IMPORTANT NOTICE

Originally published 4 December

Today we are announcing a major change to our business. 


This further change will give me more time to spend on my own collection, and finding a way to dispose of the decades of accumulated stamps and postal history without buying any more!  It will also give us more time together, on holiday, which is as it should be in the eighth decade of your life!


One consequence of this, which I have alluded to in some email exchanges, is that we will not stock Machin definitives after the M18L stamps, ie none of the M19L codes or later.  To clarify, if there is a PSB in early 2019 containing M18L stamps, we will supply this but not any later ones.

I am sorry that this will come as a disappointment to our existing customers, some whom we have been supplying for some years, and quiet a few who have only recently joined us..

The blog will continue to provide news of Machins, slogan postmarks, and other British news.  It will also be used to tell you about additions to our e-commerce shop (of which more below).   The Machin Checklist will continue, using information from many people as at present. 


There are several reasons for this, mainly personal.  For those who don't already know, I turned 70 in April this year. In itself, that isn't a problem, as I am blessed with good health, and a good wife (Val) who keeps me properly and healthily fed. We know from our World Tour in late 2016 that the world can manage without us, and the business has continued as if that never happened.  Meanwhile John takes on all the technical stresses of the business.

We have boxes and boxes of ‘stuff’ here that we don't want to leave for John to sort out in 20 or 30 years time (see, I'm optimistic). There are stockbooks of older Machins, some Wildings and many commemoratives, and first day covers; many foreign & commonwealth stamps;  boxes of postcards mostly for their postal history side, and boxes of postal history from around the world. The sooner we can get these on our shop or eBay, or dispose of them through other outlets like Stampboards.com, the better it will be – and I will find all manner of things I had forgotten about!


I don’t know what I will get to first. I will probably start by listing older Machins, regionals, pre-security booklets, etc, but I also have several hundred postal history covers already scanned, so some of those will be listed early on.


There is also a practical difficulty.  As you know Royal Mail Tallents House do not routinely supply definitive stamps with new year codes, nor singles from booklets or business sheets. They departed from that in 2018 by supplying the counter sheet stamps from the new printer.

But aside from that stock provided by Royal Mail most of the new stamps we sell have come from one or two local people who scour the post offices and retail outlets, and are often the first to discover new stamps. Now that more Crown and directly managed Post Office branches are changing to franchises in WHSmith and other retail chains employing their own staff and using self-service kiosks, the volume of new stamps ordered by those branches for sale to customers will decrease, making the hunt more difficult.


There are many other dealers selling new Machins as they appear, on a combination of their own websites, eBay, at fairs or simply by mail order on their lists.  I don’t intend to make any recommendations although I am compiling a list of other dealers.  There doesn’t appear to be any website using the same platform as we do, so layouts, provision of images, etc, will be different to what you are used to.  But some of you are already using several dealers.  I will be interested to know of other dealers that you can recommend, especially outside the UK as this may assist our customers in, especially, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

I will supply details of other dealers on request only with comments and contact details.  This will follow as soon as possible.

If any other dealer reading this wants to ‘pitch’ for business with our existing customers I will include their submission within those details, making it clear that it is their pitch rather than my comments.

Ian, Val & John Billings



As promised here is a list of other Machin Dealers



United Kingdom
   
A. Dealers who I have contact with, either personally, by email or on the phone.


a. I have a lot of contact with Stuart Woodhouse. Like me Stuart deals on the internet:


"We sell mostly used modern GB commemoratives, machins, regionals etc, as
well as prestige booklets, Smiler sheets,booklets, Post & Go's and Worldwide
stamps. Over 68,000 items listed."


You can find Stuart's offerings at www.stu1967.co.uk and contact him at
stuart_woodhouse [at] sky.com
Stuart is a registered dealer with Royal Mail.
b. Rob Latchford Stamps


"I have been supplying Security coded Machins in all formats since they started
in 2009, still carry almost all in stock, and hope to continue.   I haven't yet
missed one even if it takes me a while to get them. Additionally all booklet
singles/smiler singles, album supp "extras" and also FDCs including mixed
booklets, PSB Panes and smilers, the latter on a standing order basis only. I
don't specifically promote ebay although I do sell some of my stock on there."


You can contact Rob by email – 1stopstamps [at] gmail.com
Rob is a registered dealer with Royal Mail and so has the same advantages that our own
business has.
c. Arun Stamps (Tony Hender). Tony is local to us in Norfolk. He covers the whole range of GB.
Many customers who visit shows/fairs will know him from there because he attends
York, Pudsey, Stafford, Midpex, Liverpool, South of England Bracknell, Salisbury,
Ardingly, as well as running fairs in Norwich, King's Lynn and Philanglia, and until
recently Stampex. He has a basic website, accepts orders and wants lists by mail and
email. (And unlike me he also buys good collections.)


Telephone: 01328 829318 or 07881812523  Email: info [at] arunstamps.co.uk  
Website http://arunstamps.co.uk/
Tony also gets stock direct from Royal Mail.


B. Dealers who contacted me after the announcement, or who I may have met at fairs but
who I haven't had dealings with in the same way as section A, above.


Clarendon Stamps (Brian McCarty) Brian and I discussed this change of business in
the summer at Stafford. He is based in Northamptonshire, attends fairs in the region and
also sells on eBay as ryebaby2000. As well as stamps and booklets he also has Post
and Go material. He is happy to deal with non-UK customers.
Email is
clarendonstamps [at] btinternet.com I also have a phone number for him.
Delta Stamps (Ian de la Rue Browne) 
"We have been providing a specialised service for the Machin collector for well 
over ten years by way of the web and also monthly mailing lists and a new issue service.
Delta are also registered with Royal Mail
Website www.deltastamps.com Email: mail [at] deltastamps.com


C. Other UK-based dealers. Many of these and other will be well-known to collectors but
they are listed here for convenience, in no particular order.


Hampstead Castle (Alan Warby)
www.hampsteadcastle.co.uk
www.machin-stamp.co.uk
Machin Stamps (Ian Lakok-Smith)
www.machinstamps.co.uk
Swan Stamps (Sue & Steve)
www.greatbritainstamps.net
Albany Stamps, Camberley. Online shop; new issue service
http://www.albanystamps.co.uk/
BB Stamps (Brian Bayford)
Sales [at] bbstamps.co.uk
See also http://www.machins.org/machin-dealers.html a list on the website of the Machin Collectors Club.


       
North America
One dealer in the USA has been recommended to us, once by a customer and once by a collector who I have met and corresponded
with for some years. Our customer's testimonial:


"John and Tina Carlson of the Jet Stamps business in North Kingstown, Rhode
Island together represent far and away the best, most knowledgeable and
responsible dealer of Machins and other GB definitives and commemoratives in
the United States. I've been using Jet Stamps for about a decade now and I find
John and Tina always exceptionally responsive, helpful and, even better,
knowledgeable.


"John and Tina provide both a new-issue service for US GB customers and, in
addition to providing a similar service to US collectors of the stamps of several
other Commonwealth countries, happily give very informed specialist advice and
assistance on any matters of Machin philately to serious GB collectors who get
their new GB issues direct from Tallents House, as I do.


"In addition, while fully familiar with the Stanley Gibbons and Deegam cataloguing
systems, and like Norvic running its own stock cataloguing system, Jet Stamps is
very active and influential in advising the Scott catalogue editors in the USA on
how and why various new Machin stamps and combinations should be officially
listed in the relevant Scott catalogues."


Jet Stamps is a registered dealer with Royal Mail and so has the same advantages that our own 
business has. Contact:  see ASDA website
               
The Netherlands
My good friend Henk Rijneveld has written to say that he is "will be pleased to supply mainly Dutch collectors."


Henk is also a dealer registered with Royal Mail. I can provide his address and phone number
or you can email to : hrstamps [at] planet.nl


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