With a double dip recession, wage freezes, government cut backs and many other forced austerity measures. Prices have still gone up and they continue to rise month by month. Have Royal Mail realised that collectors are starving?
With the glut of new new issues (from Royal Mail) over the past few years there seems to be no let up from them this year. Again 2012 will be a very taxing year on the pocket. Another very expensive year for the poor souls who for their sins love this great hobby of ours.
2012 started with a bang as usual as well as special issues we had miniature sheets, part sheets, whole sheets. booklets, business and counter sheets with new year codes, including counter sheets with new rate definitives.
Added to this burden are new issues in all forms including post & go stamps; fast stamps etc, Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Stamps. Yes my friends, this year will be one of the most expensive years ever for those collectors who have not cut back on their spending, or should I re-phrase that to read, collecting habits.
Fortunately for me, I cut back a few of years ago when self adhesives started to become the norm. I sold off all my self adhesive booklets accumulated to date. It was a case of go without food or go without new issues. I had no choice in the matter so I chose the later.
Just one issue: The Diamond Jubilee Prestige Stamp Book: Price £12.77
Now as one of of those people who likes his grub and the occasional night out, not to mention paying my bills on time I think I made the right decision. I have not stopped collecting altogether, I still go without the odd bowel of soup and beef dinner to pick up the odd new issue if I like them, these include the overpriced Prestige Booklets, mixed custom booklets of Special Issues + Machins and the occasional miniature sheet if they are Machin related.
I also spend my hard earned savings to pick up a few back issues mainly Machin cylinder blocks and pre -self adhesive booklets if the price is right.
What of the future? Well, Royal Mail have now made an announcement that they are making changes to a couple of issues later in the 2012 programme and a reduction in the amount of special issues that will be released in 2013 - 2014. Here is a shortened version of the press release.
"Following customer research, Royal Mail has decided to postpone its planned Dinosaur issue (which was to be issued on 16 October 2012) until late 2013. Space Science (due to be released on 30 October 2012) will now be released in its place.
Next year's stamp issues will be reduced from a planned fourteen issues to twelve and the postage values used on the stamps will also be reviewed, with the 2nd class letter rate returning to the Charles Dickens stamp due for release on 19 June 2012."
Please do not expect a massive reduction, just remember we will still have another rate rise next year and the year after. 2013 will also bring us , new booklets (reverting from Jubilee to flame coloured Machins (I am told), new miniature sheets, new fast stamps, new Prestige Booklets, custom booklets and all the regalia that goes with every issue. A costly sum when added up.
We will still endeavour to bring you all the future news of Machin issues, but heed, if you still want to eat and be merry, decide now where you are going to cut back. You have been warned!!