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Your Picture...on a Postage Stamp

Boot Camp feature for Monday, August 23, 2004

Now you can have something in common with Elvis, astronauts and ex-presidents. Your picture on a stamp. Bloomberg Boot Camp a report on today's technology. Stamps.com…a service that sells postage online….has been around for five years. It hasn't made money yet….but it now says it will be profitable by the end of the year. And a new service called PhotoStamps is one of the reasons why. CEO Ken McBride….

"You can come to PhotoStamps.com, upload a digital photo, customize the look and feel and order a sheet of 20 stamps with your picture on them."

McBride says thousands have placed orders already….even though each 20 stamp sheet of 37 cent stamps costs 16.99…instead of their face value of 7 dollars 40 cents. So far…about forty percent of the orders are for stamps with pictures of babies or children. And to those who may want to send a photo message of sorts along with their bills or taxes, McBride cautions…

"We do have guidelines around what we'll allow in terms of content. We have human beings that are looking through every photo and deciding whether the photo meets our guidelines or not."

Turn around time for an order placed online is about four to seven days. McBride is hoping to do a lot of holiday business…

"When we surveyed our Stamps.com customer base and asked them, they told us that the number one application was going to be season's greeting cards."

McBride is hoping it's a business idea…that will stick. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.