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Martin Lewis urges people to stock up on common 68p item before April 2

MyLondon 24/03/2023 Alicia Curry

Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning to people to stock up on stamps before the beginning of next month. With inflation hitting record highs, the prices of everyday essentials have risen in-line.

Most price hikes go undocumented, only to be noticed when you realise your weekly shop is slowly creeping up. But the Money Saving Expert has identified one cost increase that can be avoided by bulk buying at the standard rate.

From Monday, April 3, the cost of first-class stamps will be hiked to £1.10 (up 15p from 95p), while second-class stamps will increase to 75p (up 7p from 68p). Royal Mail blames the increases on a "25% drop in letter volumes since the pandemic, increasing costs and the highest inflation rates for a generation".

READ MORE: Martin Lewis viewer reveals how they won back over £2.5k in cash after listening to one very simple tip

Martin Lewis has been offering advice ahead of the hike in stamp prices next month © Matt Cardy/Getty Images Martin Lewis has been offering advice ahead of the hike in stamp prices next month

This means that sending letters and parcels is going to cause a bigger dent than usual in your wallets. But if you're planning to secure as many stamps as possible before the increase, it's worth noting that a major change is coming in July that will make your postage sticker worthless.

From July 31, stamps without a barcode will be rendered unusable. The Royal Mail states: "Mail posted with non-barcoded Definitive stamps after 31 January 2023, will for the first six months be delivered as normal, no surcharge will be raised.

"After this six month grace period, an item with a non-barcoded stamp would be treated as if there is insufficient postage. Any item that has insufficient postage is subject to a surcharge. Surcharge fees can be found on our website."

How to swap out non-barcoded stamps

Non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through the Stamp Swap Out scheme. To swap out stamps, complete one of the Royal Mail Stamp Swap Out forms and send it back to them along with any non-barcoded stamps. The step-by-step process for doing this is explained here.

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