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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations August 28-29, 2004:

Not Quite

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries. 

The press is all abuzz about new personalized U-S stamps, but they're not really what they 
seem. I don't mean to be churlish, but stamps are issued by government agencies. These are 
produced by a private company with a very slick public relations machine.

Yes, the new "photo-stamps" will pay postage, and yes, they come from a company called stamps-dot-com....which up to now has been known for "Internet postage." That allows you to 
pay for postage via the Web and then print out your own postage meter labels. And that's 
what these new photo stamps are: postage meter labels, just like the ones Pitney Bowes 
produces, except these have color pictures instead of one-color drawings. 

Other countries HAVE produced personalized stamps, but not the U-S Postal Service.

Now, that's not to say that these aren't fun....although the fun comes with a price: You'll 
pay 17 bucks for just over seven dollars' worth of postage.

And that's Stamp Collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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