Post Office to close its online shop – where else can you buy stamps online?
The Post Office is to close its online shop at the end of the month, meaning you'll need to go to one of its branches in person to buy its products – but if you want to buy stamps online, there are still plenty of other options.
The Post Office Shop website currently lets you order first and second-class stamps online for delivery, and also sells a range of other items, including packaging, stationery, office supplies and even face masks.
But the Post Office has announced it will close its online shop on Monday 31 August, meaning you'll no longer be able to purchase items from it. And if you have a Post Office Shop account, it will be closed.
For more help on cutting the cost of postage, see our Cheap Parcel Delivery guide.
Where can I buy stamps online now?
You can still buy stamps (as well as other office and stationery items) at Post Office branches – you can use the branch finder tool to find your nearest shop and its opening hours.
But we've seen some complaints from Post Office Shop customers who are upset about the change – some prefer to order online for convenience, and others may also prefer to avoid visiting shops in person at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The good news is there are lots of other places you can buy stamps online. A starting point is the Royal Mail website, where a book of a 12 first-class stamps is the standard price of £9.12, and you'll pay a £1.45 delivery fee for orders under £50 (the Post Office Shop's delivery charge is currently £2.99 for orders under £50). The Royal Mail website also lets you buy and print postage labels based on the size and weight of the item you're sending – handy if you're posting an odd-sized letter or parcel.
If you're after a book of stamps though, these can also be bought online from a wide range of different outlets, including supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's, stationers such as WHSmith and Paperchase, and specialist discounters (though if you're buying from a lesser-known site, always be sure it's reputable and has good feedback).
The price of stamps can vary – as a rule you'll pay less per stamp if buying a bigger book or bulk order, and in a few cases there may also be some variation between sellers – and delivery charges can also be very different. So factor both in and look at the overall cost when buying stamps online.
I have a Post Office Shop account – what should I do?
The 'My Account' area of the Post Office Shop will also be closing along with the main service on Monday 31 August.
The Post Office says you should log into your My Account area before this, so you can save any information about your orders that you'll need for your records.
If you buy an item from the Post Office Shop before it closes and need to return it, you'll be able to do this in the normal way using the instructions that come with your delivery.
If you need a VAT receipt for a purchase you've made from the Post Office Shop, you can request this by replying to your dispatch confirmation email or calling 0344 826 1399 from Monday to Friday between 10am-3pm (though the Post Office says call wait times are currently being affected by having fewer staff members in its contact centre due to the coronavirus outbreak).
If you've already received your items and want a VAT receipt, you can still request one by calling the number above or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - though the Post Office Shop says this address will be closing in December, so you won't be able to use it beyond this. However, the Post Office Shop says that Vow Retail, which operates the Post Office Shop website, will continue to offer support for legacy customers.
What does the Post Office say?
A statement on the Post Office Shop website said: "As the way customers use our services evolves, we are required to review how best to support these changing needs. We understand it will be disappointing that the Post Office Shop is closing and apologise for the inconvenience this may cause."