Saturday, 16 June 2012

Retailers Sample Bubble Packs

Dummy booklets are nothing new, in fact we wrote about sample booklets some time back. I spotted these recently and thought they might make a nice addition to the previous post on samples and a new subject for this blog

Although I have known about this product for some years I had not actually seen one until now. They are not usually seen on the market and are mainly known to specialist booklet collectors. A unique product, they contain a sample booklet only. The official name for them as far as I know is stamp sample bubble packs.

Royal Mail product stands were introduced via larger retail shops for display purposes, originally designed and supplied in order to help with impulse sales to the self service customer. In fact they did the quite the opposite.

I am told that during the first few months of retailers stocking and selling stamp booklets, the genuine article was displayed in racks and they were soon being stolen by shoplifters in great numbers (no doubt to order) .

After a short while, several of the larger retailers complained to Royal Mail that the point of sale stands which were supplied to them with a stock of stamp booklets was costing them great losses in revenue due to these whole sale thefts. Something had to be done to counter act the thefts and deter the light fingered customers (if you can call them customers)

This dummy blister pack was introduced by Royal Mail in order to combat these thefts from stands . As you can see these could still attract the casual purchaser but could be handed into the clerk at the till who exchanged them for genuine booklets containing 10 x first  or second class stamps. You will also notice the difference in the price of the stamps price compared to today.

I think these are nice items and they compliment a retail booklet collection, they are also reasonably cheap to buy (seen on eBay they are £7.50 for the pair buy it now)


Brian Morris said...

The two sample bubble packs shown were first found during November 1997 in the larger branches of WHSmith's and were displayed around the card racks.
However, prior to this 1st class bubble packs were found in some of the M&S stores again around the greetings card section. These were first reported about September 1995 and have the value of £2.50 printed on the front. As far as I know there were no 2nd class packs produced as the store ony sold 1st class stamps. The M&S packs are also known with the dummy book cover inverted within the pack.

B said...

With regards to my last report on these sample books I seem to have a slight error.
I have checked this out with other collectors and it would appear that the M&S packs were produced with actual stamp books enclosed within the bubble pack. They also had the euro slot to hung directly on the pegs from which the customer took their requirements to the till and paid. The M&S packs also had the company logo printed on them. These packs were produced and sold during 1996.
The dummy pack with the price of £2.50 printed on it may have come the Forbuoys newsagent shops.