Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stamps with Your Photo On Them

PhotoStamps: Home

The U.S. Postal Service has entered into an agreement with various commercial suppliers to allow personally designed stamps to be used on mail entered into the USPSA system.

You provide the photo, credit card and address information (you have to establish an account with the individual supplier - I chose arbitrarily) and the supplier will print your image on stamps which you can use to send snailmail.

I tried this out. It cost me $32.97 for 'two sheets'. I don't know how many stamps are on a sheet, but the stamps I get from the post office have about a dozen per sheet. I very much doubt they are talking about 50-stamp sheets. The stamps will certainly cost a lot more than their $.37 face value, and until I receive my order I won't be able to say what the actual cost per stamp will be.

I chose a photo of my son, his wife and THEIR new son, J-Bob. (Jakob Robert) This photo was over a year old, taken in the hospital room on the day he was born. My son, Jon Ben, has a satisfied smirk on his face which makes it all worth the expense of memorializing.

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Okay, it's a subjective thing. I love my son and his family, and while it may not be the photo THEY would choose, I can't think of a happier moment than the birth of a child.

It's worth it to me, and while they may not appreciate the stamps I'll be sending to hem, at least they have it to use or give to their son for whatever purpose he may have. (I don't expect to be using these stamps to pay my utility bills.)

This was just a test order. A single 'sheet' of stamps costs just under $17 from PhotStamps; I don't know what other suppliers charge, I haven't checked them out yet.

But if the stamps seem to be of good quality, I have plans to submit some other photos which are personally significant and buy even more stamps from them.

FYI, there are restrictions on the images you can submit for stamps. Using PhotoStamp as a typical supplier, no pornography, violence, copyright images (without permission), historical figures (?), suggestive, etc. photos will be accepted. If you send in an order and the image is rejected by the supplier, you will be charged a $10 'processing fee' by photostamp and you don't get your stamps.

I have NO idea whether they would consider this objectionable:
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You have to submit your own images and orders to find out what they will accept. If you choose to try this, I would appreciate it if you would send me a copy of the image and the results of your order. I may, with your permission, publish the results and image if only to serve as a warning to others.

UPDATE 11/14:
There are 20 stamps per sheet. At $0.37 per stamp, the actual postage value is $7.40. Your price from this vendor is $14.99 per sheet, which means your paying double price for the stamps.

This is no bargain if all you want is postage. If you want something else, something personal and meaningful to you, it's dirt cheap. For me, it's a bargain and I'll be using their service again.

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