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Get the skinny on the four main contenders in the electronic postage market.

This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Through rain, sleet, snow or hail, your PC and printer will always get the mail through-but only if you're wired into an electronic postaging system that allows users to print certified directly onto envelopes or mailing labels. With your trusty postage scale by your side, you may never have to wait in that long post-office line again.

The to print stamps on your home or office printer is still being fine-tuned to prevent the production of counterfeit stamps. The "stamp" currently available through online vendors is actually a complex barcode printout called Indicia that is accepted by the post office. The electronic postage market won't support too many players, but there are four main contenders, each with a slightly different twist:

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