Royal Mail has announced that millions of its so-called ‘definitive’ stamps featuring the Queen’s portrait will be phased out after January 2023 in favor of barcode stamps
Royal Mail has finally launched its ‘Swap Out’ scheme, allowing you to exchange current-style stamps for new barcode versions.
The postal giant has announced that millions of its so-called “definitive” stamps featuring the Queen’s portrait will become worthless after January 2023.
This is because it introduces new barcode stamps that the recipient can scan with their phone to view an animated video.
The only stamps you can use after January 2023 are the barcode stamps, collection stamps and Christmas stamps.
Mail sent after January 2023 with non-barcoded stamps may incur a surcharge, payable by the recipient.
This is treated in the same way as if insufficient postage was paid.
How to use the ‘Swap Out’ scheme
If you use the Swap Out program you will need to fill in a form from the Royal Mail.
There is a standard form for stamps up to £200 or a Bulk Stamp Swap-Out form for stamps over £200.
You can download and print out the form on this page Royal Mail or call the Customer Services team on 03457 740740 to request a form to be mailed to you.
Will you exchange your stamps? Let us know in the comments below.
Alternatively, you can collect a form from your local delivery office. When you pick up a form or have it mailed to you, you get a free envelope to mail.
Once you have downloaded the form you will need to attach your own postage to send it to the Royal Mail. There is no limit to the number of forms you can request.
You cannot pick up a form at post offices and you cannot take stamps to the post office for exchange.
It should take seven business days for your new stamps to be mailed to you.
Less than a week before stamp prices go up
Stamp prices are set to rise in just under a week – but there’s a way to beat the rise if you act now.
The cost of 1st class stamps reaches 95p from 4 April, a 10p increase from 85p. The price of 2nd class stamps will increase by 2p from 66p to 68p.
Royal Mail confirmed the price hike earlier this month, blaming Brits for sending fewer letters.
If you send a lot of letters it might be a good idea to stock up on stamps now before the price goes up – but remember you’ll need to exchange them.
There is currently no end date by which you must exchange your non-barcoded stamps.
A statement released on March 4 said: “Royal Mail has carefully considered these price changes given the long-term structural decline in letter usage and rising inflation.
“Letter volume has fallen by more than 60% since its peak in 2004/05 and by around 20% since the start of the pandemic.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/royal-mail-stamp-swap-scheme-26603788 Royal Mail's stamp exchange scheme opens - how it works before millions go to waste