What Drives Postage Meter Lease Rates?
If you go to the post office to mail a large quantity of items, you’re going to spend a lot of money sending it first class. However, if you’re budget conscious like we are, then you’ll want to go with a postage meter instead. Learn more about postage meter lease rates, the various companies, and more, here.
Are you looking to lease a postage meter and tired of spending money sending first-class mail? Then you need to learn about postage meter lease rates.
Leasing a postage meter is a great way for your company to save money when sending mail. However, you might have a lot of questions about postage meter lease rates, how to use postage meters, and more. That’s what we’re here for.
In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about saving money with postage meter rental for small business. Read on to learn more!
Why Use Postage Meter Rental Companies?
Today, online advertising is so competitive that it can seem over-saturated. Many companies are instead turning their attention to direct mail to get new customers. Direct mail is effective and often has a great return on investment, so many businesses have found it to be their most effective marketing strategy.
However, even though business mail can work well, it can be costly and inefficient. That’s where postage meters come in: they save you both time and money so you can afford to send the mail you need to.
What Are Postage Meter Lease Rates?
The cost of a postage meter varies a lot. What affects these costs?
Part of the price is the rental fees. For a basic meter, you’ll be spending about $20 per month. But for a fancier version, you might need to spend as much as $1,000 a month for a complete mail processing station.
There are just five companies in the U.S. that are allowed to lease postage meters. This lack of competition also influences prices. Right now, the companies that you can get postage meters from are Neopost, Data-Pac Mailing Systems, Hasler Inc, FP Mailing Solutions, and Pitney Bowes.
In addition to the price of the lease, you’ll also have to pay for the cost of postage, mailing supplies, and repairs and maintenance. Let’s look closer at what each cost entails.
1. Lease Costs
You actually can’t buy postage meters. That’s because federal law has rules regarding who can create postage stamps. The USPS controls how many stamps are in circulation at any moment in time.
Postage meters print postage, so the USPS regulates who can actually sell and manufacture postage meters. Right now, they’ve only authorized the five companies listed above to sell meters. So renting a meter is the only way you can use one.
Each month, you’ll pay the supplier’s rental fee to use the machine. Some of the suppliers offer fixed fees, while others offer usage fees based on how much mail you send. The type of postage meter you lease might also affect the type of rate that’s offered. You might be able to rent a low-volume meter at a fixed rate, but required to pay a usage fee for a high-volume meter.
If you want to limit how much you spend each month, a fixed fee meter will help you stick to your budget. However, if the amount of mail you send will vary greatly from month to month, a usage fee system will help ensure you’re only paying for what you used that month.
2. Postage Rates
The next cost you’ll need to consider is the cost of postage.
To get a first-class stamp for a letter that weighs one ounce, you’ll need to spend $.50. However, when you use a postage meter, you can get the commercial rate, which is $.47, instead of the slightly higher retail rate. If you’re sending a lot of mail, that difference of a few cents can quickly add up.
If you’re sending bulk mail, you can get an even bigger discount by pre-sorting it. After it’s sorted, you’ll send it to the USPS for discounted delivery.
If you want to save the most money, you’ll need to be meticulous about your mail sorting. Each batch for each zip code needs to have at least 150 pieces of mail in it. However, many postage meters can sort your mail for you, making it easier to get this discount without much extra work on your part.
If you pre-sort by zip code, you’ll save almost a quarter of the costs compared to sending first-class mail at retail cost. This makes the expense of leasing a postage meter well worth it.
Some postage meter companies also give you a rate protection guarantee when you sign their lease. The rates for metered postage will be frozen and stay at the same rate as when you signed. This protects you when the USPS raises postage rates.
Postage meters are also great when you need to send urgent, heavy, or large mail. This is much easier than taking these items to the post office, and can save you money as well as time.
When you start looking for the best postage meter for small business, don’t forget to factor in the cost of supplies.
Some suppliers will give you a complimentary ink refill or stationary, but other companies don’t include any freebies. A phone call is the best way to be sure of which supplies are included in the deal.
The things you’ll need to buy may include ink, stationary, envelope sealing solution, and postage tape sheets or self-adhesive labels.
4. Maintenance and Upkeep Costs
The final postage meter cost to consider is the maintenance and upkeep.
If you lease a postage meter, you’re just renting it – the supplier still owns it. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re responsible for all the maintenance. That depends on the terms of your lease.
It’s important to know if your supplier will send repair techs to you, or if you’ll need to send the units to their location for repairs. Check to see what’s covered under their warranty.
If they offer software, you should also check to see what kinds of software support are available.
Is Postage Meter Rental Right for You?
After weighing the costs of sending mail, you might find that the postage meter lease rates and associated costs are well worth it. If your business sends bulk mail on a regular basis, it’s time to consider leasing a meter.
Not sure how to get started on your lease? Check out our options here.