Buying 1st/2nd class large letter Royal Mail directly through Amazon is now not valid for VTR?



Re Hermes. I don’t want to muddy these waters further but would love some sensible advice. Which is not forthcoming from the big A. I only send 500 parcels a year so not eligible for RM business account. Has anyone been sending standard drop-off with Hermes, if so are these counted ? I only started doing this last week, so can’t tell from my stats yet. Would really appreciate any info


The number of parcels that is included in our VTR is dropping everyday. Overnight it’s dropped by about another 300… and we’ve been dispatching by selecting Royal Mail 2nd class post and buying postage via click and drop (not tracked) and dispatching ourselves via Amazon. Our VTR percentage is still only 0.58% but it will be until it catches up with itself. We’re currently sending a few items a week via UPS tracked. So by the end of this process, i.e all the orders that have been shipped under royal mail and 2nd class dropdown. catches up with itself all of our items will be excluded apart from the UPS one’s which gives us a score of 100%.


And did Sean tell you how to select ‘other’ in Buy Shipping? :roll_eyes:

Buy Shipping automatically inputs the tracking ID, depending on which service you use. Even untracked 1st/2nd come with a 2D barcode (looks like a QR code).

The as-yet unanswered question is ‘why are some Buy Shipping orders still showing as invalid in the VTR reports?’.


Haha no he told me to read the FAQs lol


Good to know SS are up to speed.

While I’m here, a reminder that Jessica opened an official thread on VTR over in ‘announcements’.

It doesn’t show up in unread threads for a lot of people…:

FAQs on Valid Tracking Rate policy in UK

I’m hoping she will be able to clear up some of the confusion (hoping…).


Linking your C&D to buy shipping will give you a valid VTR code for RM24 & RM48 using CRL, and for tracked 24/48 if you have those in your C&D.

The webinar made this clear. In addition when you use buy shipping using CRL the tracking number which is then auto populated is blue and is a link to RM tracking. My ones from today say (when I click on this link): Package has shipped

This is determined by Amazon to be a scan, and their VTR rules state that for an item to be valid it must have at least one scan. This then means that even if the postie does not scan on the doorstep that the item is still valid for VTR purposes.

settings>account info>buy delivery preference>manage your carrier accounts>link account

Once you’ve done that it’ll show as pending for 24/48 hours and then will say active once it’s linked.

This was a problem initially because Amazon hadn’t set it up correctly, but this issue has now been resolved.

No. Any that you do on C&D stay as normal re processing and manifest.

Buy shipping ones are purchased though the order page in Amazon. At the end of the day you produce the equivalent of a manifest on Amazon:

Orders>reports>end of day form>run

Be aware that it takes a minute or 2 to produce and in the meantime you may get a red error message and then the form is available to download. Amazon automatically provide the information in this form to OBA, where you will be able to view it in that days open invoices.

On C&D you will also need to mark all your buy shipping ones as dispatched by other courier. There are shipping rules that can be set up to do this automatically, but someone else would need to take you through that as I don’t use them.


Yes - because it is only intended to show those with invalid tracking


Some? All of mine are showing as invalid :frowning:


To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to cross check because the reports go by ‘promised delivery date’ (PDD) rather than dispatch date. All the same, when I’ve searched order IDs against the PDDs in the VTR reports not all those in the same date range are showing so are presumably exempted but I have almost zero faith in the system at the moment.

If the reports were easier to read it would make the task a lot easier. If they contained dispatch dates as well as ‘promised delivery dates’ it would be more straightforward.

As it is, it looks like a rushed mess.
Every minute I sepend/waste on this just makes me want to give up selling on what used to be a great platform. :frowning:


I moved off buying shipping through click and drop and starting buying it through Amazon 10 days ago. My VTR is now actually going DOWN not up.

We are almost into the start period of this and things are more confusing then ever.


Just now I tried for the 1st time to select “OTHER”, then type ‘Other’ in that opening box, then type ‘Other’ in the 2nd box too, and leaving the 3rd box empty.

I got that pop up message:

"Do you want to proceed? The tracking ID seems invalid for this carrier. Are you sure you want to continue confirming the shipment with this tracking ID? "

So is “OTHER” not going to be valid, you think (or maybe will be after the 19th?) ?


Agreed. I’ve created a master spreadsheet so I can correlate with the VTR report. My s/sheet has the following headings, and is far easier to manage

Order Date
Order No
Date posted
EDD from Manage Orders
EDD in VTR Report
Date Delivered
Ship Method
Tracking ID
Invalid in VTR Repot?
Date of VTR Report

Interesting that the EDD from Manage Orders and EDD in VTR Report are never the same
And the Date of VTR Report is about 10 days after the EDD in VTR Report. It’s a complete flipping mess. I hope whoever dreamed this fiasco up is given the push


@Black_Cat_Books_UK - I have always bought through Amazon without any integration to royal mail.

Amazon for me does not recognise 1st/2nd class letter as being exempt.


You are the spreadsheet Queen. :slight_smile:

By ‘Estimated Delivery Date’ do you mean same as the last day of the ‘Promised Delivery Date’ ?

Today’s VTR report download page states:

Promised Delivery Date : 04-Mar-2021 - 02-Apr-2021

What’s making it difficult for me is that I have many orders posted in March which had handling times of up to 28 days (set during pandemic panic…) so won’t be showing on any VTR report for a few weeks yet.

Looking at it more closely, the orders that had a final PDD of 1st April according to the report actually had an estimated delivery date of ‘up to 31 March’ on the orders page, so as you say, the dates don’t exactly match.

This may be why I was thinking some orders were being exempted. Checking orders posted after 19 March again it seems none were exempted after all, though I’m still not sure.

It’s driving me nuts…:crazy_face:



Thank you so much for your detailed reply, much appreciated! :grin: :handshake:


I really don’t know what to do now. I am completely lost on the right way forward.



Please 3 more questions!

  1. What does your end of day workflow look like for the Amazon orders which are on C&D? Do you still manifest on C&D and then run the end of day on Amazon?

  2. At what stage does C&D update Amazon with the “tracking number”? (does the order on Amazon get shipped at this point or only via Amazon end of day report?)

  3. Do you have to buy (take any manual action) on purchasing the labels via the order page on Amazon or can it all be done on C&D apart from the end of day report which must be done on Amazon?

It currently seems like this could be a viable option for us!

I am surprised Amazon have not added C&D as an approved integrator on their helps pages…


Yes I do both as I still process all my letters using code BPL, my SDs and my orders from other platforms on C&D.

When you use buy shipping the order gets autopopulated with the carrier, service and tracking immediately. A good thing about buy shipping is that when an order appears on Amazon you can produce a label immediately, no waiting around for it to arrive in C&D, which at the end of the working day in particular is really useful.

No, nothing is done in C&D re buy shipping apart from marking the order as shipped by another carrier.


I’m wondering what to put in my POA when the time comes.

Something along these lines?

'I now realise that it was a mistake to use Amazon’s Buy Shipping service as Amazon Buy Shipping is clearly unfit for purpose. I will avoid using it in the future in order to protect my Amazon account. From now on I will only use Amazon endorsed services (ie, Amazon Buy Shipping ).
Erm, err, arrghh :crazy_face::exploding_head::confounded: