Royal Mail has recently made announcements that the current stamp format for postage is changing. A new, barcoded format is being introduced and the existing stamp format will no longer be valid after 31st January 2023.
Why is Royal Mail making this change?
As well as listing security as a big reason for the change, Royal Mail says the move will also make the stamps more modern as they will enable people to interact with multimedia features associated with their deliveries. These could include entertainment add-ons (such as the exclusive Shaun the Sheep videos currently available direct from the barcodes) as well as more practical help. See the Royal Mail site here for more info.
Does it affect all stamps?
No. Seasonal and certain special issue, limited-edition stamps are exempt and will continue to be valid so don’t require swapping out. Find out exactly which stamps need to be changed here.
How to swap existing stamps for the new format
Royal Mail has introduced a Stamp Swap-Out Scheme to help people exchange invalidated stamps for the new variety. Depending on how many you need to swap you can print the relevant form from the website and return stamps by post to complete the exchange.
You can find out more and print the relevant forms here
Find out all the details by visiting the Royal Mail information page here
Before you go…
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t add a further message to this.
While there are times that sending physical post is necessary or even preferable, it’s worth bearing in mind that issuing bulk communications such as invoices by physical post has a number of drawbacks.
Cost. Stamps don’t come cheap these days and if you’re sending a lot of post out, the costs will really rack up. And that’s before you add in envelopes, paper, print toner… Emailing can vastly reduce these costs over the course of a year.
Environmental impact. Even if you’re using recycled materials and recycling as much as possible yourself, sending large amounts of post has a fairly hefty carbon footprint, from the materials used to the methods of delivery. While email is not without a carbon footprint itself, it is significantly smaller than physical post.
Time. It takes far longer to print, fold, seal and post a letter or invoice than it does to email it, especially when emailing can be automated. Plus, an email can be delivered instantly, without waiting for the post to arrive.
Security. Unless you are using recorded or tracked delivery for every letter, invoice or reminder you send, you have no way of knowing that your customer or supplier has actually received it. With email, you can digitally track every communication with much greater accuracy.
Efficiency. Automating invoices, reminders or alerts from your ERP system to trigger email communications to customers and integrate responses, payments and other information back into the system creates a much richer information system, with instant access to up-to-the-minute status reports on any aspect of a customer or order. You can’t do that with a letter now, can you?
Merchanter, our cloud-based ERP system for merchants, lets you digitise and in many cases automate your communications, as well as loads of other processes throughout your business, saving time, error and effort.
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