Martin Lewis has explained how the current-style stamps are being replaced with a new design that uses a barcode – but it means the old designs will become obsolete by January 2023
Royal Mail has warned how most stamps will need to be used up or swapped by January 2023, to make way for new designs that use a barcode.
The new stamps will include barcodes that people will be able to scan, so they can watch videos and even greetings from senders.
People will be able to scan the codes using the Royal Mail app to watch an animation.
But the change means traditional “lick and stick” stamps with the Queen’s head on them that say ‘1st’ or ‘2nd’ class, or any other price, won’t be valid.
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Royal Mail has said you will be able to swap your stamps from March this year for free, however after January next year, any outdated ones will not longer be valid
Martin is now urging households not to miss out and lose money.
He said: “For years, every time stamps go up in price I’ve suggested people stock up and bulk-buy in advance, as provided the stamp doesn’t have a price on it and instead just says the postage class, it’s still valid after the hike.
“This has been an effective tactic, as a first-class letter stamp is now 85p – a decade ago it was just 60p.
“So this change will come as a shock to the many stamp-hoarders out there. It’s the first time I can remember you’ve not been able to just lick it and stick it.
“And we don’t yet know if you’ll still be able to swap the stamps after March 2023, so this is a call to arms (or tongues) to ensure you either use ’em or swap ’em.”
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How to swap your Royal Mail stamps
The new Royal Mail “Swap Out” scheme opens on March 31, 2022, and will run until March 31, 2023.
There will be a “Swap Out” form on the Royal Mail website, though it isn’t live yet, or you can get a form from a local delivery office.
You will then have to post back the stamps you want to swap to a Freepost address.
“Special” commemorative stamps are not being phased out and can continue to be used after the cut-off.
In other news, Royal Mail is warning of delays in four of its delivery offices across the UK today.
The postal giant has been hit with disruption to its services due to ongoing coronavirus difficulties.
Royal Mail is blaming both Covid-related self isolation and high levels of workers off sick for delivery upheaval.
It also said “resourcing, or other local factors” is causing the service disruption.