Friday 10 May 2013

Report from Australia 2013 Stampshow Melbourne

The first overseas venture for the Post and Go machines to Melbourne has not been without its problems.  Sadly Murphy seems to have made an appearance and anything that could go wrong.....

From our correspondent at the show:

The machines were supposed to arrive on Monday, but got delayed by Customs. 

They finally arrived today at 10am (2 hours before the opening). The poor bloke looking after them had only one machine that worked (at least initially) and the other crashed after each transaction (due to internet problems, they chose an unreliable provider here).

Anyway, for your edification, attached is a scan of the collector strips from the second machine (A4 - the one that kept crashing). A3 was finally got working and I got a few from it as well. The queue was building and, with a limit of 99 stamps in one transaction, I felt a little bad trying to monopolise slow and troublesome machines. 

These are the images Peter sent us:

It is because of the uncertainty that I have been unable to say whether we will have any supplies for other than regular customers.   It does seem likely that we will have supplies from both machines but at this stage we don't know what the price will be because the costs are not finalised.

Chris has sent a picture of the Machin strip received from Tallents House together with the receipt.  I imagine that this is an accurate facsimile of the ones issued in Australia, but it is quite misleading suggesting that the receipt was produced at the Exhibition Building in Carlton, Vic.  And the overprint from the show doesn't include the word World that the Edinburgh overprint does (thanks for the report 'Anonymous').  What a blunder!

The cheapest way to have an obviously local product is to have a joined pair of 1st class stamps - disappointingly Edinburgh only produced collectors strips of 6.  Collectors could be forgiven for giving this all a wide berth!

UPDATE 13 May 2013
We're now able to show you the Personalised Smilers sheets available from Australia 2013. These are available customised with a photo or with the show logo, which appears in position 1 on all sheets of 10:

Some misalignment occurred in printing some sheets, resulting in the partial omission of the 'f' in the word 'of' on the labels. The grey vertical band at the centre of the images is where the clear plastic of the carrier overlaps.

Thanks to Alec W and his contact for providing pictures of Australia 2013 covers with the Faststamps affixed, and a pseudo-postmark or cachet.

Another correspondent sent us these images showing the pair from each machine


  1. Actually, A3 worked for only a short period today - it was down for most of the day. A4 worked smoothly by the end of the day - for the first couple of hours it had to be re-booted after each transaction. Bob did a great job in getting it working.

  2. Interesting that the Australian overprint wording "Australia 2013 Stamp Expo" is different to the Bureau supplied version "Australia 2013 World Stamp Expo". Apart from the obvious AU in the code, there should be problem in identifying the source by the overprint wording.

  3. John Beresford10 May 2013 at 20:47

    Are these stamps valid for postage from Australia to UK?!

    1. No. But then stamps which are sold by the many other postal administrations at the show are not valid from Australia to the UK, just as the ones that Australia Post sold here in London in 2010 were not valid for postage from the UK. This is just another way to sell stamp souvenirs to show visitors.

    2. I cannot understand why RM does not have someone on hand to postmark any P&G covers. Surely this could be a task that RM executives could do rather than just swan around. Were there any RM executives there ??

  4. On the first day the main people queueing to use the machines were dealers, English collectors or Australians who had been asked to get strips for people in England. I didn't really see much sign of interest from 'ordinary' collectors, and was there for about three hours because of all the machine problems! That said, there were enormous queues outside the Australia Post stand to get the various Expo items, so I suspect many collectors may have been concentrating on that.

    It will be interesting to see what the Royal Mail decides to do in the future, for example, whether to send the machines to other overseas events. Several people were buying quite a lot of strips, but I suspect the revenue would have been higher on the first day if A3 had been working.

  5. Any idea which way around were the Reels in the machines loaded? Was Reel A the Machin and Reel B the Flags? I have my strips from Australia with receipts but cannot identify which goes with which.
    Doug (Enfield)

    1. Reel A Flag & Reel B Machin

  6. Reel A Flags and Reel B Machin on both machines.

  7. Would you know if the GB versions of the Australian overprint Post and Go will get a full listing in the SG Concise, they were for sale at the bureau at face. Does it meet all their rule for a full listing rather than a note at the bottom. Many thanks.

    1. I don't know, the only people who could have any idea would be the Editorial team at Stanley Gibbons.

      So far no 'overprints' have been listed with other than a footnote. Although these are accessible to all collectors who know they were available (they are currently out of stock with no promise of further printings) they are still not available at Post Office branches just as the Stampex Perth one's aren't.


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