Postage Meter vs Stamps.com: Which Is Right for You?
What service do you turn to when you need postage? In this post, we’re taking a hard look at pros and cons of using stamps.com vs postage meters.
In the days of emails and smartphones, there are still many times when we need to send mail with postage.
Where do you go when you need to get postage?
There are a few options, with two major ones being postage meters and Stamps.com. Let's take a loot at the pros and cons of each choice, so you can decide where to go next time you need postage.
What is Stamps.com?
This website is a great resource where you can go to buy postage at a discount.
This was the first place that was licensed by the US Postal Service to print postage, which is designed to be printed at home.
You'll print it using your PC and printer, then attach the postage to whatever you need to mail and put in in the mailbox.
The Cons of Stamps.com
1. Slow Process
For each piece of mail, you have to print out the postage and attach it by hand. This can be very slow and tedious, especially if you are mailing things in large quantities.
2. Limited Options
Stamps.com does just what it says - gives stamps. If you need anything else, such as logos or addresses printed, the service won't be able to help.
3. Requires Certain Equipment
To print stamps you need a PC and a printer. You also need a reliable internet connection, as well as a scale so you can weigh packages to make sure you get the correct postage.
The Pros of Stamps.com
1. No Fancy Equipment Needed
You don't need to buy extra fancy equipment to use this service. You can just print from home or an office using a standard printer and PC. You can even use normal printer ink, which is cheaper than buying special ink.
2. Automatic Rate Updates
Stamps.com will automatically give you the updated postage rate. You don't need any new software to know exactly how much postage you need.
3. Trial Period
You can start with a four-week trial period before deciding if the service is right for you. Their monthly fee is usually $15.99, but there isn't any contract or termination fee involved if you decide to cancel.
This makes it a very affordable option, especially if you won't be sending a lot of mail.
What are Postage Meters?
A postage meter is used by companies to make the process of sending mail easier.
Postage meters are more elaborate than just using a website and a printer with Stamps.com to get postage.
There are quite a few models, from small ones to very large. They are made to suit many different kinds and sizes of businesses.
To use a postage meter, you'll fill it with the amount of postage that you plan to use. Then, you'll put letters into the machine. It will print the envelope with a mark called a "frank."
A frank is a way of conveying information about the mailed item's weight, how much postage has been paid, the mail class, and the zip code of the place that mailed it. The frank might also contain tracking information.
Today, postage meters are digital. These provide more security than the previous non-digital meters.
The Cons of Postage Meters
1. Expensive for Small Quantities
The cost of a postage meter can be unnecessary for an individual or a very small business. If you'll only be sending a few pieces of mail, it will take a long time for the postage meter to pay for itself.
2. May Not Offer Technical Support
It's possible that you may not have technical support for using your postage meter. Stamps.com offers free technical support.
However, many postage meter providers will offer technical support, so you can just check to make sure they do before renting the meter.
3. Not For Sale
You're actually not allowed to buy a postage meter. The USPS prevents it because of the strict rules surrounding stamps, so any postage meter will always be a rental or lease.
The Pros of Postage Meters
1. Easy to Send in Volume
With a postage meter, you don't have to manually print and attach postage for each piece of mail.
This saves time and energy when you need to send large amounts of mail. Postage meters can send thousands, even tens of thousands of letters per hour. It would take a great deal of time or money for a team of employees to meet those same numbers.
Your mail will also arrive at its destination faster if you use a meter. There will be fewer steps for it to go through at the post office since the meter took care of having it dated and postmarked.
Whether it's a bill, invoice, or marketing material, mass mailing is much simpler with a postage meter instead of Stamps.com.
2. Less Expensive
Stamps.com can be a cheaper option if only a few pieces of mail are being sent.
However, for large mailings, a postage meter will actually save money.
With a postage meter, there is a 1% discount for many first-class letters. That will add up over time! They also ensure that there won't be any miscalculations resulting in an overpayment of postage.
And employees won't need to be paid to do the tedious task of printing and affixing postage, which can become very costly.
One more added bonus is the cost accounting feature built into postage meters. This means that you can easily keep track of postage expenditures to make budgeting easier.
3. Greater Security
Using a postage meter helps eliminate the risk of human error.
There's much more security in using a digital system to manage all of this information. Not only will postage be calculated correctly, but postage will never get lost or damaged.
Addresses and other information can be printed directly on an envelope using a postage meter, ensuring that the mail always gets to the right place.
Comparing Stamps.com and Postage Meter Conclusion
Although Stamps.com is great for personal use, any large or growing business will want to invest in a postage meter in order to keep things running smoothly.
These machines quickly earn their keep by saving time and money and streamlining the process of sending mail. They can even add logos and images to your mail, making advertising that much easier.
With that in mind, don't you think it's time to consider renting a postage meter for your business?