From 4 April: New postage rates
If you still use postage stamps, you have a couple of days to save money by buying generic 1st and 2nd class stamps (without a money value on them) before next Monday at a post office or any other place that sells stamps, or online at https://shop.royalmail.com/postage-and-packaging (but there is a delivery charge on orders less than £50). You can buy these generic stamps at the current rate and continue to use them even after the rates go up. This is legal.
From Monday 4 April, here are the standard prices for the most common sizes:
- Standard letters up to & including 100g: 1st class up a swingeing 10p from 85p to 95p; 2nd class up 2p from 66p to 68p.
- Large letters up to & including 100g: 1st class up an even more swingeing 16p from £1.29 to £1.45; 2nd class up 9p from 96p to £1.05.
- Small parcels up to & including 2 kg: 1st class £4.45 (previously £3.85 for up to 1kg, and £5.57 for between 1 & 2kg). 2nd class up from £3.20 to £3.35.
- Medium parcels up to & including 2kg: 1st class £6.95 (previously £6 for up to 1kg, and £5.30 for between 1 & 2kg).
- 2nd class up from £5.30 to £5.35.
- Huge price drops for medium-size parcels up to 10kg and 20kg.
- International letters or postcards to Europe, up to & including 100g, go up 7p from £1.70 to £1.85.
- To World zones 1/2/3, letters and postcards up to & including 20g also go up from £1.70 to £1.85, and up to 100g remains £2.55.
- For large letters, the rates for all sizes and all parts of the world remain the same as at present.
The price guide from 4 April is currently at https://www.royalmail.com/prices2022, and from 4 April will be at https://www.royalmail.com/current-postage-prices. Some rates are lower for postage paid online through Click & Drop. Rates are also different for franking machines and for Royal Mail business accounts and services.
Barcoded stamps are already being introduced and will be added to all definitive stamps (those with only the Queen’s profile) and Christmas stamps. Barcodes will not be added to one-off special issue stamps – also referred to as commemoratives or collectables – such as the current “Heroes of the Covid pandemic” series and the forthcoming Migratory birds (7 April), Unsung heroes: women of World War II (5 May), and Cats (9 June).
Current non-barcoded definitive stamps can continue to be used until 31 January 2023, but after that a surcharge will be made if they are used.
New Christmas stamps will be barcorded, but non-barcoded Christmas stamps can continue to be used even after 31 January 2023.
Special issue stamps will not be barcoded, and can continue to be used.
The barcode is an integral part of the stamp, and must not be separated from it. The Royal Mail says the unique barcodes will “facilitate operational effectiveness, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for our customers” (like already being able to use the Royal Mail app to scan the barcode and see a Shaun the Sheep video…). Each barcode can be used only once – so if you have ever soaked or peeled off a stamp that wasn’t postmarked and reused it, you won’t be able to do this with a barcoded stamp. The Royal Mail has reassured customers no personal data will be held in the barcode.
Starting now (31 March 2022) non-barcoded definitive stamps can be exchanged for new barcoded stamps through the Royal Mail’s “swap out” scheme. There is no need to do this until it gets closer to next January, especially if you are likely to use all your stock before then. But if you’re not going to use them all, put in your diary for next autumn to be sure to swap them.
Unfortunately the non-barcoded stamps will not simply be able to be exchanged at a post office. To swap them you will have to either print out a form from the Royal Mail website, get one from your local delivery office’s customer service point, or contact “Customer experience” to have a form sent. (This is probably what used to be known as customer service, 0345 774 0740, but may be a new and exciting experience.) The form and stamps will need to be posted to a freepost address. Details of the scheme will presumably be on the Royal Mail website within the next day or two. The swap out scheme will end on 31 March 2023.
The above information was captured from Sandy Adirondack updates. Sandy Adirondack: Management training and consultancy (sandy-a.co.uk)