This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remember Green Stamps?

A couple months ago a elderly family member passed away and I have made three trips to Chicago as a result. While helping clean out the house, I stumbled on a bag of old trading stamps. Are you old enough to remember them?

The Plaid Stamps were a promotion of A&P and have no value, but I was surprised to learn that that the Green Stamps might. They can be converted to a successor product, greenpoints, but there are restrictions on the conversion.

I remember my mother getting these stamps in the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, my main memory of them was how much my father hated them. At the time he was operating a small drug store in Little Falls, Minnesota and competitive pressures had forced him into offering the stamps--everyone else was offering them and customers expected them. However, they cost him more than they were worth to the people who received them. The trading stamps were a fad for a few years and then stores started to advertise that they were offering lower prices because they were not offering green stamps, and the fad died away. I do not recall if he was able to get rid of them before he closed his store--he closed when the first chain drug store opened up in town. He was too small to compete and the town could not support a fourth drug store. The same dynamic played out in Rensselaer many times.


Anonymous said...

Still have my card table and four chairs that I have from green stamps that were given to me as a shower gift in 1960.

Jody Watkins said...

I remember the Yellow Stamps as well. Can't remember if they had another name (Top Quality, maybe?). My mother was a big fan.

Unknown said...

The yellow ones were "top Value" stamps. They were a subsidiary company of KROGERS, the grocery chain HQ'ed in Cincinnati. A full book of them was approx. $3.00 value. Used as a "come on" mostly by small stores and gas stations.
The green ones were "S&H" stamps ( stood for Sperry & Hutchinson Co. from chicago

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I collected them--specially green ones and acquired several items. Only one I still have is a fireproof lock box which I've used since the 60's.