Have to battle with your post office to get stamp?

I know that I am turning into a grumpy old man but every time I go to the post office, I get stopped from joining the queue and directed to the self service machines. I tell them that I want real stamps and get asked why? I explain about stamp collecting and post crossing eventually they let me go to the counter. Then I have to explain again that I want real stamps and why. Eventually they sell me some stamps but it always feels like a battle.

Anyone else have this sort of problem



not in the UK but if I go to my post office, they don’t even sell certain stamp values even though they are displayed so I have to buy them from the internet website and have them sent to me. I didn’t go to a post office in months.


And with your problem I would lose my patience really fast and tell them it’s not their business to question my decisions and just sell me what I asked for. :sweat_smile:


I can buy stamps online here but the minimum amount of international stamps they will sell me is 25 and that’s £55 or about €64. For me that’s a lot to spend at once.

The cost of international stamps is due to increase on the 1st April. I might just have to buy 25 and put up with the pain of spending that much at once.


Same here indeed. I think it’s really odd that they ask about that so much.


Hi Alex,

Perhaps you can bypass the post office altogether and use Philatelink for your postal needs :wink:

It’s cheaper (because they sell at less than face value) and you get a range of many beautiful stamps

Also, have you checked out the British Isles part of the forum?


I was going to suggest Philatelink too. There isn’t a minimum number of stamps when you buy from them. And I would heartily recommend the British Isles part of the forum too.


If you were talking about the PO inside WHSmiths in Cardiff, I’d totally agree with you. It’s a battle to buy a real stamp unless you don’t show them that you have anything to stick it on (“but I just want a book of stamps :woman_shrugging:”).
My local PO is amazing, but they do only stock commemeratives at Christmas.


Well, it wasn’t really a problem but a few weeks ago I was London and went to the post office at the Aldwych (off the Strand). You’d think that being a Central London Post Office, they’d have all sorts of stamps available but no. I so desperately wanted the Rolling Stones special stamps but all they could tell me was “order it online”. I did get the Terry Pratchett stamps, though.

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Most UK post offices that stock commemorative stamps, will only keep issues for three months then return unsold ones back to Royal Mail, so the Rolling Stones ones would have long be gone.

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I don’t have this problem at my local post office although one of the workers there gives me trouble sometimes when I ask him to hand cancel my mail.

Can’t you make an official complain to the Royal Mail? I suspect it will get ignored but at least they will have it on record…


Not in the UK, but here in Spain.
I live in a small town and to get nice, lovely stamps is difficult in my post office. They have some sort of book to keep the stamps and each time I ask to check them and choose before to purchase them, it is like I’m asking for a huge thing. No idea why is so hard for them to sell those article which are part of the service the offer in post offices.

However, I can only find very basic stamps, such as the King’s face.

If I want more options, I need to go to my nearest big city, Madrid, and visit one of the main post offices of the city, at Cibeles. Recently, I started ordering the stamps online, because looks like to get good stamps for Postcrossing is one of “The Labours of Hercules”.


Yes, same problem here! I always ask for fun stamps but they never have them. I use Philatelink. Cheaper, fast delivery and it’s potluck as to what you get so it’s a surprise. Added bonus is you get such a variety that you can often match a stamp to a profile’s wishlist of cards :grin:


Totally agree. I’ve had to scale down because of ludicrous price increases, but every 6 months I buy a set or two to make the value up (flowers and the Royal Scot train last time) It’s an expensive hobby in the UK.

Two years ago, stamps were 1,80 euros per stamp… Now it is 2,50e per international stamp :smiling_face_with_tear: Still worth it for me personally but omg Finland do better pls

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I am just starting out with buying stamps online from places other than Royal Mail but I had to go to a Post Office yesterday to mail a larger envelope to my pen friend in Michigan. I thought I might as well ask if they had any dinosaur stamps…? ‘Stamps? No…’ :no_mouth:


My local post office staff is great, said they’re being told they’re no longer being allowed to order stamps unless they sell enough, and sometimes their order doesn’t arrive before they sell out. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing this is another new policy from the USPS Postmaster General appointed in May 2020 and who can’t be easily removed from office.

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Yes, that’s a lot of money for an international stamp. But Finland has the best stamps, I had so many to choose from on my holiday last summer. And at the National Parks they have beautiful cancellations. I loved mailing postcards from Finland. Was it Denmark where we paid about €5 for a stamp?

I have to buy my nice stamps online too. And I cannot get a by-hand-cancellation. Maybe only first-day issues through philately organisation.

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The cost of stamps in the UK has increased regularly over the years since I started Postcrossing (2014 onwards) and the outrageous £2.20 for international postcards is also about to rise again! On April Fools’ Day I think :thinking: since I’m about to spend three weeks in Berlin I will wait till I’m there to post my latest postcards. I’ve no doubt that German postal rates may also have increased since I was last there in October 2023 but they can’t possibly be as ridiculous as ours!
The post offices where there’s a philately counter have become rarer over the last few years, and I now have to go downstairs at the Potsdamer Platz railway station where a corner of a minimarket still provides this service.
One of my local post offices in Scotland is very good for stocking commemorative stamps and taking my orders for them too, but the exorbitant prices are making my Postcrossing hobby very expensive :worried:


I too was told recently by my regular post office that they weren’t able to order more of the stamp I had wanted to buy (40¢ Red Foxes; niche, I know).

Which is why I’ve been making a point since then to purchase as many of my stamps as possible from that post office to ensure that they continue to be able to order as many stamps as possible.