Royal Mail has decided to increase the cost of postage stamps again, which takes effect on 27th March 2017.
If you are a low volume user of stamps this does not have a material effect. However, if you are an eBayer or a small business, this increase could become a large amount over the year.
There are ways of obtaining stamps at lower than their face value, sometimes as much as 30%.
One way, although I’m not convinced, is to purchase stamps from eBay. Unless they include the packaging they are likely to be reclaimed stamps (used stamps but not stamped by the Royal Mail). If Royal Mail believe they are reclaimed they are likely to want to charge the addressee to deliver.
The way I buy stamps is 100% legitimate. I simply buy stamps using gift cards.
There are two ways that I am aware of; online with WHS and in store at Staples ***. I have bought hundreds of stamps in this way, without any issues.
The saving is made on the purchase of the store gift card itself. There are many sources including eBay, Gumtree, Zeek and Cardyard. Obviously, you are reliant on the gift cards being available and on eBay and Gumtree, the discount will vary depending on the seller.
Currently, WHS gift cards are sold at Cardyard with a 17% discount. These can be used online and as long as the order is greater than £20 then it includes free delivery.
Zeek sell WHS gift cards but the discount is lower than Cardyard. That said, if you have never used Zeek before, download the app and use my referral code (2TFKCCC8) you should receive £5 off your first order. Please note, that I have no control over this and they can change my referral code. Please check before ordering and if you have a problem message me and I’ll try and help.
Stamps can also be used to send items via Special Delivery or Signed For.
For example, Special Delivery up to 100g (valued up to £500) the current cost is £6.45. In this example, you could apply any combination of stamps to the value of £6.45 (8 second class large letter stamps plus 45p in other stamps). You would still need to go into the Post Office to obtain the tracking slip and it does look a little odd but there is no issue with doing this.
If you have purchased a gift card with a 17% discount and used this card to purchase stamps, then the true cost falls to £5.35 giving a saving of £1.10. If you send a number of items, this individually small saving will increase to something worth having.
Although it is rare, I have purchased a Staples gift card with a 30% discount. You can purchase stamps at the counter (subject to availability) and use a Staples gift card. Please note, I don’t think they see too many gift cards being used and I have to be a little patient on occasion. That said, I would usually buy something up to £100 given me a saving of up to £30.
If you stockpile stamps and have purchased first or second class stamps (not those with a value printed on them), then any future increases in cost will have no effect until you have used all the stamps.
Your overall savings will be dependent on the gift card discount and also how many stamps you use. That said, this is relatively straight forward and does not involve a lot of work.
*** Please note that Staples no longer have a high street presence. Their stores have been taken over by The Office Outlet. I have been advised that Staples gift cards will continue to be accepted until the end of 2018.