Saturday 26 August 2023

Déjà vu - No Royal Mail stand at Autumn Stampex for second year in succession.

With London Stampex now reduced to just one live event per year you might have thought that Royal Mail would welcome the opportunity to meet with their customers and potential customers, but apparently not.

Last year the intermittent strikes by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) led to the late announcement that there would be no RM presence at the premier London stamp event.

This year there is no such excuse, and so there is a much earlier announcement, which is no less unwelcome and even more surprising.

Stampex 2023

Following a strategic review Royal Mail’s Stamps and Collectibles team can confirm that we will not be taking a stand at Stampex International 2023 due to take place in London from 27-30 September 2023.

This also means there will not be any Stampex Postmarks for this event.

What does this really mean?

- the expenditure isn't worthwhile for the effort involved because anybody who wants the stamps will but them online;

- nobody volunteered for a trip to London;

- we will sell more of our special stamps to people who don't normally collect stamps but do like memorabilia for music, a cartoon bear, a fantasy wizard, games and a tv comedy show.  These buyers wouldn't be going to Stampex, so we won't either.

It also means even more pressure on the finances of the Philatelic Traders' Society, and may mean they look again at whether a smaller venue outside London would be better for the hobby as a whole.



  1. I find this decision by RM quite extraordinary. They clearly have a complete disregard for their customers and promoting the hobby. They attend no other events in the calendar year. This would have been the only opportunity this year to obtain those missing cylinder booklets, cylinder panes and other formats for one's collection.. As usual they will state these items can be purchased direct from Stamps & Collectibles, but as we know from past experience they can't.
    Just as well I hadn't purchased a Stampex ticket, as I won't be going now. Thank you RM for your unreliable service.

    1. Well I have emailed Royal Mail Stamps and Collectables tonight to enquire how to order the Machin and King Charles Definitive's with the colour tab attached as they were not attending Stampex this year, I am awaiting their response

  2. I have, with the demise of the Machin and the endless meaningless commemoratives walked from the RM. After numerous decades of dedication I found the decision hard, but feel the entity that purports to be the Royal Mail is nought but a shade or an imposter. There are those of us who are still finding many gems buried in the "old world", a realm I will happy play in. So done with the RM.

    1. Well done ! As gambling adverts would say, "when the fun stops, stop". And you are dead right that there is a wealth of interesting material out there.

      RMs non attendance just confirms what I and others suspected for a while, their target market is not the traditional stamp collector. I don't blame them for that, it is after all a commercial concern and if a better return on investment is available for them elsewhere then that is where they will target. Maybe they will instead have stalls at sci-fi conventions and cat/dog shows :-)

      RM for me is only a small part of the show, but I shan't be attending this year as I wont get the days off work this time so can only go on a saturday - when no doubt a lot of the stuff I'd like will have gone in the preceeding 3 days. Maybe when I retire ...


  3. If Royal Mail doesn't want (or care) to be a philatelic entity, it should off - or give away - Stamps & Collectibles to someone who knows how to monetise (but not exploit) current and future philatelists.

    Or just sack Matt Parkes - that would work just as well.

  4. "Following a Strategic Review" ..... Hmmm, that usually means "they are never coming back".

  5. "- nobody volunteered for a trip to London;"
    I doubt that. The RM staff have always looked perfectly happy behind the counter there. When working I certainly never minded a trip to London with travel, subsistence and accommodation paid, and plenty to do in the evening !

  6. White Knight commenting - Those in senior positions responsible for RM new issues seem to see themselves more as a part of show biz than having anything to do with philately. Fair enough - if there’s more profit for RM shareholders in show business than stamp collecting, then so be it. Stamp collectors increasingly aren’t buying their philatelic products and, I suppose, that will have a noticeable effect on Stamps & Collectibles profits eventually or maybe it won’t. It seems there’s more money to be made from silver ingots and fan sheets than cylinder blocks and cylinder panes. We’ll see but in the meantime, while Mr Showbiz is in charge of matters, I suspect stamp collectors will just see more of the same ad nauseam. It’s a pity that the gentleman’s show business links, boasted about on his Linked In entry, do not extend to stamp shows.

  7. I'm now retired so for the first time I was looking forward to not having to take a day off to go to Stampex. Last year I didn't go as there was no Royal Mail presence, and it looks like I won't go this year now. What a shame. I remember when not only were the RM crew from Edinburgh there, but the lovely team from the London Special Handstamp Centre were also on site - great to meet and chat with them. The best of the Stampex's was probably in 1990, at Earl's Court. It's a shame that a shortsighted RM management are ruining our hobby now. We don't even have good quality definitive stamps as the new KC3 bar code offerings are utterly ghastly.

  8. Interesting that this comes as a result of a STRATEGIC review rather than COMMERCIAL. Combine this with the cessation of the Philatelic Bulletin and it is absolutely clear now where we stand - nowhere. No more spoon feeding - time for us to put on our big boy pants and become proper collectors!

  9. Sir Brian Tuke would be turning in his grave to see what the post office has become since his time in charge back when it started. Sadly though it has lost its way and not sure there are great odds for it to find its way ever again given where it has chosen to go. Very sad.


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