Online postage company Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP) announced today that it has formed a marketing and distribution alliance with IBM. The Stamps.com service will now be delivered to the more than one million members of the IBM Owner Privileges Program, which caters to owners of IBM Aptiva PC and Thinkpad i Series systems.
Stamps.com’s service will be featured on the Owner Privileges Web site as a free download. In addition, IBM and Stamps.com will promote Stamps.com via direct marketing, including direct e-mail.
“This alliance provides Stamps.com with direct access to potential small office and home office customers,” said John Payne, CEO of Stamps.com.
Stamps.com, which is currently battling for market share in the nascent online postage market with E-Stamp, also has deals with Microsoft, America Online, 3M, Office Depot and Quicken.com. The Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) market is where both Stamps.com and E-Stamp expect to generate most of their revenue.
“The Stamps.com service enables us to continue to meet the needs of our SOHO and unique, individual customers by delivering products and services that respond to their individual lifestyles,” said Marianne Jacobs, program director for IBM Owner Privileges.
How Stamps.com’s Service Works
Unlike E-Stamp, Stamps.com service does not require any additional hardware for online postage. Customers who use Stamps.com can purchase online postage and then print the postage at their convenience. Stamps.com offers services including first-class mail, express mail, certified mail, and delivery confirmation. Customers can ship and track packages from their home or office.
There is no signup fee for the service. Users who sign up for the business service plan are charged a 10 percent service fee for the online postage they buy, with a minimum charge of $3.99 (US$) and a maximum charge of $19.99 each month. Users who sign up for the personal service plan will be charged $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year if they buy $25 or less in online postage each month. A 15 percent fee will be charged for additional postage that is purchased.
Shares of Stamps.com soared in early trading today after the news, climbing 2-3/16 to 34-5/16, a gain of nearly seven percent. Volume was brisk, with more than 350,000 shares changing hands in the first 90 minutes of trading. The shares traded represent more than 1/3 of Stamps.com average daily trading volume of 925,000 shares.