Bypass Delivery Restrictions and Save on Postage with Parcel Motel

One of the annoying things about living in Ireland is not being able to get things delivered easily and cheaply.

parcel-motel-logoOnline shopping from the likes of eBay or Amazon can bag you some great bargains, until you realise that the seller won’t ship to Ireland, or will charge you a fortune in international postage.

Parcel Motel is a great way to get around these problems. They give you a legitimate UK address to use (in Newtownabbey just north of Belfast in Northern Ireland) from which they will forward parcels for a reasonable fee to any of their pick-up points in Ireland.

How it works

When you register with the service you are allocated a Parcel Motel ID (format PM99999) that forms the first line of your address. Then, whenever you order anything, simply use the following delivery address:

<Your Name>
<Your Parcel Motel ID>
Parcel Motel
1A McKinney Road
Newtownabbey
Antrim
BT36 4PE

The staff at Parcel Motel will accept and sign for the parcel on your behalf. They then scan it into their own system, and you can track where it is by logging into your My Parcel Motel online account.

You need to make sure your Name and your Parcel Model ID are correct in the delivery address of the parcel, because if they don’t match, the package may be rejected.

Collecting your parcel

Within 24 hours of delivery Parcel Motel will then forward the item from their Antrim depot to your pre-defined pick-up location. There are around 100 different locations of Parcel Motel lockers around the Republic, and you can choose whichever one suits you the most.

The parcels are delivered to the secure lockers, and you get notified by text message and email as soon as it’s ready for collection. The lockers are accessible 24 hours a day, and when you turn up it’s just a question of typing in your mobile number and the PIN supplied, and your locker opens.

Restricted delivery

I’ve used Parcel Motel a number of times to buy products that just aren’t available in Ireland, such as the Nexus 4 phone. In the past I’ve used family and friends based in the UK to accept parcels and forward them on – but it seems that Parcel Motel are cheaper and quicker.

Returns

The Parcel Motel service can also be used to return items to certain retailers free of charge. The process works in reverse, in that you drop off the package you want to return to a Parcel Motel locker, and they will forward on direct to retailer.

It’s a much easier and cheaper process than going to the Post Office or calling up a courier to arrange the return of items.

16 thoughts on “Bypass Delivery Restrictions and Save on Postage with Parcel Motel

  1. I used Parcel Motel last week to get a new mobile phone delivered. According to the vendor’s courier, it was dropped off in Newtownabbey at around 11.45am on Thursday. It was moved to the Dublin depot at 2.50pm. It was then loaded onto the delivery van at 8.00pm, and delivered to the Parcel Motel locker at 12.30am. I could have picked it up straight away, but left it till the next morning.

  2. Fair enough point Ricky. I was trying to illustrate the ridiculousness of high international postage fees, but in this case you’re right in that it wouldn’t be worth using Parcel Motel. My real motivation for using it is to get access to goods that are only available for delivery in the UK.

  3. Could you share how you went about purchasing the nexus 4. I’m looking to get the nexus 5 the same way but I am unsure how to go about it.

  4. Thanks for the info. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the nexus 5. I currently have the galaxy nexus. Just have to look into the UK credit card part and I’ll be ordering. Hopefully it doesn’t sell out in the meantime :-( . Its really annoying that Ireland never get the good phones like the nexus.
    I will post how I get on. Thanks again

  5. The problem is when Parcel Motel doesn’t have enough locker space in your area. It was a nightmare in Lucan over the Christmas holiday. The kiosk only holds 60 parcels and they had about 200+ items waiting to go in. To make matters worse, customers were using the Parcel Motel kiosk to SEND parcels as well, so they were taking up valuable space by putting items into the kiosk. Parcel Motel is a good service but they are having some growing pains. Unfortunately they won’t tell you if the delivery location you have chosen is impacted by too many customers.

    1. @PJ: I can’t find anything specific about it on their website, but from searching a few forums it seems that Parcel Motel will reject any delivery that has VAT/duty owing on it.

  6. They were good I’ve put through 100+ parcels in past 2 years – now a bloody nightmare.
    Last Time I felt this way about a company was Jessops 12 months before they went down. Management will have no idea what the front line staff are doing to customers. Social media brought down countries, lets see if can fix Parcel motel.

    There is no magic in the parcel world that makes things “disappear” after being verifiability brought into your building.
    You have someone stealing from the Belfast-Sligo-Letterkenny depot/route and they work on a Saturday, period.
    I urge everybody to keep records and claim on the insurance quickly and every time something goes ‘missing’ lol Harry potter style.

  7. One thing to note, you need to be careful using Parcel Motel with Amazon orders of more than one item. Although Amazon have an option to request all the items be delivered together, they reserve the right to split the order and send through multiple packages. And if two parcels arrive at the Parcel Motel on the same day, they will be put in two separate lockers, and you will be charged separately for each locker.

  8. I realise it’s a long time ago now, Richard, but did you have any issues with Irish VAT or Customs Duty? Assuming that it’s a UK retailer that you bought it from and delivered to the UK this would mean that UK VAT and Customs Duty wouldn’t apply but presumably when it was brought into the Republic should have incurred Irish VAT and CD.

    It doesn’t seem like this was an issue for you?

    1. Hi Terry. When buying anything from within the EU, you’re only charged VAT once (and customs duty doesn’t apply). So if I order from Amazon.co.uk, then VAT is charged by Amazon, and I don’t need to pay it again when it arrives in Ireland.

      Interestingly enough, Amazon automatically varies the VAT rate it charges based on the delivery address. Get something delivered to an Irish address, and the Irish rate of VAT (23%) is applied to the order, but get it delivered to a UK address (such as Parcel Motel) and the UK VAT rate (20%) is charged – so you can save a small amount in VAT.

      VAT and Customs Duty is applied to items order from outside the EU. It’s typically collected by the delivery courier company when it arrives in Ireland. If, for some reason, you wanted to get UPS to deliver from the USA to your Parcel Motel account, UPS themselves would want you to settle the bill for VAT and Customs Duty before handing over to Parcel Motel.

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