Home Business News Stamps have been around since 1840 and will never be stamped out, says expert

Stamps have been around since 1840 and will never be stamped out, says expert

by David Jinks MILT
18th Mar 21 12:02 pm

The home delivery expert ParcelHero is giving its stamp of approval to the news that barcodes are being added to stamps. It says traditional stamps couldn’t carry enough information in the era of e-commerce but adding unique barcodes brings them into the 21st century.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says stamps have held a place in Brits’ hearts since the first Penny Blacks appeared in 1840. However, they had become outmoded in the age of e-commerce and courier pickups from homes and offices.

‘The pilot trial of stamps with unique barcodes for business use means the Post Office may not be sounding the last post for stamps for many years to come.

‘Stamps add a little splash of colour to our mail. Some of the designs are miniature masterpieces. However, the impact of Covid-19 and the growth of e-commerce means that the traditional stamp is no longer up to the task of dealing with the complexities of today’s deliveries.

‘Many small, online businesses have thrived during lockdown but no one wants to queue in the Post Office to mail packets and parcels now. It just feels too risky. Courier services that pick up from offices and homes have boomed as a result.

‘Since October, traditional posties have also been able to pick up from doorsteps but, with the shift to remote working, people haven’t been able to access old-skool franking machines or specialist pre-printed marked envelopes.

‘As the scheme develops, customers may be able to purchase barcoded stamps specific to their business needs. Useful tracking options could be added, thereby dispensing with the need for franking equipment or specialist stationery. That makes them far more useful for small businesses using commercial services or offering prepaid return services.

‘Of course, there’s no real need for stamps at all anymore. Modern courier services only need senders to print out a label at home, with the option of the driver supplying labels if customers don’t have a printer.  The Post Office could replace stamps with barcode stickers for all its customers but where’s the fun in that?

‘As a kid, I loved collecting stamps and many adults today will spend thousands on rare examples. A scarce version of the Victorian Penny Red sold for £550,000 in 2012 – that’s how much people love stamps. Not every philatelist is going to like seeing barcodes attached to their beloved stamps but it could ensure their survival. Over the course of two centuries, we’ve come to realise that stamps really can’t be licked.

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