Buying your postage online means you can avoid getting stuck in long queues at the Post Office, and it doesn’t cost any extra.
Buy postage online
You can buy online postage by registering on Royal Mail’s website, selecting which service you want and printing the postage yourself. Registering online is free, quick and easy.
To decide which service you need, such as first class or special delivery – and to tell you how much it will cost – use the Royal Mail price finder. You’ll need to weigh your item to find out how much it’s going to cost to send.
Print online postage yourself
Once you’ve chosen which service you want, fill in the recipient’s address and choose to print on to a label, envelope or paper. For international mail, you can print out pre-populated customs forms.
If you have any problems printing you can re-print your online postage at no extra cost, as long as it’s before the expiry date of your label.
Payment and postage
You pay for online postage through a secure online server, either with a prepay account if you register one, or with a credit or debit card. To pay for online postage with a debit card, the cost must be more than £3.50.
You must post your mail by the end of the next working day after purchase; otherwise your online postage will be invalid.
If your item’s too large to be posted in a pillar box, you’ll need to take it to a post office and hand it over at the parcel acceptance point.
First class and second class stamps
First class mail must be posted by 20 December, and second class mail must be posted by today, 18 December, to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.
As post is not delivered on Christmas Day, special deliveries (Royal Mail’s next day service), must be arranged no later than 23 December.
The current cost of sending a small letter is 36p by first class, and 27p by second class. A small letter is described as being no more than 240mm long, 165mm wide, and 5mm thick; and it can weigh up to 100g.
RSS news feed
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the . If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml.Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.