Australia Post prices are going up again (yes, really)
Your Christmas shopping just got a little more expensive.
As I've pointed out before in this column, Australia Post sucks at delivery. Everyone has a horror story to tell. My colleague Marc recently ordered something online and had it sent to an Australia Post parcel locker, figuring that was less likely to go wrong. The package ended up in Brisbane instead of Sydney.
In this context, news that parcel charges are going up again on 3 October (just in time for Christmas!) are unlikely to have consumers dancing in the virtual aisles. OK, we're not talking massive increases here in most instances. A standard 500g domestic parcel, which previously cost $7.45, is now $7.60. A prepaid Parcel Post satchel of the same size, which is a popular choice for eBay sellers, will go up from $8.25 to $8.50. The Australia Post site has a full list of the pricing changes.
A 25-cent price rise isn't going to cause anyone too much stress, but when it's applied to a product that so many of us already don't find reliable, it's not a good look. And while I appreciate that the shrinking amount of money Australia Post makes from letters makes it harder to deliver a reliable service, as a consumer I'd just like my stuff to show up when it's supposed to.
If you are a price-sensitive online shopper, the best option is to try and find stores that don't include a delivery charge. We keep a constantly-updated list of stores which have free delivery deals, so that's a good place to start. Be sensible about it, of course; if you have to spend $50 in a store you only planned to spend $10 at, paying for the postage may still leave you better off overall. And whatever you do, start shopping early, because you can't assume your parcels will get to you in a timely fashion.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.