A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Officeworks sells stamps now

officeworks_stamps.JPGI was surprised to see stamps advertised as being available at Officeworks. When we applied for one of our newsagencies Australia Post refused. They said we were too close to one of their shops. I know of an Officeworks next to an Australia Post shop. I bet they have stamps. It is wrong for Australia Post to do a deal with Officeworks yet refuse an individual newsagent for being too close.

That said, I am not surprised as I expect the two businesses have ties elsewhere which were leveraged to make this deal happen.

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  1. Steve

    Just goes to show the its a monopoly that needs to feel the cold wind of competition. Postage stamps have been available to any shop in the UK for a couple of decades on a low margin.

    We sold them for years before we took over the local Post Office licence and we were right next door.

    Steve

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  2. SHAUN s

    Is there a margin at all on stamps?we buy them for 55c and sell hem for 55c ,should there be a discount at all on these stamps?

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  3. Danny

    We had a deal with the Post Office next door, for awhile, 5 % dicount, but then they decided to stop it. Applied only 2 months back, direct to Aust Post, they are going to get back to me ( Yer whatever) We would sell around 50 stamps a month, out side Aust Post hours, but it would be alot more if we did’nt put a 2 stamp limit on them. Once again it is “another” service we provide, with no profit.

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  4. Daniel

    Danny…..the PO providing them to you at 5% discount could not just lose their licence, but could be taken to court and put in jail for selling stamps at a discount….this is a highly illegal activity as set out in the Postal Corporation Act.

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  5. SHAUN s

    we sell hundreds a week just as a service to customers it is a shame they do not realise we do not make not even a cent off them because they still get upset when we do not have any

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  6. Luke

    Customers are too lazy to go the PO and line up but demand postal products from newsagents, I cannot see why newsagent sell stamps at all, even if you get 5% that is .02 cents per stamps. Why offer a service that blurs the line between our businesses and Aust post that is trying hard to pass themselves off as proxy newsagencies with phone credit, cards, gifts and stationery. We do not offer stamps for sale as all but we offer them to customers who buy a card or postcard

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  7. Michael

    I agree with you Luke. I remember serving five people in a row for stamps and having to try to answer their postage questions which I had no idea – it wasted my time and money. It bought people into the store only purchasing stamps though, now I’m happy to sell for cards and post cards only.

    Shauns, there is no discount, I’ve asked the before and been told that POs are zoned – My new found excuse has worked well when explained to rude customers that want nothing from my business than stamps.

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  8. Jarryd Moore

    Daniel, Michael,

    A discount is available to those with Post Point. Although you have to pay a fee each year to be part of it.

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  9. Michael

    Jarryd, I’ve been told no to the post point, just like Mark has – too close.

    There’s a newsagent in between a PO and an Officeworks near me, he can’t get the post point either, but Officeworks gets the stamps

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  10. Dean

    I sell stamps but only for the reason that there’s a post box right out the front of my shop. This can be both a blessing and a burden, of course i do get people coming in for just stamps which doesn’t really bother me but more often than not they buy them in addition to other things so for me it’s profitable in other ways.

    At least they know i have them there in future and if they don’t buy anything extra at the time then they may next time. The burden of having a post box out front is that inevitably i have people coming in thinking i’m a post office because of it.

    As for the people coming in and asking questions about postage etc, i simply tell them i’m not a post office and i cant answer it which for me is no great drama.

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  11. Sarah

    As a customer, if I want stamps I have to sacrifice my lunch hour to buy them from an Australia Post shop. The lines are usually out the door by lunch time, all lunch time, because their opening hours are appallingly short. I tried asking my local newsagent for stamps one day only to be rudely turned away as I did not buy a card at the time of asking. Apparently they make no profit from stamps so I was wasting his time.
    Great.
    Now I buy my stamps in bulk from ebay sellers who have recognised this market gap. I won’t visit a newsagent anymore due to their attitudes. I don’t buy papers or magazines anymore because of this, so I read things online. Much easier, much friendlier.
    Nice customer service, guys. Really encouraging 🙁

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  12. Tracey

    Sarah

    Don’t put every newsagent in the same basket. Like everything in life, there are good guys and bad guys.

    Give another newsagent a go!!!!!

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  13. Brad

    Sarah,

    You seem to be the type that 1 size fits all. I stock stamps but when I run out (due to being busy and having no time to wait 1 hour at the post office) I get abused. We don’t make any money out of stamps, it is a charity line to help encourage the likes of you to shop with us. I newsagent tells you off and you class us all the same. I bet you have had bad service from a food provider or grocery store and still go back.

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  14. QLD no name

    I can hear a collective sigh of relief from newsagents knowing that one less strung out Sarah won’t venting her spleen in their shop.
    Get a life

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  15. Mark

    Sarah’s comments are valid. We, all newsagents, are only as good as the last contact a customer has in a newsagency, any newsagency.

    Sure it disappointing that she judges all of us by one bad egg. however, if we want to call oursleves newsagents then we need to be judged collectively.

    This is one reason more newsagents will drop newsagent or newsagency from their shingle.

    Mark

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  16. Sarah

    I was under the impression that all newsagents were a collective chain, much like Woolworths or Coles. The packaging is the same, the stock is mostly the same, the sign out the front is the same.
    And giving another newsagent a go is a nice idea, but how many newsagents are there within walking distance of each other? A lot of people are stuck with the one they’ve got: the one with the crummy service.
    And crummy service seems to extend further than my local newsagent, going by the grumpy comments on this page.

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  17. QLD no name

    Time for a nap Sarah

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  18. Michael

    Sarah, Newsagents specialise in magazines, papers, lotto, gift cards. Post offices specialise in postal services and billing.

    AP are more and more selling our traditional items, if they didn’t, they’d have more room for more staff to serve customers better.

    I can’t afford to wait in the long queues either and buy stamps to then sell to you at no profit at all – Just because AP can’t provide their customers better service.

    Different newsagents do different things when it comes to postage. It’s not our fault AP pushes newsagents into overcoming their shortcomings.

    Just another thing, I’m in between two post offices, one always has a big queue, the other always has a short one that provides better service. Shop around and find your prefered Newsagent.

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  19. Brendan Mason

    Sahra,

    I’ve owned two Post Office Agencies in the past and now own a Newsageny. There were poor Licensed Post Offices and great ones when we were in that system too.

    As a newsagent we stopped stocking postage stamps for the following reasons
    1> No profit…who would hold hundreds of dollars of stamps in their till for no profit…this costs us money.
    2> We have to queue to purchase these stamps at further cost at no profit
    3> To make a profit Australia Post require that we pay THEM a fee for the privlige of taking the pressure of their staff at next to no profit while they sell profitable products we specialise in.

    We have considered selling stamps to customers who purchase cards, postcards or envelopes from us as a service but we cannot justify paying rent, staff, and the many other considerable costs involved in operating a retail business to sell stamps at a loss and free a competitors (Aust Post) queues so that the can more easily take our core product sales from us.
    It is unfortunate the you found the service rude but each Newsagency is individually owned and should not reflect on all other Newsagents.

    Also beware of buying postage stamps on ebay as these are most likely stolen as I am sure Australia Post do not sell stamps in this manner.

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  20. Brendan Mason

    As for Officeworks selling stamps, good luck to them. In my years in business lots of people have suggested this and that, that should be sold as a service to get people in the store.
    While we do perform some services for that reason, if I followed every suggestion I would be full time providing free or unprofitable services and wind up bankrupt. We are in retail to make a profit and there is nothing wrong with doing that.

    The best way to get customers into your business is to provide the items and services thet want at a fair price and do it with a smile and good customer service.

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  21. Brett

    Ah the joys of retail.

    How many of us have cringed at the abuse served up when we did not know how many stamps were required to post a parcel to Greece?

    How many times have we been abused when we too have run out of stamps?

    Ah the joys, all I can say is come and see me Sarah, I’ll sell you a stamp.

    I’ll sell it at no profit because my customers need them. That’s all. I regard it as investing in a habit. They will always get it here. How much does that cost? I don’t know. All I know is that year on year I am getting growth. Maybe it’s the stamps, maybe it’s my cheeky staff, maybe it’s my rugged good looks. I don’t know, but I will keep selling stamps.

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  22. Chris

    Would love to know where Sarah works. Would love to visit

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