Special Collection Stamps UK

As a new Postcrosser I am still learning about all sorts of things postal and postcard related.

I would love to send my cards with nice stamps on and have seen some lovely ones on the Royal Mail website. To my absolute horror though, and somewhat ironically, unless I spend over £50 the cost to send them to me is £8!!

While I am aware I could bulk buy, as someone who isn’t doing direct swaps and to date have sent 6 cards and only received one, I don’t want to do that.

So my question is are there any other ways of buying online without the high delivery cost (special ones only) or do local post offices stock them? I am a key worker still going to work five days a week so could go to the one near work but as we are in lockdown I don’t want to go in unnecessarily, or have them look at me like I’m a weirdo for thinking they’d have them there.

Thanks in advance :smile: :love_letter:

Hi Sally, yes if you want to buy Commemoratives on the Royal Mail site you will have to pay postage for small orders. There are a number of ways to buy them without paying extra. The best way is to find a Post Office near you that stocks the new issues and sells them from day of issue, most local Post Offices don’t bother to stock them, so you need a town Post Office or crown Post Office in your local area that does, call them first to make sure they do stock new stamp issues. They tend to go quickly and many POs have no idea in advance what size stock they’ll get, doesn’t seem to be any science to it. When you know they’re getting new issues, get there on the day of issue at 9-00 am when they open that way you’re guaranteed to get them. 2 X First class will give you the £1-70 required for international postage to anywhere in the world for a postcard at today’s rates.
This years new issues are
14th Jan National Parks ( 10 x First class ) some offices may have a few left!
26th Jan UK a Celebration ( mini sheet of 4 stamps )
16th Feb Only Fools and Horses
16th March King Arthur
15th April Classic Science fiction
4th May Wars of the Roses
28th May Music Giants Paul Mc Cartney ?)
June Not announced
1st July Dennis the Menace and Gnasher
22nd July Wild coasts
12th Aug Industrial Revolution
2nd Sept Brit Army vehicles
17th Sept to be announced
19th Oct Rugby Union
2nd Nov Christmas issue

If you buy the recent issues online you will pay a premium !
In the trade mint unhinged unused GB stamps are known as “postage”, you can search for GB Postage under stamps. You would end up with a lot of old stamps at out of current date values and you’d have to work them out to arrive at the £1-70 cost of an international postcard. You should not pay more than 75% of the face value, ie you wouldn’t or shouldn’t pay more than £75 for a hundred pounds worth if you look around, these are usually stripped from collections dealers buy in. Be wary, there are a lot of forgeries out there of the Machin ( Queens head ) stamps and it is also illegal to use stamps that have already been through the post ie been soaked off and or regummed whether or not they were ever cancelled. There are a lot of those online, avoid avoid.
You can also buy " postage " from reputable dealers at stamp fairs there will be plenty around once the pandemic is over but at the moment they are all shut. Usually at three quarters face value.
Best way is to get them at your nearest Post office that stocks new issues,
Any questions message me.
Best Wishes, Derek


Thank you!

This is SO helpful.

I will contact the Post Office near work.

Definitely think I will avoid the whole ‘postage’ thing.

I appreciate your reply :smile:

Are you sure £8 for delivery!? You haven’t ticked special next day delivery?

I usually place an annual order and bulk buy to obtain the free delivery, but it depends on how much you want to spend on the project/hobby.

I recently had do an adhoc order from RM as mum wanted the National Parks stamps and first day cover, and the postage was only £1.45, arrived two days after placing the order.

As for post office’s first try and bulid a rapport with some of the PO counter clerks, I usually rotate between three local post offices and 70% of the time they did not have any special stamps.

And on occasions they did, there where not many.
The last special stamps I managed to get from my local PO’s where the James Bond stamps and the Star Trek Stamps,
Only once when asked for stamps, was I offered Specials without having to ask.

Another thing to bear in mind, is that some post office’s like to keep the bear minimum stamps, and will return any unsold special to RM in Edinburgh after a about 3 months of the issue date. I found this out when wanting to buy some more James Bond stamps, especially the Sean Conery ones

Philatelink was a good place to buy discounted stamps, they are a family run stamp dealer in the Scottish borders, which sold discounted unused RM stamps,
They usually obtained stamps, from Auctions, Exhibitions and from private collections, but due to the Pandemic, they are a little thin on the ground at the moment.

Nothing wrong with using the Queens Definitive (Machin) stamps in the begining, once you are established you get to know they best ways to get most out of your stamps and postcards.



Well how dumb do I feel?

Just gone back on the website and I have no clue what I was looking at for £8 delivery when I looked last time as it is as you said, £1.45!!!

:woman_shrugging: I must have been very tired that day.

However foolish I may feel right now I am glad that I made the post as I have still received some really great advice and learnt things!

Thanks :blush:


A few years ago when I looked, there was a higher delivery rate for the Machin (Queen’s head) stamps than the commemorative ones.

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Maybe, I have no idea why I thought it was £8 now :woman_shrugging: :upside_down_face:

To second what’s above, I bought the National Parks set of 10 stamps and the set of postcards on pre-order, and delivery was £1.45. However this doesn’t seem to be the same for everything - I can’t make sense of their delivery costs at all as it seems to vary between stamps and prices!

But yes local Post Office sell them too (I haven’t bought special stamps from there yet though)

Otherwise I can recommend this guy on eBay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/trebor-rob?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2754

I bought Harry Potter, Paddington Bear and some really funky fruit stamps from him recently and he was fab. Also included extra stamps as I had overpaid on postage. They were cheaper than 1st class would be normally - he does sell collectable ones too which are more expensive, but I got sheets of 20 for £15 each


Thank you for the advice and link! :grinning:

I will check him out :love_letter:

I’m just here to agree that the Royal Mail delivery costs make no sense to me either. I think it depends on what you buy - on some items it seems that only Special Delivery is available so they charge £8, unless you spend £50, on other items it’s just £1.45 :woman_shrugging:


I’m so glad I’m not going crazy! :joy: