Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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25 cent stamp

Discounted stamps available at your post office
  (+11, -2)(+11, -2)
(+11, -2)
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Advertising supported discounted stamps available from a computerized vending machine at your local post office.

Purchase stamps at 25 cents each from a special vending machine that dispenses a stamp affixed on to a 2x2 advertising space that is dynamically printed in color.

The advertiser pays a 25 cent subsidy per stamp to have the privilege of their message being mailed by the consumer. They can print coupons, logo's, just about anything the postal service will allow to appear or be sent by mail.

These vending machines are all interconnected online to a database of the Discount Stamp Company. The company signs up advertisers and adds their messages into the queue for distribution.

Kind of like banner ads for real mail. Consumers win by saving 16 cents a stamp. Advertisers win and at minimum have the consumer reading and sending their message. The Discount Stamp Company nets about 10 cents a stamp or more if they can negotiate a good contract with the postal service. If setup properly the postal service maintains and stocks the dispensing machine.

I think its one of those rare win win win business situations.

Shapharian, Oct 26 2007

[link]






       I have seen recent stamps with characters - superheroes, Yoda, etc. There must be some agreement with the companies that own the licenses for these characters such that they can be used on stamps. I wonder if money is exchanged?
bungston, Oct 26 2007
  

       If you can obtain the zip-code to which the mail is being sent, this suddenly becomes a much more valuable idea. [+]
vincevincevince, Oct 26 2007
  

       [bungston] I don't think that any money is exchanged in having licensed characters on stamps because both the postal service and the companies profit off of it: the companies get advertisement for their various characters, and the postal service gets new stamp designs that hundreds, maybe thousands, of stamp collectors buy to add to their collection   

       This is a good idea with the exception that it wouldn't get implemented without a lot of difficulty in putting in the vending machines in all of those post offices
keithbrunkala, Oct 26 2007
  

       This is practicable, but I don't like this for the same reason I don't like emails with little footers on them that advertise the service that sent them - the recipient doesn't benefit, yet has no choice but to consume the advertising.
jutta, Oct 26 2007
  

       Better, I think, to give out free regular stamps, paid for by the advertisement that you have to peel them off. Then the sender gets to read the ad, but doesn't inflict it on the recipient or, for that matter, postal service personnel.   

       That would be like the people who give out dollar bills with a peelable ad stuck over George W's picture. But a little cheaper for the advertiser.
DrCurry, Oct 26 2007
  

       Most people will philately refuse to use this.
4whom, Oct 27 2007
  

       You could push it even further... for just 10¢ you could send a letter with auto-included advertising inserts within the envelope, on the back as well as beside the stamp.
vincevincevince, Oct 27 2007
  

       I'm not much of a fan of advertising, but I am much of a fan of stamps costing the same price they did when I was a kid.   

       My concern is that the main supporter of the mail service in america is currently bulk mailers, who send out advertisements anyway. Since they're already mailing out advertisements, why shouldn't they mail out advertisements with advertisements on them for less money than it cost to send out plain ads?   

       This system is really only a benefit if it is applied solely to private citizens.
ye_river_xiv, Oct 27 2007
  

       I only buy stamps that represent political challenges to the System, like James Baldwin, etc. :)
projekt, Oct 28 2007
  

       Drink Pepsi 25c
thesteve, Oct 30 2007
  

       Got an idea to enhance this concept a bit.   

       Stamps.com offers photo stamps as a licensee of the US post office. They sell 20 - 41 cent stamps for $18.99 and u can upload any pic.   

       It seems outrageous to charge $10.79 profit to put a picture of your kid or an NFL team logo on postage.   

       But... The post office licenses the ability to print postage this way from such companies.   

       The enhancement is to scrap the vending machines and do an advertising subsidized online postage system like stamps.com so people can print out discounted postage stamps on their printer.   

       Advertisers are provided a 1.1 in x 1.1 in ad spot. Customers pay $5 for a sheet of 20 stamps. Advertisers pay $5 per sheet of 20 stamps Company nets 1.80 per sheet.   

       *** Enhancement Instead of sheets of stamps *** The online system can print address labels with postage and sponsor advertisement for 25% off standard postage rates.   

       The system now has both the sending zipcode and destination zipcode allowing for targeted advertising at a cost of 50% of the postage to the sponsor/advertiser.   

       *** Free stamps enhancement *** Click banner ads visit sponsors or fill out surveys to bank postage credit in your online account. Could be viral
Shapharian, Nov 01 2007
  

       //This is practicable, but I don't like this for the same reason I don't like emails with little footers on them that advertise the service that sent them - the recipient doesn't benefit, yet has no choice but to consume the advertising.//   

       I don't like it either, but it has a whiff of the inevitable to it. Just for that it's [+].
snarfyguy, Nov 01 2007
  
      
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