Royal Mail is urging customers to use stamps without barcodes until January 31, after which they will no longer be valid for postage.

There are less than 100 days left for people to “rifle through their wallets and drawers” to find stamps to use before the deadline, said Guardianotherwise, they will have to exchange them for new barcode stamps.

The move comes in line with Royal Mail’s plans change all stamps in circulation after death of the queenwith a profile image of the new monarch, King Charles III, being used.

Why does this happen?

Royal Mail is moving to a new bar code system that does not exist on old stamps. The company says the new unique barcodes will “help make operations smoother” and allow for “additional security features”. ITV News. Customers will also be allowed to view and share videos by scanning barcode stamps in the Royal Mail app.

However, this development may disappoint people who bought stamps in bulk before the price of first or second class stamps rose.

“For years, whenever stamps go up in price, I’ve advised people to stock up and buy in bulk ahead of time, because as long as the stamp doesn’t have a price on it, just the postage class, it’s still valid after the hike,” said Martin Lewis, Founder

So, he added, “this change will come as a shock to many stamp collectors.”

How do I market my stamps without a barcode?

You will need to complete a Brand replacement form and send your stamps back to Royal Mail to exchange them for updated versions.

You can send back unused stamps without barcodes worth up to £200 for exchange using Freepost, but if you intend to exchange stamps worth more than £200 you are advised to return them to Royal Mail using a secure post service. However, special picture stamps and non-barcoded Christmas stamps will remain valid and do not need to be used or exchanged until January 31.

What happens if I try to use old stamps after they expire?

If you use old stamps after the expiry date, they will be treated as ‘postage insufficient’, much the same as if you forgot to put a stamp on the item. The receiver will have to pay the additional fee or the item will be returned to the sender.

When will stamps start showing King Charles?

Royal Mail change brands, with a profile picture of the new monarch being phased in. However, he said Guardianletter boxes with Queen Elizabeth’s royal cipher, ER, are “unlikely to be removed” as “some with King George VI’s GR cipher remain in use today, 70 years later”.

However, Peter Coburn, president of the Royal Philatelic Society of London, said i news The site, which he estimates will feature King Charles, will be released before Christmas.

Cockburn said he expects a sudden surge in interest in the stamps when the new king’s images are introduced, but the value of the current stamps is unlikely to change much. “I don’t think there will be a significant change in value. I think it probably won’t have much effect,” he said.