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Running a business means finding ways to save costs without sacrificing the quality of your work. A postage meter in your mailroom is the perfect way to save money and time, while actually improving your mailing process.
What Are Postage Meters?
Postage meters essentially replace stamps by printing a postage indicia, called a frank, in the upper right hand corner of outgoing mail and by printing a label that can be applied to larger, thicker mailpieces. Businesses simply download and pay for the postage. A postage meter also stores and weighs mail.
Today's postage meters are digital and offer numerous features and capabilities beyond affixing postage to an envelope. Assign codes for more accurate accounting, run reports, stuff and seal envelopes, and much more with your postage meter.
Postage meters are incredibly convenient, allowing you to take care of all your business mailing needs from an on-site location. Over time, a postage meter offers substantial cost savings. This is particularly true if you meet certain thresholds that allow you to save on first class postage.
Benefits of a Postage Meter
A postage meter comes with a host of benefits, some of which include:
Appearance: Postage meters provide a precise stamp that looks perfect every time. This keeps your mail looking professional and adds an air of seriousness to each piece of mail that leaves your business.
Convenience: A quick and simple way to handle mailing needs on-site, postage meters are able to handle flats, letters, and small packages. The included scale lets you know exactly how much postage a mailpiece needs, taking out the guesswork and ensuring accuracy. Postage meters also help the post office process your mail, as the indica typically includes weight and zip code. This moves it through faster.
Variety: There are multiple types of postage meter, so finding the right one for your business is simple. Whether you send less than 100 letters per month or thousands of letters per hour, there is a postage meter for you.
Time savings: Rather than taking the time to head down to the post office each time you need stamps and then affix them by hand, postage meters allow you to add refill the funds on the meter itself. Postage meters also cut down on the time it takes to apply the proper postage, especially with multiple mailpieces, as they have powered conveyors that move the mail through the machine.
How Much Does Renting a Postage Meter Cost?
Providing an exact cost for postage meters is difficult, as the type of meter you get and the volume of mail you produce directly affect your total price. Add-ons such as scales, sealers, and stackers can be purchased separately, or may be included as part of your rental contract. Always be sure to ask exactly what is included in the agreed price of the rental agreement and what responsibilities are expected of your business over the course of the rental.
- A basic postage meter that processes 15 to 20 pieces per minute (ppm) has an average cost of $20 per month with a year-long contract.
- A mid-range postage meter that processes 50 to 100 ppm has an average cost between $35 and $65 per month.
- A dedicated mail processing station can process thousands of pieces per hour and ranges in cost between $500 and upwards of $1,000.
There are other costs to consider outside of the postage meter, as well. Adhesive tape or labels will need to be replaced from time to time, as will ink and shipping materials. Don't forget to think about any postage fees and the cost of refilling the meter. There are also taxes to consider and the cost of insuring the machine. All of this varies depending on how often the postage meter is used and the type of meter you rent.
Postage Meter Savings
When you use a postage meter, you save 6 percent on your postage costs ($0.03 per envelope). The United States Post Office (USPS) values business mail and actively wants businesses to use postage meters, so they provide an automatic discount. Postage meters also help to save on costs by ensuring accurate postage and weighing of all mailpieces.
Postage meters give you a way to see exactly what you spend each month on your mailings. You can even break down postal costs by department, giving you a better idea of how much is being sent, by whom, and how often. If your business sends out large volumes of bulk mail, bulk mail permits are available from USPS and offer further savings on mail costs.