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Concerned they might be stolen

Old stamps received through the post

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AJ Pingram15/02/2017 08:40:46
2 forum posts

Hi Guys. My daughter received a parcel through EBay yesterday and the all of the stamps on it are from what I can tell at least 40 years old. Firstly I'm surprised it actually arrived, but secondly I'm concerned that they might have been stolen and used. I'm not a collector so I need some advice on what what to do, who to report it too or not. Many thanks AJ ps how do I enter a picture on here?

Julian15/02/2017 11:14:24
626 forum posts
261 photos


Not quite sure where we are going on this, 40 years old is just about on the turn of change to decimal currency.1970/71. I can show you lots an lots of stamps gong back to this time which still carry the old half pence, I regularly buy these in Ebay in the form stamp packs or collections or sheets and I have to say the majority come from the States.

So the first thing is what makes you feel the stamps used are stolen? If its just because of age then that is a wrong deduction. I struggle here to how you come to the conclusion they are "Stolen" but will find it interesting to see what you have.

O.K once you have taken a picture and on the Stamp Magazine home page, click on Albums in the grey shaded bar. Then click on create an album and you can name your album and so on.

Once this is done you can then load your picture into your album and once that is done you can then post a picture on your thread. To do this, on the top bar of your thread or any post made by others you will see the options bar. Second from right the first being a yellow smillie icon the second and third are image and photo icons. click on the camera and this will ask you to upload picture from your album, once done your picture will appear on your post / thread!

There is a section if I have not explained this well enough in the Forums section, click on the forums tab and you will see a list and the folder READ ME FIRST and here you will find much about doing anything in the site.

To be honest though, if there was anything suspect about the stamps used, I'm pretty sure Royal Mail would have picked this up. It also would be pretty hard for anyone to prove the stamps are stolen unless they are in sheet form and have serial numbers in the borders?

As an extra piece of information to help you see what I am saying just search in any auction site and of course you have already said Ebay and search for stamps of this age. Most stamps have a date they came into use, so you should be able to find the ones on your package. You will also see when doing this search items for sale. I can give you sellers that sell collections which have swathes of such old stamps and as long as they are decimal or have not been cancelled they are perfectly fine to use.

I have a number of stamps with half pence on them I use, lets say 15.5 and 17.5p. These are accepted by RM but of course if you only use the 15.5p stamp the value is actually only 15p but as long as the two are used then the total is 33p as 2 x .5 makes 1p.

If you still feel these stamps are stolen or not proper, go to your local Post office and ask them or go to the Royal mail web site and contact them via email.

here is a Picture for you to help show what I am saying


These 2 bottom from 1971 I believe, the top right is 1982 Maritime hertiage, top left is British motor industry.

These are all perfectly fine to use and in fact are probably worth more not to use.

When you buy collections of either stamp loose or as in stamp packs we tend to end up with lots of this type stamp and take for instance my own collecting theme of Diana 1981 to date, I regularly use the 14 & 25p 1981 and the 26p 1997 stamps which you can buy far less than their value at the time.

I cannot think of the amount of times I have won collections with stamp packs and rather try re selling them I use the stamps instead, simply because stamp packs take up far to much room and the packs are so readily available they will not sell for their own value.

Anyway I hope this has helped settle your concerns.

AJ Pingram15/02/2017 11:52:30
2 forum posts
Thank you so much for your reply. I have learned a lot. I never knew that you could still use these stamps because of the half pence's and their age. They seem to be worth between £1 and £4 on eBay and that's why it raised alarm bells in my head, why would someone post something with old expensive stamps
Many thanks
Julian15/02/2017 20:17:01
626 forum posts
261 photos

Hi AJ No problem my friend, what you see in Ebay is not necessarily what the person might get for stamps up for sale. Just as if you look in a Stanley Gibbons Cat, you will see prices you might think stamps are worth?

I use Stanley Gibbons as an insurance value guide rather than what a stamp maybe worth as their prices tend to be over valued or hyped up.

So if we take an old 70's set of stamps in a Royal Mail stamp pack it may add up to £1 in stamps value if your lucky and as far as I am concerned I will try and sell this myself but if it does not sell I use the stamps instead.

The same as buying collections of mint stamps, if they are not sets I will use them and again if they do not sell as a set I will use them. It just a way of recouping your money for things you do not want.

I think you will find many people do this in the stamp world and even as a small business.

Paul Davey 115/02/2017 22:54:05
380 forum posts
26 photos

Hello AJ

welcome to the site.

Basically all decimal UK stamps are still valid. A few sell for more than face value and these tend not to appear on mixed franking parcels from stamp dealers. If you look in the pages of the magazine which hosts this site you will find advertisers offer mixed bags of GB valid stamps at 90% face value and offering to buy from 50-80% depending on what values you can provide. Over here in Switzerland I can often find mint GB at 50% face value and sometimes less (like a good weekend where I bought 15 PO year packs at less than £2 each)! I find our friends and relatives remember our Christmas Cards!

As Julian says, for these stamps catalogue prices are fantasy. Anything less than £1 can be regarded as a handling charge to sell you a stamp. For SG they are the prices SG would charge if they have them in stock. Actual sales prices on ebay & delcampe (not offer prices - search for sold items) are perhaps the best guide to the value of cheap things. Do consider though that, for example, £1.50 with free postage is better value than £1 + £1 p&p so you have to look at the whole package!


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