Monday was a historical day for the era of Internet postage, as the U.S. Postal Service approved the technology of online postage companies E-Stamp and Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP). Monday was also the day Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) made its own major push into the emerging market.
On Monday, Yahoo! launched its own Postal Center. The new area on Yahoo! will allow small businesses and individual customers to purchase online postage through E-Stamp’s service. Once the postage is bought and downloaded, the customer can print the postage.
How It Works
E-Stamp’s technology consists of software and a small electronic vault about the size of a roll of stamps. The vault connects to a computer. E-Stamp customers can buy postage with a credit card or funds transfer and then download up to $500 of postage into the vault. The postage can then be printed at the customer’s convenience.
The cost of the software and vault is $49.99, and a 10 percent convenience fee is charged when postage is purchased. There is a minimum fee of $4.99 and a maximum fee of $24.99 per purchase.
In related news on Monday, Dymo-CoStar, a leading manufacturer of label printers, announced a marketing and distribution deal with E-Stamp. Dymo-CoStar will integrate E-Stamp’s software into selected products and also promote E-Stamp on its Web site.
Variety of Services
Yahoo!’s Postal Center also features mailing-related resources such as package tracking information for Federal Express, Airborne Express, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. Also available online are change of address forms and a tool that lets customers look up zip codes.
“Yahoo! is committed to helping small businesses succeed by providing them with services that allow them to conduct everyday business more efficiently,” said Brian Fitzgerald, producer of Yahoo!’s Postal Center.
The Postal Center also offers links to information resources for Yahoo! users who are moving to another city. Resources available include real-estate listings, maps and contact information for moving companies. The online moving guide also provides links to Yahoo!’s auctions and classified ads for movers who are looking to sell items before they move.
Once the move is complete, Yahoo!’s users can use the moving guide to find out more about local hospitals, police and fire departments and general services such as garbage collection. The guide also links to job postings.