Reminder on VTR requirements for using Royal Mail delivery services


Hi, I’ve rang Royal Mail about 4 times and keep getting told its Amazons problem. Not very helpful at all to be honest. Not feeling very confident.


Well said, simply madness that adding a 2D barcode goes against you because the lazy posties cannot be bothered to scan an item before putting through a door. A far worse experience all around by simply forcing everyone to mark post as stamps/franked to cheat a metric that is so flawed. The MODs will be watching this and that loophole will be closed. MODs are you listening? - VTR is flawed from the outset and simply doesnt work because you validate 2D barcodes as tracked services - which they are not!


Received an educational call today from seller support stating our VTR is below 95%. Bless the caller she had no idea of the Royal Mail and all our ongoing woes with VTR. Could not confirm if 2D barcodes are in fact being checked against RMs internal systems before suspension as their policy states " You may receive a VTR warning as a result of low scan rate. However, we will validate ‘unscanned’ tracking or parcel IDs with the integrated delivery service provider prior to suspending your offers in the affected category. Your offers will not be suspended if you have provided valid IDs, including for all parcels that have not been scanned by the carrier. This includes delivery confirmation only delivery methods (e.g. RM 24 / 48 or 1st Class 2nd Class)."
When will the VTR madness end… probably with our account suspended for posties not scanning 2D codes on delivery any day soon


I can only speak with confidence from my own experience.

To recap: I’m buying untracked RM labels direct from Amazon via Buy Shipping (NO C&D or RM account of any sort).

I have dozens of orders within the PDD timeframe. The majority are Large Letters but about 10% are small parcels. Of those, only two orders have appeared on my VTR.
Both are small parcels and both, strangely were ordered on the same day (27 June).

It could be that something changed on or around that time in June with regard to small parcels.

I think it’s been established for some time that RM do give even untracked SPs with a 2d barcode a partial scan. Delivery confirmation for SPs is (somethimes) available on the RM track and trace page.

Large letters have never returned a confirmation when input on that page, as far as I’m aware.

So is it possible that when Amazon updated their VTR system a few weeks ago (throwing us all into confusion again) they mistakenly (?) added small parcels to their list of tracked services? Even for Buy Shipping direct?

I have not (yet) had any LLs appear on my VTR even though I’ve posted far more of them than I have SPs.

That is why - purely in regard to ‘Buy Shipping direct’ - I think LLs are ‘immune’.


I have just started doing just that for orders from the 7th July and a pop up appears stating that a new shipment confirmation e-mail has been sent to the customer.
The customers must be wondering what is happening as they had them delivered weeks ago


Yes you do get the message about the new shipment confirmation e-mail but I am not sure that the customer actually does get an email.

I have amended a lot and not one customer has come back to question what is happening. Also looking at feedback on another thread other sellers say that no buyer have contacted them after amending.


Oh mine’s the opposite :roll_eyes:


Thanks - I get it now. We are in different scenarios - so different experience.

Out of interest, when you use “Buy Shipping Direct”, for Large Letters, do you end up with RM as the courier ? If so, does the Label have a full Barcode or is it the same as those produced by C&D which is 2D image Barcode only?

I ask to see if this is why the difference, and my LLs end up as INVALID.


I’ve attached a scan of a sample LL ‘Buy Shipping’ label (details and 2D code blurred out)…



Can anyone help answer some questions about using Amazon Buy Shipping to stay VTR compliant pls…


Thanks - I was wrong - it appears now that RM do put a Barcode on the LL labels - but they are not searchable on their Track n Trace facility.
Therefore they are of zero use - but of course Amazon’s stupidity thinks they are.


Just double-check the small print - any orders sent on time and which are under £10 are classed by Etsy as a positive automatically for this new metric of theirs, regardless of the delivery service used (tracked or untracked). Something Amazon would do well to take note of.

It’s only orders sent late, or over £10 without tracking that are counted negatively.

Might not help you much but it’s easy to miss.


Thanks for the info. Cheers. But given that anything I send over £10 was tracked (unless overseas and the customer had NOT chosen it) their metrics are as bad as Amazon’s. I offer tracked and untracked. Unless I buy their shipping, do I have to remove untracked postage options for sub £10 sales and how do you do that on Etsy when postage is directly linked to the listing? What if they buy more than one item?
Not getting at you. Just the silliness of the rules on here and other markets.


Yeah anything over £10 not sent tracked will be a negative, including international, and yeah any orders where they buy multiples resulting in it being over £10 the same. We’re in the same boat as that, however 99% of our orders are under £10, hence we have 99% for that specific metric. In that sense we’re different to your situation.

You can download their report too to have a look at which orders are defects.

It’s not ideal I get that - but compared to this Amazon VTR it’s much much better. First of all its only to achieve a ‘star seller’ badge - nobody is going to get suspended (or listings). Secondly at least the under £10 orders are automatically valid (not even exempt, but actually valid). If the same was happening here on Amazon this VTR would not be an issue at all.


I spotted another flaw. It does not take account of local holiday (something I’ve brought up with them before), so I have items marked as dispatched late because of bank holidays.


Yeah that’s a pain. We always increase our handling time by one day immediately prior to a bank holiday and that sorts that out.


Last week I bought my first class Royal Mail labels from Amazon but my VTR is still 0%. I don’t know why.


If you only brought the labels last week it is probably because they are not being taken into account for VTR yet.

You also need to look at any orders that you did prior to buying labels from Amazon, how were these purchased? If these are still problem orders for VTR then your VTR will stay low.


Because the calculation is retrospective and based on the PDD (promised delivery date). It is a rolling 30 day window and today that is for shipments with a PDD of 21 June to 20 July - shown clearly on the VTR page. Tomorrow it will be for those with a PDD of 22 June to 21 July, so those just purchased now will not be on it for probably at least another 10 days.
The ones on your report should gradually drop off as each day passes.


(I also posted this on the Sell on Amazon forum)

Here is the latest irrelevant reply to the VTR case I originally opened in April:

Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,

I understand your concern is regarding the Valid Tracking Rate Metric and you want to know whether the issue that was leading to negative VTR has finally been resolved by Amazon.

I confirm that the issue was resolved.

As mentioned previously, our internal team has identified that the Valid Tracking Rate (VTR) calculation was not correctly recognizing that Royal Mail 1st class and Royal Mail 2nd class ship methods require a barcode ID.

We made this update on July 20, 2021, so if Sellers were selecting these ship methods and not providing the barcode IDs as outlined in all policy communications, they may have seen their VTR decrease.

For more information, please refer to Seller Central News Article: Reminder on VTR requirements for using Royal Mail delivery services

I think it is basically a cut’n’paste but yet again, they have completely ignored the fact that my question was in regard to Buy Shipping purchased directly from Amazon, where barcode IDs are entered automatically…