell the parcel company what you are sending. Check that the contents are covered by its compensation policy and that the item is allowed in the postal system.
  • Keep receipts and the proof of postage - should you need them to prove the value of the item to support any compensation claims if your item is lost, damaged, or delayed.
  • Ensure items are suitably packaged – packages containing fragile items should be clearly labelled.
  • Always check the recipient’s details – ensure they are correct before you post your item. Don’t forget to put a return address securely on the back of the parcel.
  • Check customs requirements - if you are sending parcels from Northern Ireland to other parts of the UK and EU destinations you don’t need customs declarations. However, you will need to complete and attach any customs declarations when sending items outside of the UK and EU. The parcel operator will be able to help.
  • Contact the retailer if there are problems - if your online shopping parcel delivery does not arrive or arrives damaged, act quickly and contact the retailer immediately. The retailer is responsible for the goods until they are delivered to you and should resolve the matter.

We provide a variety of support and information about parcel deliveries, visit our Christmas Postal Tips webpage for more information.  Support and information are also available by calling Freephone 0800 121 6022 or by emailing


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