Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Why 2nd class Large stamps in Post Offices are so old

Anybody who has tried to find 2nd class Large stamps in almost any post office will find that the booklets are probably from late 2016 when the cover was changes, the business sheets are probably from 2014 or earlier, and the counter sheets are 2014 or earlier if they have any at all.

An example is shown above to remind you of the stamp!  And shown below is why you see so few used.  Sellers on eBay, Amazon, Etsy etc, often use Royal Mail's widely advertised Click and Drop service.  Although primarily intended for parcels, the system can be used on ordinary and large letters: this was used to send postcards of Hampton Court, but I have had them used for many other eBay sales. 


Although the price is the same, the labels can be printed directly from the computer when preparing the goods for posting.  No transcription errors for the addressee; the sender's details are included automatically.  The only thing that has to be right is the weight and postal service, and in many cases these are part of the details entered on the selling platform.  The system also prints the bar-code which Royal Mail are trying to get all parcel senders to use (as on the Horizon system).  The details revealed by a QR-reader include the destination address and the postcode of the sender, as well as the weight and price, and a unique code.  The sender can also receive delivery conformation if the item is scanned on delivery.

What's shown is a good example of modern postage, but you won't collect as many of them as you do covers with stamps on!


9 comments:

  1. As this is an adhesive label which indicates the pre-payment of postage - which is broadly the definition of a postage stamp - should we not also call these labels 'stamps' (though large, undecorative and quite sophisticated)? Surely they are more relevant to the modern day postal service than, say, the upcoming Hampton Court miniature sheet and scores of other philatelic products like it.

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    1. They are certainly collectable, preferably on cover or piece. I think you would be fighting a heavyweight establishment if you wanted everybody to call them stamps, though!

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  2. Approaching it from another direction... How many people need to send something which is Large Letter but it isn't time dependent so want to save 22p? Clearly Amazon etc. sellers are sending significant numbers of items so those 22p add up. But for personal usage, I'd guess the most common items are documents (to bank, solicitor etc.), which will probably be sent as Signed For, or oversize greetings cards where the timing may be of more importance. So the demand for 2nd Large over the counter is much less than 1st Large

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    1. Except at Christmas

      John Embrey

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    2. When the Christmas 2nd and 1st Large are available.

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  3. Other types of stamps that are slowly being made redundant are the Recorded Signed for & Special Delivery, whenever I go to post either of these the counter clerk never ever uses the special stamps for these items they always print off a large label, I am thinking we may not see any of these this year.

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    1. You could always buy a stock of the RSF and SD stamps and apply them to the envelope before taking it to the Post Office - that way you could also save some money when the price goes up!

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  4. What a hideous piece of tatt...... ruddy awful as an excuse for postage - don't use them!

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  5. One of the problems is the weight limit for large letters tamps. People have got wise that sending a few sheets in an a4 envelope attracts the large letter, but fold it and send it as an a5 letter it goes for a standard 1st class letter. It is unlikely that those who need to send an A4 sized document or birthday cards would opt for second class or would weigh more than the first step limit.

    It’s not really fair to criticise on-line seller who choose to print their own addressed postage labels. Yes they can be cheaper for the seller, but some on-line selling apps which help seller manage their items and automatically mark items as dispatched and provide a tracking facility to prove delivery, they have 2d barcode (They now have more functionality than before https://www.onepostoffice.co.uk/secure/latest-news/our-products/2d-barcode-change-we-love-it/), usually ‘tracked not signed for’, which offers assurance to the seller and reassurance for the buyer.

    There is also a practical reason, if you live in an area which has lost its post office or had their sub office reduced to a local, not all are amenable to taking a number of larger items due to space constraints, or simply take too much time for the combined counter, and put off other customers.

    All that said, I’m not a fan of them, but can see their value as part of postal history, in the same way as franking machines, the postage paid indicators, Horizon labels, smart stamps, Faststamps and those printed stamps that seem to have replace coils stamps.

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