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Site puts customers' photos on stamps

Mickey Mouse stamps aren't getting you fired up? Stamps.com lets you toss the Postal Service catalog.

Stamps.com is now letting customers design their own stamps.

With PhotoStamps, people can convert digital photos, designs and images into valid U.S. postage. The company said this week it has recently received authorization from the U.S. Postal Service to market the service for a trial period.

To place orders for customized postage stamps, customers can log on to the company's site, upload a photograph or image, select border colors and choose a value for the postage. Customers can buy a PhotoStamp with a value of 23 cents to $3.85, the online postage service provider said. The customized stamps, in sheets of 20, will be delivered via U.S. mail in a few business days.

This isn't the first time customers have been allowed to design their own stamps. Two years ago, the postal service allowed printing of stamps from personal computers on special watermarked paper using software marketed by Stamps.com.

"PhotoStamps offer parents, grandparents, pet lovers, travelers and anyone with a hobby a new way to share their favorite digital photos," Stamps.com CEO Ken McBride said in a statement. "From wedding invitations to birth announcements to holiday greeting cards, PhotoStamps are an ideal way for customers to express themselves with their mail. They are also an ideal tool for businesses that are looking for new ways to get their mail noticed or to create a customized identity."