Tips for Buyers
Once you’ve calculated your postage costs, the time it takes to make post office shipments, and your overall mail volume, you might realize that it makes sense to have an on-site mailing solution. Postage meters can perform every shipment function available at the US Post office- you can send First Class and Registered mail, ship packages, and request mail receipts and COD verification. Before you invest time and money in mailing equipment, here are a few things to consider:
Let volume dictate your purchase. Make sure you have an accurate assessment of your shipment volume before you consider mailing equipment, including postage meters. Companies with very large shipment volume, such as those that deal in bulk mail campaigns, might need to purchase additional equipment or seek a permit for special “bulk,” or discounted rates.
Consider online postage providers. Businesses with very small outgoing mail volume might be better off using an online postage solution, where you can print postage from your computer. These services typically require no contracts or monthly charges, and are a good way to assess and monitor your postage needs as your business grows. Online services are better for businesses that send mostly letters and envelopes, or those that don’t require postage machines or weighed shipments in order to accurately calculate costs.
Use a digital scale. Digital scales can be slightly more expensive than “spring” models, especially for heavier shipments, but are a good value in the long run. Digital scales don’t need to be recalibrated as frequently, and are usually more accurate. They are also easy to use with a complete mailing system.
Use different sources for supplies. Postage meter companies or mailing system vendors might not be the best source for supplies like envelopes and ink, especially if you’re looking for “green” or environmentally friendly options. Online office supply retailers or large chain stores often offer a better value for your money. Many also offer automatic shipment, so you can ensure you’re never without the supplies you need.
Take advantage of online access. Choose a meter that allows you to automatically download current USPS rates. Some providers charge for this “reset,” so make sure you know if you will be charged. To avoid reset charges, you can purchase rate insurance- a flat fee paid when you sign a lease contract that lets you avoid these fees.
Purchasing a postage meter can have a big impact on your day-to-day business operations. You’ll avoid trips to the post office to ship packages or outgoing mail, and can ensure that you always pay the correct rate- not a “rounded up” cost- for postage, which can save you thousands or more each year. Make sure you evaluate your needs and compare different meter options before making your final decision.