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Buying a New Car with Trading Stamps


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Many of us probably grew up with the trading stamp programs such as S&H green stamps.  I did and my family used them to get many household things like small appliances and decorative home furnishings.  Today going though my library of unusual stuff I found a 1965 catalog for Top Value stamps.  In this catalog you could exchange your full stamp books for new Ford automobiles and small motorbikes.  Here are some photos from the catalog. The Ford Falcon wagon was 771 books, the Econoline wagon was 807 books, the Mustang 718 books and the Fairlane coupe was 766 books.  The Lambretta scooter was 129 1/5 books. I wonder how many people, if any, were able to save enough books to redeem for a car? 

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As I kid I remember helping put the green stamps in their books, what a mess and headache to get them on the pages before the glue dried. Seven hundred books would take years to do.

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1 hour ago, TerryB said:

As I kid I remember helping put the green stamps in their books, what a mess and headache to get them on the pages before the glue dried. Seven hundred books would take years to do.

I remember pasting them in books.  My mother made a game of it for my brothers and I: sit around the kitchen table on a rainy Saturday morning and paste stamps in books.  We thought it was fun!   Now I am retired, and I block-sand ancient automobiles for “fun”.  Go figure.

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I think you got 1 S&H stamp for every ten cents you spent.  That means you spent $120 per book.  807 x $120 =$96840 spent to get a Ford econoline.  Then you could start saving again for the Falcon Wagon.  About that time you died.

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My ex bro-in-law was a long distance trucker for Harley Davidson.  Some clever fuel stations figured out that if they raised the price of their fuel and gave S&H stamps to the drivers they could lure them into their stations. At one point he had several hundred books of stamps.  Unfortunately Harley figured out what was going on and banned their drivers from fueling up at over priced stations that gave stamps.

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I remember one of my friend’s parents would let him and his sister use their stamps. I was a little Jealous because my folks wouldn’t shop the places that gave out stamps. My dad said those places just had higher prices to pay for the stamps. Looking back I realize, like most things, he knew what he was talking about.

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15 hours ago, nickelroadster said:

I think you got 1 S&H stamp for every ten cents you spent.  That means you spent $120 per book.

807 x $120 = $96840 spent to get a Ford Econoline...  

 

I wonder whether these were "aspirational" prizes

which no one, or hardly anyone, ever achieved. 

They're offered for their publicity value.

 

Similarly, in recent times the Neiman Marcus catalogue

has offered high-end showy products which often go unsold.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I recall being on a road trip when I was about 12 years old.

Hiway sign said that this place would give you a thousand free S&H stamps if they forgot to offer them.

Well I went in and bought a candy bar and they didn't offer.

I turned a 360 and said "Hey you forgot to offer the stamps".

The girl only apologized and offered me the one or two stamps correct for the purchase.

I was to easy at that age and should have demanded, but I was 12 and didn't stand up like I should have.

 

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8 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

I still have 3 1/2 books of S & H Green Stamps.    I remember  getting lawn furniture with them in the 1970's.

Keep going, your only about 800 books away from that van.

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Mom would put them in a paper grocery bag. Pretty sure the Acme gave them out. I think it may have been around the time they stopped I got a black and decker 1/4" electric drill just so we could use up the stamps we had rather than lose them. I was probably about 12 or so. Also remember Pop saving bands off of his Philly cigars, I think you could trade them in for trinkets as well.

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One New Year’s Eve, had a party at a friends apartment.  This was 1970 or so, he had the typical college place with shag rug, he was at a northern Louisiana institute of higher learning.  We never let college interfere with our education, though.

 

His roommate’s mother worked at a Green Stamp redemption center, and they shredded the books of stamps so they couldn’t be used again.

 

The roommate got the idea that the shredded books would make great confetti, so at the stroke of midnight, many boxes and handfuls of shredded green stamps were thrown everywhere.

 

He didn’t take into account the glue on the back of the stamps.  Let us just say it was a mess, with “confetti” sticking to everything, and they were months getting all the pieces out of the shag carpet...

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I have friends who are the second owners of a 1965 Olds Cutlass Vista Cruiser station wagon which was initially purchased with trading stamps.  The nuns in their local parish school needed suitable transportation for school use and solicited donations of stamps to secure its purchase.  

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