Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Value Payable Parcels in Queensland - 1899

An early form of cash on delivery for parcels!

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Tuesday 21 November 1899, page 5
New parcels post arrangement

The Lieutenant-Governor has approved of the adoption of the value payable parcel post in Queensland as follows;-The value payable parcels post is the system under which the Post Office undertake to deliver registered parcels or other articles sent by the inland parcel post, to recover from the addressee on delivery of a specified sum of money fixed by the sender, and to remit this sum to the sender by money order, for which the usual commission will be charged. This system is designed to meet the requirements of persons who wish to pay for articles sent to them at the time of their receipt; also to meet the requirements of traders and others who do not wish their articles to be delivered except on payment. No person may send any parcel by the value payable parcel post unless certifying that it is sent in execution of a bona-fide order. Any article that may be sent by parcel post can be transmitted as a value payable parcel. Letters may also be sent as value payable parcels if handed to the parcel clerk at the counter in the same manner as in the case of registered parcels. Value payable parcels may be handed in for transmission at any parcel office, which is also a money-order office, to be sent to any other parcel office which is a money-order office. All such offices will be distinguished in the list of parcel offices by the letters “V.P.” The use of the value payable system is restricted to articles posted in Queensland for transmission to V.P. offices in the colony by inland parcel post, the postage fees to be prepaid.

Week (Brisbane), Friday 24 November 1899, page 20
Value Payable Post

We announce the adoption for Queensland of the system known as the value payable post.  At present it will apply only in Queensland. But since the grabbing of control over all Australian postal affairs has always been one of the objects of our southern neighbour, this value payable postal scheme will be extended to all Australia when all postal affairs are under central control. It will work out in this way. Any persons, especially persons on pastoral stations, will order goods from any of the great houses down south; perhaps in Melbourne, certainly in Sydney. The post office authorities will take charge of the parcel, deliver it, and collect the money for the sender. But this may be done; just as well in the cases of persons living in Brisbane itself. The result will be that we all shall seek to buy in the best market; and this value payable post may become one of the very largest forms of retail trade. How will our retail traders like it? Some of them voted for federation under the delusive belief that they were going to import wholesale, without duty, and that they would sell by retail, reaping all the benefits of the change. They might have been sure that natural law would assert itself. If we dam up water in one place it overflows at another. If we let in goods wholesale, how can we prohibit their entering by retail? There was only one obstacle, senders could not be sure of the safe collection of the money. At present a great Sydney house has to trust its parcel post customer in the bush of Queensland. He may he right; he may be wrong; but under the value payable post system the seller is perfectly safe, and will do a roaring trade. Instead of our having only a few retail shops in Brisbane to sell for southern warehouses, as used to be supposed would be the case, we really shall not need even those few poor shops. All of us will be able easily to "do our shopping” in Sydney or Melbourne.