Stamps.com and privately held E-Stamp announced that they have received approval from the U.S. Postal Service to sell stamps on the Internet.
The move marks the first time in 80 years that the federal agency has allowed a company to offer a new form of postage to customers.
Using the Stamps.com service, customers can log onto the company’s Web site and print stamps with an ordinary laser or ink jet printer, requiring no hardware. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company said it will begin by offering the service on a test basis to consumers in Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and California.
San Mateo, Calif.-based E-Stamp said online postage is available to its customers immediately. Its service requires software and a small device about the size of a roll of stamps that connects to a personal computer.
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