Aug. 10 2006 05:16 PM

Founded in 1996, just as the Internet revolution was beginning to take shape in the minds of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, spent three years prior to its official product launch working closely with the U.S. Postal Service to develop the first secure digital postage product that enables customers to print postage using a standard PC and printer. For many customers, notably small-business owners and people working from home offices, the service was an attractive alternative to waiting in lines at the post office and more cost effective than traditional postage meter products.


However, the original product was somewhat limited by regulations requiring postage to be tied to the destination address and to be mailed within 24 hours of printing. For many initial customers, these limitations decreased the value of the service, and after flirting with Internet postage, they returned to traditional postage. Knowing it needed to address this issue in order to increase the stickiness of its service, began working with the Postal Service to create a product that would dramatically increase the convenience of the service.


After years of development and a six-month beta testing period, introduced NetStamps in July 2002. Different from other Internet- or meter-based products, NetStamps is a new form of Internet postage that can be printed in any denomination and stored indefinitely for use at any time. is the first and only vendor to receive approval from the Postal Service to offer this new form of postage.


"We still see a tremendous market opportunity for Internet postage," says Ken McBride, chief executive officer of "We believe NetStamps will help increase the number of Internet postage users by providing a more convenient and compelling product for our customers." customers can print up to as many as 25 NetStamps at a time on 81/2-inch by 11-inch NetStamps label sheets available through at a low cost of $3.99 for a pack of 125 labels. To try's postage-printing service, potential customers can go to to sign up for a 29-day, no-risk trial promotion being offered by the company. The offer includes free postage, a complimentary sheet of NetStamps labels and a free download of the software. A subscription to's online postage service begins at $4.49 per month.


In addition to the convenience of printing stamps at any time, for use at any time, NetStamps users can take advantage of the following benefits:


  •            NetStamps can be used for all classes of mail, including international and other classes not previously supported by's service.


  •            NetStamps are not tied to a destination address and can be used easily on a wider variety of envelopes and packaging than previously possible with the service.


  •            NetStamps maintains beneficial security features of the company's existing product. As "known-sender" mail, NetStamps adds increased assurance that the package or envelope on which it is affixed comes from a trusted source.


    In addition, the company recently announced a partnership with PayPal, a leading Internet payment service, which will enable PayPal users to buy and print postage online from their PayPal accounts. PayPal sellers will be able to calculate the exact amount of postage required and print a shipping label pre-populated with the recipient's information using the Web-based application. An electronic delivery confirmation feature will allow sellers to conveniently verify delivery of their shipments online. This represents the first deployment of's shipping application programming interface into a third-party's product, and it is a preview of innovative product developments in store for its customers.


    Ken McBride is CEO of For additional information, visit

  • {top_comments_ads}