One of the annoying things about living in Ireland is not being able to get things delivered easily and cheaply.
Online 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 Parcel Motel ID>
1A McKinney Road
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.
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.
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.