Monday, November 14, 2016

An Post Address Pal - How Does it Work?

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I've written about Parcel Motel before, but every time I mention An Post Address Pal on Snapchat I get messages asking about it, so I thought this was the handiest way to explain.

What is it?
It's a parcel redirection service by An Post that allows you to order items from the UK and get them delivered to Ireland.

Why use it?
Because some UK sites don't offer Irish shipping, or some are very expensive. With Address Pal you can avail of cheap or free UK shipping.

How does it work?
You sign up at You'll be given a UK address straight away, and you'll be sent a card in the post with your address on it. (Mine arrived registered, I thought it was a summons).

How do I use my UK address?
The only quibble I have with this service is that the address is quite long and odd. Here's what mine looks like:

Mrs Sharon Leavy
Air Business
Unit 5, The Merlin Centre
Acrewood Way
St Albans
Herts AL4 0JY

Sometimes, it's too long to enter in some UK address fields. What I usually do is put as much as I can of the address in the first two lines, and if necessary to save space I'll just write MERLIN instead of The Merlin Centre (so "Unit 5 MERLIN"). As long as you have your name, Address Pal number, and Postcode in correct, I wouldn't worry too much.

That address above is your shipping address. If you're using a credit/debit card and you need to enter a billing address, use your real Irish details. Otherwise sometimes the transaction won't go through. Here's an example of mine from the Lush website:

How do I get my packet?
You'll sign up with an email address and phone number, and you'll nominate your nearest Post Office. When you order, your package will be delivered to the centre in Herts. It will then be shipped to Ireland and delivered to your local Post Office. You'll get a text and/or email, then you take your Address Pal card to the Post Office and you pick your package up. You pay €3.50 at the counter for packages weighing up to 20kg. I've had huge boxes delivered but because they don't weigh over 20kg I still pay €3.50. I've only been caught once - when I ordered from Asda to avail of a £2.95 delivery fee instead of a £5 one, and they split the delivery into two parcels so I was charged €3.50 for each one.....sickened.

What sort of things can I use it for?
Here's a list of websites I've used it for already:

Nutribombz - A UK site that offers healthy snack subscription boxes. They're sugar-free treats and not available to Ireland otherwise. The boxes cost £4.99 with free postage (under €6).

Amazon UK - I recently ordered a double pack of XL printer ink cartridges from a seller who didn't ship to Ireland. I paid £28 (€31), whereas they would have cost me over €40 here. This is also handy for the likes of the Mayflower curry sauce if you can't get it locally, or for parents of teething babies - Calgel. I've also used it for Funko Pop figures, handmade candles, and makeup. I think I've used it most on Amazon.

Lush - International delivery on the Lush website starts at £9.95 to Ireland - it's £3.95 to the UK.

Book Box Club - Book Box Club is a new UK Young Adult book subscription box. I currently subscribe to Owlcrate but I'm not going to be able to continue with it in the new year, it's too expensive long term. Book Box Club ships internationally, but for a 3 month subscription to Ireland it was £37 shipping. To the UK - FREE. It means I'll have to wait a week longer for my box but that's fine by me!

MAC UK - Mac offer free UK delivery in the UK, plus prices are a little cheaper than Ireland. Stock levels are better, and they always include a free sample. Plus if you sign up as a new customer, you can avail of a 10% discount using 'WELCOME10'.

Superdrug - I know Superdrug have Irish branches but for those of us in the Sticks, we can take advantage of UK prices with UK shipping.

The Body Shop UK - I love the Body Shop, but their Irish prices are scandalous. The UK have much better deals, plus they do really great sales and discounts regularly. Their Black Friday deal was just £35 delivered, the products in that bundle would have been over €150 here. Their €160 advent calendar was £79 in late November. Sometimes the website can be a little argumentative when using parcel redirection services but it worked twice with Address Pal.

You can also use it to order from the Argos UK website, from Toys R Us UK, from The Body Shop UK, from eBay sellers who don't ship to Ireland - the possibilities are endless.

I still use Parcel Motel, but An Post is handier for me because the Post Office is closer than the Parcel Motel depot.

Any questions? Just shout!

I've had a few people say they can't get it to work with Amazon, so here's a screenshot of how I put it in:

Hopefully that makes sense!


  1. Thanks so much for this, I didn't know An Post offered this!! I often use Parcel Motel but it's really awkward to get to and the local post office is only 5 mins from my house! There'll be lots more shopping done now, thanks Sharon

  2. Can you order from America with this like Sephora for example?

    1. You can order from any website that ships to the UK, so yes, you can order from Sephora if you choose the UK shipping option. I've ordered from Sephora using Parcel Motel before with no problems so this shouldn't be any different! Just be aware of weight limits and charges, all info is on the Address Pal site.

  3. I signed up today. Way better for me than parcel motel cause my drop off is miles away so handy having it in the post office. Thanks for the tip

  4. When using AddressPal or ParcelMotel I attach the APID/PMID to my surname - if I don't I've found the companies I've used have dropped the ID's when it does an automatic UK search 'find my address'. One parcel took 4 wks to arrive!

  5. The service can be very poor. I ordered an item that never turned up or should I say half did. The second half was refused without telling me, I got onto the retailer who resent again only to be refused, Addresspal never told me anything and refused again without any notice so I cannot get the product delivered. I never had any issues with Parcel Motel but addresspal is terrible

    1. I guess it depends what you're ordering - I've used it on over 20 different websites, I'd say 40-50 times at this point and I've never had anything not arrive. I had an issue a couple of times where a company was printing labels automatically and the AP number was missing, but I got an email or phone call from Address Pal both times to ask if it was my package, and to explain the contents and they delivered it both times. Sorry to hear your experience hasn't been good!

  6. I recently had a customer from Ireland that used this service.. I'd never heard of them, but had had regular customers that used parcel motel. The service is much cheaper than I can send parcel to Ireland for (and we have accounts with Royal Mail.)
    I'm really happy we are able to send parcels to them as it opens up the market for our Irish customers. I would suggest putting the ID in the company name box. Aerosols may be refused, as we can send them to UK addresses, but not overseas.

    1. That's fantastic, Zoe! I often wondered how it worked from the sellers point of view. Great to know that it's mutually beneficial!

  7. If your package is split into 3 different parcels do you get charged 3 times for addresspal?

    1. Yes, I mentioned that above in the post under the "How do I get my package" paragraph - when Asda split my order into two packages I was charged for two packages.

  8. Hi Sharon

    Have you used addresspal to buy beauty advent calendars from independent sellers through ebay uk or amazon uk?

    I read that liquids, incl creams and gels are restricted by addresspal and so are perfumes?

    Are they strict about this?

    Would parcel motel or dpd parcel wizard be better for this?

    1. Hi! I haven't used it for Beauty Advent Calendars or Beauty Boxes, because the companies ship directly to Ireland (mind you, they do arrive via An Post) - I know that liquids are allowed if you're shipping within Ireland.

      Interestingly, I've ordered Degustabox a few times using Address Pal and they've included litres of juice, cans of fizzy drink, bottles of salad dressing - and I've never had an issue using Address Pal that way. I've also used it to order cream from Charlotte Tilbury and again nothing was said. Based on that it doesn't appear to be that strict?

      I've never used DPD Parcel Wizard, I rarely use Parcel Motel unless I'm posting something heavy.

    2. I actually used Address Pal to order Body Shop shower gel, body lotion and hand cream from a seller on eBay and that arrived fine too.

  9. Thanks so much for this info Sharon! I just signed up and wonder if I should wait to get my card before making my first order? Also, do you put your Irish phone number with the code and does this cause any issues? Thanks again!

    1. You'll need your card to pick your order up at the Post Office so probably best to wait - I put my Irish phone number down and I've never had an issue, the couriers never ring because it's going straight to the Delivery Depot where there's always someone to receive it :)


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