New service lets you charge people before you'll read their email

A new product launched today called lets you charge people whatever you’d like to read their email.

It’s simple. Say I set up an account via the service. If you send me an email, you’d get back an email from with an invoice for 99 cents (or whatever price I set).

If you pay up, the email gets forwarded to my account and I can reply (or not). If you don’t pay, I never see it.

There are a few uses for it, fun and otherwise: If you have a highly-visible email address — like, say, a public official, busy venture capitalist, or a reporter on a highly-trafficked technology news website — you could reduce the noise in your inbox by charging a nickel.

If you’re a sought-after expert, it could be a consultation fee or a way to make clients pay up for after-hours work. And so on and so forth. It’s also kind of a psychological experiment in how far people will go to get your attention.

The money either gets funneled into a Stripe online payments account, or you can opt to give it away to charity automatically.

In a comment on Product Hunt, where made its debut, co-founder Ivan Pashchenko likens the payments to the cost of a postage stamp. It’s technically in a closed beta, but it’s open to those who find it via Product Hunt.

So then the question becomes: What’s your email inbox worth?

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