Royal Mail ration stamps in advance of price hikes

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In a tale reminisicent of a Carry On film or even a Soviet farce, it has emerged that Royal Mail are rationing stamps in advance of hefty price rises which come into force later in the month.

In an attempt to prevent retailers making extra profit from the 30th April price increase, Royal Mail has capped supplies of stamps to outlets to 20% of their annual allocation. It is reported that Superdrug has already run out of stamps.

A Royal Mail spokesperson has said: “We are more than happy for retailers to receive the normal commercial return they obtain on stamps and no more than that. That is why we have put in place a prudent allocation policy to safeguard Royal Mail’s revenues and ensure there are more than enough stamps for people to buy both now and in the future. There is a good supply of stamps across the country. We have more than adequate stock in place to meet customer demand.”

Royal Mail also noted that demand for stamps had jumped dramatically after the price increases were announced but that demand has since waned.

Do you find that very reassuring? Tamebay advice to anyone who might be affected by a stamp shortage is to have a Plan B so your business can continue apace. It also seems possible that post offices will be rammed with stamp buyers in the last few days before the increase. So prepare for longer than usual queues, if you despatch using your local branch.

30 Responses

  1. When the Price Hike was announced there were reports of Governmenmt Ministers and MP’s advising people to go out and buy the stamps that they would need to post their Christmas Cards. After all this is similar to thye advice to go out and fill up jerry cans with petrol except of course that stamps do not present a fire hazard nor are likely to explode.

    However how so very typical of the Royal Mail to bring in rationing st stop any member of the public from following the Ministers and M.P’s advice and going out and buying an extra few hundred stamps before the Price Hike.

    Before anybody wonders if I have bought any extra stamps I can honestly say that I have not.

  2. Rationing’ is only being applied to non Post Office retail outlets.

    There may be ‘shortages’ at Post Offices but that is not rationing.

    Non Post Office outlets normally make a very small % on their stamp sales. By virtue of the ‘hike’ they have the opportunity to make a very much bigger percentage and those outlets are being denied that chance.

    They will get as many as possible from RM, and hoard them for sale after the increase.

    If you were RM what would you do?

    All this deflects from the horrendous increases inflicted on postal users.

    Especially the International increases.

    No ‘Universal Service’ to outlying destinations, in fact no delivery needed at all, just get mail to Heathrow and load on a plane. How can that suddenly cost so much more?

    IMHO, and of many others, simply an invidious exploitation of small exporters and of the public in general.

  3. i have just purchased 5000 2nd LL across 2 post offices this week. However i did have them on order.

    I am tempted too buy a load of 2nd letter for later resale on ebay.

  4. crackers,
    everyone knew thast prices were going up why the rush now, and all royalmail needed to do was announce that the price rise for stamps was instant and immediate

  5. It’s not just stamp retailers who can profit from this, I wonder how many eBay sellers will stock up on stamps at the current rate, but increase postage prices in their listings as soon as the new rates apply?

    This could of course lead to more low postage ratings if buyers suspect that this is happening.

  6. And when the minimum UK shipping costs for items over 25mm thick up to 750g in weight rises to around £3.50 all in to include postage costs, packaging and tape, stationary invoices and printing costs, void fill, storeroom to drop off point costs, paypal fees of 12p for payment of the postage element of the sale, labour costs and other overhead, how are ebay buyers going to score this for a 90g package with a £1.99 value and a £3.50 shipping cost?

    Anything less than £3.50 in future for items over 25mm thick and sellers will be subsidising shipping costs.

    OK stick 7 x 2nd class stamps on the package. What is the issue?

  7. First Class has an increase of 30%
    Second Class has an increase of 39%
    Large Letter First Class has an increase of 20%
    Large Letter Second Class has an increase of 19%

    Standard Second Class offer the best value before the price increase.

    Airmail EU has an increase of 81% & non EU of 59%

  8. I am still confused who is paying VAT on post & who is not?

    Is the PO now charging VAT on their services from RM? or not, and if not what was the point of charging VAT?.

  9. SHOULD HAVE been a reply to 8.1 [Chris].

    We’ve got a OBA account and it’s our choice to opt for the BPL? code instead of the STL code, as no VAT is charged on the earlier, but the services are the same.
    Also, STL prices increased on 01/04, BPL prices on 30/04.

    Re; all competitors also offer a Universal Service.

    There would be a mass exodus out of the Courier business.

    Chris, Re wordperfect, might have a way round it, will email you soon.

  10. This is being blown-up a lot by the press… just spent £1,000 on first class stamps, partly from my local Post Office (that has loads of first class stamps) and also direct from the Royal Mail website…

    Can’t see the issue, it’s a no-brainer to buy as much as possible in the next two weeks, who doesn’t want a 30% discount on postage?

  11. Shops that sell stamps are telling customers that they have sold out when in fact they have plenty of stamps in stock as the shops are hoarding them to profiteer themselves by selling them at the higher prices from 30th April.

  12. When making stamp purchases on the Royal Mail website the basket quantity defaults to 1 no matter how many you try and purchase.

    Can you think of any other business other than a monopoly that would do this?

  13. I ordered 250 quids worth of stamps last Sunday from Royal Mail online, it said 2-3 day delivery time.

    It does not even look like they have despatched them yet. When I questioned what was happening on Twitter (no answer on phone or reply to email) they claim it is down to so many people using they service they cannot keep up with demand.

  14. After being let down many, many times in the past by ordering through their website I now phone the order through.
    I ordered 1,000 first and 1,000 second class last week and they were here the next morning
    Speak to a person….Trust me !

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