Postage "Stamps" To Be Available Through the Internet

The US Postal service gave its blessing yesterday clearing the way for two companies to begin marketing and selling electronic postage services on-line.

Stamps.com, Inc will soon begin rolling out their electronic postage services. The services will allow customers to use their own printer to print postage-paid envelopes. The system can only be used to send domestic mail, not international mail, at least at this point.

These two companies, along with several others including office supply giant Pitney-Bowes, will sell their products for a monthly fee, and tack on a surcharge for the postage itself. They intend to take advantage of consumers' need for convenience, and hope they will be willing to pay extra to avoid standing in lines at the post office.

Sources indicate that electronic postage services could account for 10% of all postage purchases by small businesses in the next five years.

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