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Personal barcode stamps

Stamps that link to a monthly account.
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Why not have self adhesive postage stamps that contain a small barcode number which links back to a billing account ?

Here's how it works. You go to the post office and open an account. They give you a sheet of self adhesive barcode labels (tamper proof). When you want to send a letter, you just stick a barcode stamp on. When the letter gets to the sorting office the machine weights the envelope and reads the barcode, then bills your account accordingly. Little add-on tabs indicate your choice of first or second class postage. You get a monthly bill, same way as for other utilites. It shows what you sent and when. They send you a new sheet of barcode stamps when you've used most of the existing ones. The deigns cahnge each time to reduce the risk of fraud. Never be caught out without stamps, or not knowing how much postage to put on.

8th of 7, Jun 26 2002

Baked? http://www.stamps.com/
You don't even need to go to the post office; you print them on your printer. [egnor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Personalized Postage Stamps for Collectors http://www.usps.com...stomizedpostage.htm
//What price an early "John Lennon", or a middle-period "Colin Powell" ? Stamp collectors would love this idea.// [Klaatu, Sep 13 2009]

Now Baked in the UK http://www.royalmail.com
Even encodes the destination as a QR code. [8th of 7, Oct 17 2011]

[link]






       you can get stamps pretty much anywhere these days.
po, Jun 26 2002
  

       po: But how do you know how much postage to put on a heavy letter that you want to go first class, if you don't have scales ? Our local office closes at 1800, but the last collection is actually 2000. Sometimes, by a miracle, first class items actually arrive the next day. But only if you get the postage right.   

       This is like a franking machine for private citizens.
8th of 7, Jun 26 2002
  

       So why not get a franking machine? Probably because it costs too much, which is why this wouldn't work.
angel, Jun 26 2002
  

       Or use a private courier. Or buy scales (the post office in britain will send you for free a little balance for weighing letters). Or hypothetically find a post-office that remains open. This is a vastly costly solution to the problem of not being able to get to the post-office before it shuts.
pottedstu, Jun 26 2002
  

       would make Valentine cards and stalkers' letters a thing of the past. would also potentially rid the gene pool of stamp collectors.
sappho, Jun 26 2002
  

       This is how the free postage mailers marketers send you work, so I guess that would make this Baked. Apply for an account with the Post Office today.
DrCurry, Jun 26 2002
  

       Sappho: No, sorry. The traditional "anonymous" stamps would still be available. And I think it might make stamp collectors worse. What price an early "John Lennon", or a middle-period "Colin Powell" ? Stamp collectors would love this idea.   

       DrCurry: That's done by special postcode, and it bills the recipent, not the sender - I presume you mean things like the Business Reply Service and the Freepost systems ? This is for private individuals with relatively low usage.
8th of 7, Jun 26 2002
  

       Only the computer program needs to know who is being billed, so the barcode is still anonymous.   

       And you could say what you want so that the post office bills you with the correct price (You asked for 1st class, and THEY weighed it)   

       Brilliant idea.
pashute, Nov 04 2002
  

       I have a feeling something like this going to be baked in the U.S before long. The New York Times discussed the idea in an article about the spate of anthrax mailings here last fall; it seems that anonymous mail may soon be a thing of the past, if only for security reasons.
snarfyguy, Nov 17 2002
  

       There's really no escape. Just tried to leave the HB and Googled "barcode stamps", and where do i end up?
nineteenthly, Sep 13 2009
  

       [Klaatu]! Haven't heard from you in years!
nineteenthly, Sep 13 2009
  
      
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