Postage Meters: Pre-Buying Questions Answered
Do you have questions about buying postage meters for your business? Make sure you take a look at this complete guide to get those questions answered.
The average small business spends over $4,000 every year on postage.
If you aren’t using a postage meter, you can make that large number shrink. But only if you get the right type.
So what type is right for your business? Or do you even need one? Is a postage meter really worth it?
We’ve put together this guide to answer some common pre-buying questions about postage meters.
So let’s get started!
How Does a Postage Meter Work?
When you rent a postage meter, you fill it with a certain amount of postage. Every time you slide a piece of mail through the meter, you use some of this postage.
Here’s how it works.
First, you load up your envelope as normal. Then, you set it on the meter’s scale. This will measure the exact weight of the envelope so you don’t pay more to ship it than you should.
After that, you slide the envelope through the meter. As it passes through, the meter will print a frank, or indicia, on the top right corner. This frank will include the weight of the envelope, the amount of postage that was paid, the return address, and an ID number.
Once your envelopes have a printed frank, they’re ready for the mailbox.
How Much Is a Postage Meter?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors.
For example, larger machines will cost more money than a smaller machine. Different companies can also charge varying amounts for their meters.
You can pay anything from $20 to $1,000 a month.
Since we can’t give you an exact answer to this question, let’s go over what you’re paying for when you rent a postage meter.
You’ll have to pay your supplier a monthly fee in order to use a postage meter. This fee might be fixed or based on the amount of mail you process through the machine. If it’s based on usage, you’ll have to pay more money for every piece of mail you ship.
Since you get a postage meter pre-filled with a certain amount of postage, you also have to pay for this expense.
Think of it like buying a package of stamps at the post office. If you run out of postage, you can refill it through your supplier.
Some postage meters include necessary supplies as part of your monthly fee. This can include things like ink and envelope sealing solution.
But not every supplier does this. Make sure you talk to them before leasing from them so you know what you’re paying for.
Since you’re renting your postage meter, the supplier is still responsible for maintaining it. At least, this is true for most suppliers. But again, make sure you talk to them about this before you rent anything.
Can You Own a Postage Meter?
You cannot own your own postage meter. The federal law considers postage meters a form of legal tender. Because of this, only a few manufacturers can supply them.
The only way you can use a postage meter is by renting it.
Is Metered Mail Cheaper?
The short answer to this question is yes.
And here’s why.
If you buy a stamp for a letter than weights 1 ounce, you’ll pay $0.50. If you process a letter that weighs 1 ounce through a postage meter, you’ll only pay $0.47 (the commercial rate).
That may not seem like much, but when you ship hundreds of letters a day, that $0.03 adds up fast.
Do Postage Meters Save Money?
Postage meters can save your business a lot of money, and not just because the mail you ship is cheaper.
You don’t have to waste money on gas by constantly driving to the post office and back. Since gas is anything but cheap, you can save a lot of money by using a postage meter, even if the post office was only a few minutes away.
Postage meters also speed up your shipping process.
That means your employees can spend less time mailing envelopes and more time working on the jobs you hired them for. In other words, a faster shipping process means your business has time to make extra money.
So even though you have to pay a monthly fee to rent a postage meter, it’ll help you save in the long run.
What Is the Best Postage Meter for Small Businesses?
As a small business, a low-capacity postage meter will probably suit your needs. Low-capacity machines can process between 16 and 20 letters every minute.
However, if you ship hundreds or thousands of pieces of mail a day, you may want a medium-capacity machine instead. This type of postage meter can process up to 85 letters per minute.
Top Postage Meter Brands
When you rent a postage meter, you should always make sure it comes from a quality brand. In other words, you should stick to these brands:
- Pitney Bowes
- FP USA
- Data Pac
These are the only companies in the United States that are legally allowed to manufacture these machines.
You shouldn’t trust a company leasing postage meters that don’t come from one of these brands. They might not be legitimate.
Answering Common Postage Meter Questions
If you haven’t used a postage meter before, you might have a lot of questions. But the answers we gave in this guide should help you decide what type of postage meter is right for your company.
Still have a few more questions?
We can help! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!