Nieuws - 21 juni 2012

'Spaart u zegels?'


Not everything in the Netherlands is online or digital. Saving old-fashioned Spaarzegels is a hands-on, interpersonal matter!

Spaarzegels are saving stamps and they come free with your purchases. They are very popular in the Netherlands, as they give the impression you are getting something for nothing. In the supermarkets, grocery stores, and even in flower shops you are always asked two key questions: Do you collect Spaarzegels? And do you want your bill as well?
As a good customer I normally simply say yes to both. I already have a large collection of all kinds of stamps in my pocket and in all the drawers at home. Being human, I aim to complete my collections and to stick all my stamps on the stamp cards. Often around 50 or 100 stamps need to be put on a stamp card in order to benefit from one of the products which are offered.  I find this a very interesting procedure and I feel like I'm in a win-win situation.  Eventually my dreams will come true and I will exchange my stamps for one of the very nice luxury presents, like books, postcards, towels or cheaper tickets for a theme park.
Spaarzegels certainly come in varying qualities:  they all have regular perforations which have to be separated, but they don't all stick properly to the card. And I am sometimes jealous of the skills of the cashier who knows how to tear these little stickers off exactly on the perforated lines. These Spaarzegels are no larger than a 5 cent coin, which is why most of my Spaarzegels get lost in my bags or pockets. Collecting saving stamps in the Netherlands is something special for me: a homely, old-fashioned habit in an otherwise so digitalized and modern country. Surely a habit I wouldn't want to be without anymore. 
Jutta Wirth, German lecturer in the Behavoural Ecology chair group