It’s not too late to boost your stocks before prices go up
Are you planning to stock up on stamps before the end of the month? On 30 April prices will rocket, with the price of a first class stamp increasing by 14p to 60p, while the price of a second class stamp leaps by the same amount to 50p. As if that wasn’t enough of an incentive to buy a few in advance, until 10 April one retailer is offering 5% off books of stamps.
Although email and text messaging, as well as online payments, have made the traditional postal service increasingly redundant for many people, most of us need to use stamps at some time. And if you have a special occasion like a wedding planned this year, you could save a considerable amount by buying a large quantity before the price goes up. Stamps are, helpfully, inflation-proofed because they no longer carry a face value.
If you act quickly, you can save 5% by going to Superdrug. Until Tuesday it is running a discount on all books of stamps. You can cut 25p from the cost of a book of 12 first class stamps, which is currently £5.52. From the end of the month it will go up to £7.20, which means if you buy with a 5% discount you will be saving almost £2. Customers are limited to 72 stamps (six books) a day, so if you do need more, you may have to send in a friend.
Post offices around the country have been reporting lengthy queues as customers stock up. But you can avoid queues by buying them online direct from the Royal Mail or by phone from Royal Mail Direct (08457 782677).
And you can even buy them with your weekly grocery shop, through the online grocery chain Ocado where last week sales of stamps more than doubled – up 117 % – and sold out completely on Thursday.
The Royal Mail said that even if people were stockpiling stamps, there was no danger of them running out as they can be printed to order. It says if people want to buy them to sell on once the price has gone up, there is little it can do about it.
Contractual arrangements with the 50,000 outlets other than post offices that sell stamps specify only that they cannot sell them for more than the recommended retail price and this applies to individuals too. A Royal Mail spokesman says: “The basic premise is that people are able to sell stamps below the face value.”
If you are on benefits, you do not need to worry about stocking up on stamps to use at Christmas. Royal Mail has said the cost of posting Christmas cards in 2012 will be the same as last year for consumers on pension credit and employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit.
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