Australian Newsagency Blog

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Australia Post supports newsagents

Mark Fletcher
July 18th, 2014 · 35 Comments

ausposttweetAustralia Post supported newsagents in a Tweet last night. Just their mentioning us in this tweet put us in front of their 16,800 Twitter followers. yes, they mentioned Officeworks in the same tweet. No matter, newsagents were mentioned and Australia Post did not have to do that.

5 likes

Category: Australia Post · Social Media

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 allan wickham // Jul 18, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Yes we have stamps but it would be nice to make some money from them.

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  • 2 Jenny // Jul 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    I hate selling stamps, I do it as a service but it causes stress as we limit how many we sell. I purchase from PO to resell as a convenience, but why when we limit it to 3 do customers still say ‘I’ll have 10 thanks’. I don’t sell them at Xmas because we are too busy to save others going to PO. We have approached Australia Post for direct supply but our busy shopping centre is only 800 m from PO so too close. Try telling customers that!

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  • 3 Chris // Jul 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Why do you limit how many people can buy? That just seems like a barrier that only causes you and the customers grief. Why stress yourself over something so trivial Jenny. Save your energy for other fights.

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  • 4 Shayne // Jul 18, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    We do the same as Jenny. if I have to line up for 20 minutes to buy 100 stamps I’m not going to let one customer come in and buy the lot just so I can go through the ordeal of buying more.

    Limit 2 per customer unless they are buying greeting cards. If they buy 100 cards I will happily sell them 100 stamps.
    its usually the people who come in with envelopes and cards they just got at the reject shop and expect us to sell them a pile of stamps so they dont have to go to the post office.

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  • 5 Jenny // Jul 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Chris to me it’s a favour we do, make no money and half the time it’s walk ins who only want stamps. If I don’t limit it we would be going through hundreds of stamps a week for no return. If Australia Post would supply me direct I’d sell as many as customers want. In the meantime we look after our regular often elderley customers by making sure we have a supply for them.

    Off topic, lately we are being asked for pensioner excursion train tickets, maybe 2 or 3 times a week. What do we make on these ? Is it 3%?

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  • 6 David // Jul 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    We do not sell stamps, we actually do not have any even in the shop for our use.

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  • 7 Brett // Jul 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    We used to sell stamps, all we did was make the queue shorter at the LPO.

    Who has an entitlement to a monopoly product anymore anyway – we should all be able to sell stamps and make a cent or two on the sale.

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  • 8 Dennis Robertson // Jul 18, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Jenny,

    as you know I’m not a Retailer so this may sound like a really silly question. Is it possible for you to sell a 70c stamp for 70c + say a 10c handling fee? Is there some sort of Parliamentary Act that says you can’t so that?

    There may be a % of customers happy to pay a small fee to save time in a queue. The rest can please themselves. After all the handling costs are real if there is no direct supply.

    Can a distinction be made if there is some sort of authority that says you must sell for 70c to say yes I am, however there is a separate handling fee of 10c per item on these particular sales.

    Maybe the first 3 stamps could be handling fee free and I guess it’s up to the shop owner if a regular elderly customer gains even additional benefits.

    Maybe it’s not worth the stress, but it sounds like that is already there anyway. It’s a bit rich of the PO to deny direct sales if they are almost a kilometre away.

    Whilst it is probable emails that have seen dramatic drops in letter volumes, maybe the lack of ease/convenience for potential stamp buyers has something to do with it as well.

    Apart from this small stamps issue, it sounds as though you are doing really well in all other areas.

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  • 9 Jon // Jul 18, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Dennis you are not allowed to sell stamps above face value there is a law regarding that. I don’t think you could get away with a handling fee.

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  • 10 jenny // Jul 19, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Hi Dennis,
    I have thought about charging more but as Jon says we are not allowed. Its not a huge stress its just one of those things that you can’t please everyone and I hate saying no to customers but like Shayne said you just make the queue at the PO shorter.

    What stresses me more is trying to make contact with Australia Post, then when you finally get to speak with someone you have absolutely no confidence in their business ability, plus that fact that PO’s sell everything we have except papers and mags but we can’t sell stamps. They are being selfish and not looking after the elderly public.

    Thank you Dennis, yes we are doing really well in other areas, still plenty of papers being printed for us to distribute :)

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  • 11 Shayne // Jul 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Jenny don’t look now but our local Govt owned post office now stocks a range of the aww cookbooks. I think it’s only a matter of time before we se WD, Take 5 etc in there as well.

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  • 12 Dean // Jul 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    Going direct to Australia Post to buy stamps cost me $300 per year (license/registration fee) and then I’d get a 6% discount.
    Some years ago I was talking to the owner of a privately owned LPO and he said he makes 12% from stamp sales. He agreed to give me a 7% discount and no annual fee. He makes 5% on stamps I buy from him, sales he would not otherwise have.

    I have a number of business’s that buy boxes of 200 stamps and people that want to buy one or two. I also sell overseas stamps. I have no problem with increased queuing times, it just another product we sell.

    Find a Post Office owned by a small business owner like ourselves that you are not competing with and ask the question.

    2 likes

  • 13 Mark Fletcher // Jul 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Excellent advice Dean.

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  • 14 Brett // Jul 20, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    LPO was approached with exactly that offer and I was told it was impossible by the owner. He’s not a nice person.

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  • 15 BAZ // Jul 21, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    I love it that the PO can sell Newsagent lines and make a profit, but we are unable to sell stamps and make a profit. Why are we competing with our Government in retail ?

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  • 16 Shayne // Jul 21, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Baz I have written to my local federal member 6 times in 6 years to ask that very question and have not received an acknowledgement let alone an answer

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  • 17 Mark Fletcher // Jul 21, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Shayne that’s important as it is only politicians who can resolve this. Personally, I think Australia Post is acting outside the Act but no one is prepared to challenge that.

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  • 18 Greg Goosey // Jul 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    I purchased my PostOffice many years ago plus I paid a lot of cash for the priviledge to own a Licence to operate that PostOffice. To sell Postage Stamps is illegal without a Licence. To sell Postage Stamps above face value is Illegal. To provide Postage Stamps to other sellars less than face value so they can make a profit is also Illegal. This country is beginning to wallow in a lack of Ethics.

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  • 19 lynne // Jul 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Mark Fletcher. The advise Dean is giving is NOT good advise. The LPO that Dean is dealing with is carrying out an illegal practice and if caught he will loose his Post Office License and his business.
    Brett. The LPO you approached is right. It can not be allowed. Selling stamps below face value is illegal. Only Australia Post HO are allowed to sell stamps at a discount rate and only to those that hold a licence. He may not be a nice person in your eyes but he is also abiding by the law and not risking his license so someone else can make a buck. There is currently an investigation into how Officeworks are obtaining their stamps as AP have informed the current senate inquiry that they have no formal arrangement with them (AP) to supply. Licensed Post offices pay big dollars to AP for a licence (hundreds of thousands) to sell stamps and postage labels, that is why we are meant to have the monopoly on selling them. The current situation of stamps illegally being sold elsewhere and people being able to print their own postage labels off at home through E-bay is eroding the value of Licensed Post Offices all over the country and sending them bankrupt.
    Brett, don’t Newsagent and News stands have a monopoly on Newspapers and Lotto?

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  • 20 Garry // Jul 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Lynne no monopoly.

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  • 21 Gregg // Jul 25, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Lynne, newsagents do not have a monopoly on papers or lotto. Newsagents have not had this for years. The same as the LPO next door sells Womens Weekly cook books and a lot of items such as toys, that have absolutely nothing to do with a post service.

    3 likes

  • 22 Gary // Jul 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Lynne,
    I’ve got a suspicion that PO’s selling stationery might have sent a few newsagents “bankrupt”. As Fletch muses, maybe AP is reaching outside their licence.

    2 likes

  • 23 Jenny // Jul 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Lynne, newsagents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to sell newspapers magazines cards lotto stationary and AWW cookbooks.

    2 likes

  • 24 Brett // Jul 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Lynne,

    Newsagents were deregulated decades ago. Anyone can sell papers, magazines or lotto now as evidenced by petrol stations, 7/11 etc etc etc. Indeed, look at Coles and Woolies, they sell everything I do, except for lotto and they are chasing that as well.

    HOWEVER, a post office has a monopoly on the humble stamp. As I stated in an earlier post – who has monopoly access anymore? Its 2014, its supposed to be a free market – unless you have a licence to sell stamps.

    And my local Postmaster? – hes not a nice person.

    0 likes

  • 25 Brendan // Jul 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I won’t sell them unless Australia Post will supply them to us at a discount to provide some profit (really this would only be recovering costs). We made numerous phone calls and sent 2 letters to Australia Post requesting to be an authorised vendor and they did not have the decency to even reply. Why any of us would stock stamps at a cost to us and sell them with no margin is beyond me (again this is loss making as we queue up for the stamps, finance them when money could be in other stock, pay a staff member to serve etc, etc). Let the post office queue be full of people wanting a stamp or ten customers wanting printer cartridges, stationery and other items that Post Offices compete with us on will hopefully come to us with profitable business. We owned post offices for many years and I did not buy a newsagency to sell stamps again especially at a loss.

    1 likes

  • 26 Bill W // Jul 25, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Stop rounding up the ants why the elephants are getting away.
    Use the basket depth report and you’ll see that 90-95% of items such as stamps, newspapers, bus recharge, phone recharge are single item purchases. They may bring in the traffic but they are not buying anything else.
    Let them queue at the post office while you focus on being a retailer.

    3 likes

  • 27 Mark Fletcher // Jul 26, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Good advice Bill. Traffic generators are only good if they are profitable. Use your reports to understand this.

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  • 28 Brendan // Jul 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Spot on Bill. Both stamps and local papers, when we tell “customers” we don’t have them they walk straight out without purchasing anything else and I’m sure if we did have these in store they would still leave without additional purchases.

    2 likes

  • 29 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Jul 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Like you, Brenda, I have some who come in just for a stamp or a recharge. But I also sell these to my regulars.

    And each of those “non customers”who buy a stamp or a recharge are exposed to our latest offerings and are a potential new customer.

    1 likes

  • 30 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Jul 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    sorry, BrendAN.

    1 likes

  • 31 Brendan // Jul 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    David, my issue with selling stamps without margin is that: I finance these stamps with credit; the value of the stamps could be spent on more stock (we used to have up to $1k of stamps that lasted a week when we did stock them); profitable customers have to queue behind “customers” that are costing us money; the sock response from people wanting stamps is “I don’t want to queue at the post office”.
    Depending on you shops situation it may be beneficial to offer stamps as a service but not in my case. I’d rather spend that time helping a customer who came in to purchase real stock to make the right choice and spend a little more.

    3 likes

  • 32 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Jul 27, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Appreciate it is a difficult choice, Brendan. Quite a few stamps are sold to greeting card customers. If I don’t have the stamp, they go to the post office and next time they’ll bypass me as the can get a stamp and a card at the same time.

    I appreciate our businesses are probably quite different, and I would avoid stamps if I could. Although, the local PO folk are good to me. They phone on Friday to see what I need, deliver and collect $ then buy their Lotto tickets. They could buy the lotto tickets in the shop next door to their PO, but they support us for supporting them.

    OTOH, I have no time for the stuff from the ATO that takes up valuable space and puts me in the position of advising what forms they need.

    3 likes

  • 33 Brendan // Jul 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    David, is your local an LPO? Ours is official and were not helpful at all.

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  • 34 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Jul 28, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Yes, LPO, maybe thats why they are bit more co-operative. That, and they’re nice people. :-)

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  • 35 The Anonymous Licensee // Aug 12, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    It’s in the postal act that LPOs can’t sell stamps at a discount. So any LPO selling stamps at a discount to anyone – even your favourite newsagent – is breaking the law.

    0 likes

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