Should I Get a Postage Meter?
If you are a small business owner in today's world, you may have asked yourself, "Should I get a postage meter?" based on the amount of correspondence you send out on a regular basis.If you find that you are constantly making trips to the post office or other postage retailer, or that you have considered the convenience of online postage services, then a postage meter may be right for you.
A postage meter is used to indicate that Postage meters may be used for any class of mail except Periodicals.
- Postage meters offer small businesses and home offices the opportunity to determine exact postage amounts, thereby saving themselves up to 20% a year in postage expenses.Using a postage meter effectively eliminates over stamping.
- When prepping larger volumes of mail, a postage meter is more productive than traditional methods involving trips to the post office or using traditional sticky-back or adhesive stamps.
- Metered mail has the potential of arriving at its destination a day earlier than traditionally weighed and stamped items.
- Postage meters eliminate the need to make frequent trips to the post office, especially when used in conjunction with online postage services such as click-n-ship from the U.S. Postal Service.
- Mail stamped with a postage meter looks more professional.
- Postage meters give you the ability to easily track how much money you spend on postage, eliminating the need for compiling multiple receipts and shipping expenses from a variety of sources.
There are a limited number of retailers that lease quality postage meters; the two most popular companies for postage meters are Pitney Bowe, Inc. and Hasler, Inc.Online metered postage services can be obtained through either of the above named companies in addition to online retailers such as www.stamps.com, www.neopostinc.com, or www.envmgr.com to name a few.
Postage meters must meet requirements set forth by the United States Postal Service in order to be valid methods of postage payment.Providers must hold a current USPS postage meter license, and users of the postage meter must possess a valid rental agreement pertaining to use of the postage meter.For more information regarding postage meter regulations, contact your local US Post Office.
There are a variety of continuing costs associated with leasing a postage meter that should be taken into consideration.Expenses to consider when selecting a postage meter for your small business include:
- Monthly rental cost - varies according to which postage meter model you are leasing from the provider
- Printing fees - Ink is determined "per impression" with each "cartridge" producing an average of 600-2500 impressions depending on product purchased
- U.S. Postal Service postage fees - postage fees are prepaid and can usually be refilled by calling in to the meter provider or through an analog phone or fax line.
Of course, postage meters are not for everyone.If your postage needs are small, purchasing pre-printed stamps from the U.S. Post Office or other stamp retailer may better suit your company's needs and budget, though for odd-sized mailings that require more postage than $0.39 you will still need to have your mailings properly weighed in order to avoid overpaying on postage.
All in all, using a postage meter can provide a variety of benefits for your small business, even if you do not produce large volumes of mail.Simple put, metered mail looks more professional and in the long run will save your company from overpaying on postage expenses.