Sending Parcels Via Point Relais in France
With internet sites such as Vinted and Facebook marketplace ever popular, the advent of the ‘Point Relais’ was inevitable. But what is a ‘Point Relais’, and how does the system work?
What is a Point Relais in France?
A Point Relais (also known as a ‘relais colis’ or ‘point de retrait’) is a parcel collection point or service point that allows you to drop off or pickup e-commerce parcels. Parcels use a prepaid postage system and are simply scanned into the system as they are sent and received, automatically generating proof of sending/reception. Being as home delivery isn’t involved, it is often a more cost-effective way of sending and receiving parcels.
There are two main options for sending and receiving parcels like this in France:
- Point Relais: A point relais is a physical place – normally a local business premises, such as a supermarket or small shop. This place is usually recognisable by a ‘Point Relais’ sticker or sign which advertises this service, and you can search online for your closest relais point.
- Locker: More and more supermarkets and businesses are now installing a 24-hour locker system, which allows you to pickup a parcel by entering your code. Note that most lockers at the moment do not allow for drop-offs, only pickups.
How do I use a Point Relais?
There are many different companies that use the Point Relais, so make sure that you go to the Point Relais associated with the relevant company. For example, one pickup point may only deal with Chronopost parcels, another with Mondial Relay parcels.
Distributers for Point Relais
Some of the different delivery services able to distribute your parcels include Mondial Relais, Relais Colis, Chronopost, Relais Pickup DPD, and Point Relais TNT – you can search the relevant website for Point Relais served by your chosen delivery service.
Sending a parcel via a Point Relais
If sending a parcel, you need to have packaged your parcel securely and to have applied the correct labelling supplied by your distributor once you have paid for the postage. This is easily done online with the aid of a home printer – for example, if you sell an item via Vinted, you will be able to download and print the postage label. You then go to your Point Relais, where your package barcode is scanned as proof of reception.
Your parcel will then be delivered to the Point Relais that you (or the buyer) selected, typically the closest Point Relais to the recipient of your package. The package should be delivered within the following five to ten days.
You should receive confirmation of your article being sent and received by email or text, and online e-commerce platforms such as Vinted will automatically update the item as ‘sent’.
Collecting a parcel from a Point Relais
You will be notified via text or email that your package has arrived, and you will then need to go to your Point Relais to collect it. Take with you some adequate proof of identity, such as a Carte de Sejour/Passport, as this is often required. You may be asked either for the name on the parcel or for the code sent in the email/text.
If you are picking up your item from a locker, you won’t need ID, but you must have the code. Enter the code on the computer screen, and the associated locker will pop open – simply retrieve your item, close the locker afterwards, and press ‘item received’ on the screen.
You typically have 10 days from the time of receiving the first message in which to pick up your item – if you don’t collect it, it will be returned to the sender. However, typically, messages will be resent regularly up until the 10-day limit, so don’t worry if you miss the first one!
Et voila! A relatively easy and cost-effective way to send parcels all over France and beyond!
Local Life in France
From shopping at the supermarket to sending a parcel at Post Office, finding your local dechetterie to who to call in an emergency—FrenchEntrée is here to help with every aspect of day-to-day living in France. Read our Essential Reading guides for advice on living in France, visit our Shopping zone or Pets zone, or brush up your language skills with our handy learning French resources.
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