How will the stamp price rise affect collectors?

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02 April 2012
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imports_CCGB_a1stclassstampwillso_01032.jpg A 1st Class stamp will soon cost 60p
We asked readers, dealers and collectors for their thoughts on the forthcoming stamp price increase recently announced by Royal Mail... ...

The price of a 1st class stamp will rise to 60p at the end of April, while 2nd Class stamps will cost 50p.

Read about the news here

We asked readers, dealers and collectors for their thoughts on how the forthcoming stamp price increase will affect stamp collecting…

Was the stamp rise inevitable?

Probably, given the stated aim to sell off the Royal Mail.  But if the Government had dealt with the pension problem twenty years ago, this might have been an entirely different situation. (David Rennie, contributor)

When privatised, as now seems likely, the Post Office will have to charge the market price for its operation. It cannot be considered as a public service in the future. Even if this has previously been thought the case. Gone are the days when a letter posted early in the morning would arrive at its destination by lunch-time. The cost of a stamp at 60p is approximately that of the penny post when Rowland Hill introduced it. This amount is in parity with the cost of a first class stamp in other European countries. (Chris Oliver, contributor)

Will the price increase affect how you collect GB stamps?

No, as I don't collect this period. However, it will make the latest GB all but unsaleable to those of my customers on Portobello [market], who are looking for colourful thematics or souvenirs. (David Bailey, contributor and dealer)

I will buy smaller cylinder blocks, probably 3 x 1 definitves and 2 x 1 commemoratives. (Ken Moody, reader)

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It has done already as I stopped collecting GB at the beginning of 2011. (Ed Archer, contributor)

How will the price increase affect stamp collecting generally?

The cost of new commemorative sets is bound to increase, thus putting off new collectors.  The inevitable rise of e-mail and other means of communication as the techno-savvy younger generation reach adulthood, will depress even further the use of letter post.  Greetings cards are already available on line, and this must be a growth market. (David Rennie, contributor)

We have enjoyed relatively low Postage charges in the UK for some time, and although these price increases for First Class and Second Class mail are pronounced, 30% and 39% respectively, the actual costs remain competitive when compared to other countries and indeed the service and costs involved. I suspect it will be customers who purchase from Internet based dealers and especially eBay related sales which will perhaps be the most sensitive to this uplift in charges. Dealers can alleviate the impact on certain sales, where next day delivery is not essential, by offering Second Class at the same rate as First Class is currently. Some may, for a time, maintain prices static, in effect absorbing the increase. But sooner or later these rises will be passed onto the end user and it is them who will decide if they are getting value for money. I suspect many will think not. (Devlan Kruck, contributor and dealer)

What do you think of the plan to sell stamps to benefit claimants at a cheaper rate?

Probably unworkable, and far too bureaucratic.  Yet another example of a poorly thought out strategy, and hasty patching. (David Rennie, contributor)

A PR gimmick which will be costly to administer, open to abuse and of minimal benefit. (David Bailey, contributor and dealer)

What do you think? Share your views on the Stamp & Coin Mart forum.

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