LETTER : 'Exchange' rates for stamp firm

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The Independent Online
From Mr Graham Warwick

Sir: I write following my conversation with your reporter Chris Blackhurst and your article published on Boxing Day about the stamp trade and my company, Warwick Estates Limited in the Isle of Man ("Stamps stuck with offshore discount", 26 December). I feel Mr Blackhurst may have gained the wrong impression, which I would like to correct.

When we sell cheap-rate Royal Mail stamps, we are not exploiting an offshore discount. True, some country's postal administrations do give discounts to their overseas agents. This is normally in the form of a commission on sales. We are not agents for any country's post office, and during my 35 years of trading, I have never been given a discount by any postal authority. The reason we are able to offer our UK customers a 10 per cent discount on currently valid British postage stamps is because my company operates as an international "exchange" for British and worldwide stamps. We offer to buy issues of any major country from over-stocked dealers around the world or we will exchange for stamps of the dealer's own country which he can sell as discount postage.

Mr Blackhurst has perhaps gained the impression that the stamps we recently offered at a 10 per cent discount below face were the 1995 Christmas issues. In fact, we were offering Christmas stamps from previous years. These, of course are still perfectly valid for postage, as are all GB stamps since decimalisation in 1971.

Yours faithfully,

Graham Warwick


Warwick Estates Limited


Isle of Man

29 December