Saturday 3 October 2020

Mini-PPI Machin on Scotts of Stow Mailshot

Most people are used to seeing the Machin stamp (and others) printed on direct mail campaigns - junk mail as it is often called.  Indeed I have had a report already that Smyths Toys have sent out their Christmas catalogue using the “Alice in Wonderland” PPI. (Thanks DF)

The latest mailshot from homewares company Scotts of Stow has so many tantalising offers on the envelope, and such a small flap, that they have shrunk the Machin definitive stamp to a new small size.

Here's the whole envelope (almost C5 in size):

And here's an enlargement of the stamp alongside a 2nd class adhesive.  Normally the PPI printed stamp is the same size as a regular adhesive - indeed that's what Royal Mail's terms of service require.  


So along with the 12 Half Price Offers, this junk mail provides a half-sized Machin for the collector!

UPDATE 6 October 

My thanks to JG for sending this picture of THREE different sized PPI-printed impressions!

He writes:

I have recently received an even smaller version of the 2nd class digital stamp on a circular from Charles Tyrwhitt. The image shows a correctly-sized stamp on a circular from Gift Discoveries (a sister company to Scotts of Stow, sharing the same postal address Cotswold House, 1 Crompton Road, Groundswell SN25 5AW) on the left, the version from Scotts of Stow in the middle, and the version from Charles Tyrwhitt on the right

The latter version is missing the C9 licence number, but it should almost certainly be C9 10002 (i.e. whistl, who handle their other mail with digital stamps). The scan is a single image of the three overlapping covers/postcard.


  1. I think these are are a ridiculous disjointed idea anyway , using an impression of a stamp PIP valid for something letter size under 100g on mail larger and heavier gives an impression to 'Jo Public' that a 2nd stamp is valid on anything . After 12 years of PIP it is still not understood by many. I would suggest rather than 2nd they leave blank or use RM or paid . Like so many ideas of our beloved Postal Service , poorly thought out , executed and managed.

    1. You may also have had one of these and be writing from experience, I don't know.
      The size is correct for a standard letter, passing through a Royal Mail template as used in post offices. It is marginally over weight at 102g on my electronic scales, but there is a tolerance there so it might have been acceptable to Royal Mail.

      But from the direct mail organisation there is strong evidence that 'stamped' mail gets a better response than unstamped (PAID) mail.

    2. This has made me go back and look again at my own PPI covers. I have one C910002 cover from February 2019 whichever the image is a good 3mm shorter than the standard


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