Martin Lewis gives advice on scammers posing as Royal Mail

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Britain will soon be swapping out red, blue and gold stamps for brand new purple and green stamps. Royal Mail said the move is due to a “modernisation drive” and that barcoded stamps will allow for added security features and will facilitate operational efficiency.

What stamps are changing?

Old ‘definitive’ stamps, such as gold, red and blue stamps, will all be changing.

The stamps will largely look the same, with the Queen’s profile, first introduced in 1967, still being used – but the colours will be changed, and bar codes will be added.

First-class stamps will become purple, second-class stamps will be green, large first-class stamps will be blue, and large second-class stamps will be dark blue/teal.

The barcodes match the stamp colour and are positioned alongside the Queen’s head, separated by a perforation line.

When will old stamps expire?

You still have plenty of time to use up all your old stamps, as Royal Mail has confirmed they will still be valid for use until January 31, 2023.

Royal Mail has also confirmed Special Stamps with pictures on and Christmas Stamps without a barcode will continue to be valid beyond the deadline.

If by that time, you still have old stamps you haven’t been able to find a use for, you will be able to exchange them free of charge for new stamps using the ‘Swap Out’ scheme.

How do I use the Swap Out scheme?

If you’d like to exchange your new stamps sooner, you can get a Swap Out form via the Post Office.

Royal Mail explained: “If you have a printer, you can swap out up to £200 worth of non-barcoded stamps by printing out and completing [a] Stamp Swap Out [form].

“You can send this back to us free of charge, along with your stamps, by writing on the envelope Freepost SWAP OUT.

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“No other address details or postcode are needed.”

If you have a lot of old stamps you would like to exchange, the method is slightly different.

Royal Mail explained: “If you have a printer, and more than £200 worth of stamps to swap out then use the Bulk Stamp Swap Out form.

“We recommend sending this and your non-barcoded stamps back to us via a secure service with suitable cover.”

You should then send these stamps to the following address:

Royal Mail
Swap Out
Tallents House
21 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9PB

If you don’t have access to a printer, you can request a Stamp Swap Out form to be posted to you by completing a form via the Post Office website.

The instructions for sending back to us will depend on the form you request.

You cannot get a Swap Out form from your local post office, but you can collect them from the customer service point at your local delivery office.

If you have any issues, you can call Royal Mail’s Customer Experience Team on 03457 740740.

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