Dutch life

The Dutch are sticky: we love stamps!

There is a good chance the cashier at the supermarket will ask you, “Do you collect stamps?” Not only the big supermarkets try to attract customers with savings, the same question also pops up at the local bakery or your gas station. The list of products they try to allure you with is almost endless: knife sets, football cards, discounts tickets for amusement parks, and little pots to plant in your vegetable garden! Supermarkets mainly use this type of promotion to increase sales, and from a marketing perspective it actually works!

At the supermarkets you can also buy stamps to set aside money for later (‘spaarzegels’). Some people prefer collecting stamps to saving money at the bank since you hardly notice you’re setting aside money when you pay (only 10 cents per stamp), and once you’ve collected 490 stamps, you get over 6% interest!

The tea and coffee producer’s savings program from Douwe Egberts has been around since 1924 and is the oldest, still active, savings system in the Netherlands. Even in 2019, people are still cutting out and saving the stamps from the packaging. The savings are even transferred from generation to generation, especially from mothers to daughters. My family cut DE stamps from the coffee and tea packages for me when I was going to get married to collect some cup and saucers. I still have them! According to the Internet, cutting and pasting stamps is something ‘typically Dutch.’ Saving is really a Dutch phenomenon: we love saving and discounts.

This summer is the World Championship Soccer for Women, and the Dutch are playing. The marketers will likely find a way to overload us with orange stuff.


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