Retail Stamp Exchange

On 1 February 2022, we announced our move to barcoded stamps and that after 31 January 2023, non-barcoded stamps will no longer be valid as postage. We have since confirmed customers will have an additional six months to use their non-barcoded stamps – with the final deadline of 31 July 2023.

What does this mean for you as a Stamp Retailer?

  • The off-sale date for non-barcoded stamps was 6 October 2022 and we asked you to stop selling non-barcoded stamps to customers from this date. This position has not changed.
  • If you still have non-barcoded stamp stock you can send them back to us and we’ll exchange them for barcoded stamps  
  • Please complete a ‘Retail Stamp Exchangepdf, 99.45 KB’ form and send this in to us with your non-barcoded stamps 
  • If you don’t have access to a printer you can request an exchange form and we’ll post one out to you

More information is available in our Q&A section below. If you have any other questions, or if you need any help and advice please email

Frequently asked questions

What date does the ‘Retail Stamp Exchange’ scheme open?
The Retail Stamp Exchange scheme opened on Thursday 6 October 2022.

Is there an end date to the Retail Stamp Exchange scheme?
The earliest date you could return your unsold non-barcoded stamps was from 6th October 2022, there is currently no end date. 

Do we have to send back full packs/cases/pallets or can they send back non-barcoded stock even if not a complete pack?
You don’t need to send back full packs.  You can send back any non-barcoded stock you have left (other than non-barcoded Christmas Stamps which will remain valid), as long as these are in entire books or sheets.  Part books and sheets are not accepted.

Can we still sell 2021 (or earlier) Christmas stock after 6 October 2022?
Yes, you can continue to sell non-barcoded Christmas stamps after 6 October 2022. Although Royal Mail is adding barcodes to Christmas Stamps, we are not making non-barcoded Christmas Stamps invalid as postage. So, you can continue to sell Christmas Stamps whether barcoded or non-barcoded and customers can continue to use – as they will remain valid as postage after 31 July 2023.  

Can we return any ‘discontinued’ stock they still carry as part of the swap out e.g. Worldwide Postcard stamps
Yes, you can send these in to be exchanged for barcoded stamps. Please note that we will exchange these for 1st or 2nd Class NVI stamps to the equivalent postage value of the stock being returned at the time of exchange. 

What about our customers and non-barcoded stamps they may still have?
People now have until 31 July 2023 or they can chose to swap them out now. The Swap Out Scheme for the general public opened on 31 March 2022 and there is information to support the general public with the move on our barcoded stamps page.

Retail Swap Out - Terms and Conditionspdf, 185.1 KB - last updated 7 November 2022