Simon’s Backup Weblog


Print Your Own Stamps

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on September 19, 2006

The Royal Mail‘s online stamp service has got a little easier (and cheaper).

Go online, buy some postage (which has to be used by the end of the next day), print out the resulting labels, stick them onto an envelope and post.

You can even use a credit card for less than £3.50’s worth of postage…

Useful. And no need to subscribe to the old system.

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8 Responses to 'Print Your Own Stamps'

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  1. megadog said,

    And no doubt we’ll soon be subjected to howls of protest from the last-millennialists claiming that this is yet another nail in the coffin of rural/sub post-offices.

  2. ramtops said,

    well, it is, of course. I know the postmistress of a rural post office, and it’s very hard for them to make a living – in their case, they have a Co-Op over the road, so they can’t even pick up that market.

    she says if it were not for eBay, most rural POs would be dead in the water.

  3. cobrabay said,

    That was my thought too, yet the radio and TV seemed to think that the line to follow was the howls of protests from outraged philatelists, claiming that this is yet another nail in the coffin of the postage stamp (presumeably along with that other piece of modern technology, franking).

  4. megadog said,

    My local post-office counts as rural, as does the baker, the butcher/game-dealer, the greengrocer… they all have one fundamental problem that will contribute to their downfall.

    They’re not open when I’m available to shop. So I go to the supermarket which _does_ have early/late opening. Or I renew my car-tax online rather than doing it at the post-office.

    For a post-office or shop, opening traditional-style 9-to-5 weekdays means that you’re essentially limiting your customer-base to people who don’t work. The elderly; the unemployed; stay-at-home parents. Such people don’t generally fit into high-disposable-income demographic groups.

    Far better for a shop/p.off to open 06:00-10:00 [to catch people on their way to work/the morning school-run] and 15:00-20:00 [to catch the second school-run and people coming home from work].

    And small shops should open all-day saturday [when people have time to shop] rather than closing at 1PM like they do round here!

  5. sbisson said,

    The trouble is, they wouldn’t be doing this if they hadn’t already closed too many sub-post offices.

    My three closest offices have closed in the last 5 years, and I’m in a mixed business/resedential area, which should be ideal for the Post Office…

  6. ffutures said,

    Well, count me less than impressed.

    Here’s the comment I’ve just entered at their site, having seen how this is supposed to work:

    I’m worried that by using this I’d be breaking data protection act confidentiality by entering the addresses of recipients into your system.

    On the whole I’d imagine that a lot of the people who use this will want to send more than one letter at a time – for example, I’d normally expect to use it to send out club newsletters to 20 or so members. By requiring an address to be entered for each person you’re making this service considerably more difficult to use than going out and buying stamps.

    Why can’t it just print out the equivalent of 20 first class stamps?

  7. twinfair said,

    All the headlines I seemed to notice was the “howls of protest” that the Queen in not on the printout. Apparently these are not stamps and are classifies as online postage (even though the business equivalent, that has been around for some time, is actually called SmartStamp), and therefore do not need to have Her Majesty adorned all over it. Apparently, modern printers would not do the Queen justice (even though they apparently can handle the very intricate details for the electronic readers).

    I find the whole issue rather amusing but just wonder at the management of the Royal Mail who could not foresee that this would upset the traditionalists. It makes no difference one way or the other, really, so would it have mattered if they HAD included the image and saved the headlines “Off with her head!”

    But the Crozier did used to head up the Football Association – say no more!

  8. alexmc said,

    The thing I dont get is why this is news.

    The digital stamps thing has been available for ages. As far as I can see the only difference is that you dont have the queens head on the digital stamps.

    (and they are cheaper now, so you say, and easier to use).


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