For small businesses looking for postage meters that are cost-effective, user-friendly, and capable of handling medium to high volume(s) of mail, we have gathered an array of metering service products that fit these criteria. Along with answers to frequently asked questions, such as Why use a postage meter? What are the benefits for small business? What are the costs? And how to choose the best postage meter machine for you.
Why use a postage meter?
The two biggest benefits of using a postage meter are the savings of money and time. A metering service is a do-it-yourself approach to mail and shipping, offering self-reliance and no longer having to wait in line to have your mail processed.
With simplicity comes increased productivity elsewhere – something that practically all businesses need. Users of metering services have access to the Commercial Rate, which offers a reduction on the cost of individual mail pieces. For businesses sending mail in bulk, these savings will add up over time.
For small business employees, it’s common to have a variety of tasks and responsibilities that fragment their attention. With a postage meter lease, you can get your outgoing presorted mail picked up from your home or office by USPS. One less responsibility to deal with.
What are the benefits for small businesses?
By not having to depend on the post office being open, small businesses can process their mail whenever they please – in the middle of the night, if they’re in a mailing crunch, for instance. The hassle of purchasing and sticking postage stamps onto individual mail pieces will be no-more.
A common mistake made by businesses that send mail in bulk is overpaying for postage. The electronic display on postage meters calculates the exact amount for the mail processed. By being digitally connected, the device instantly receives rate change updates.
For the sake of security, payment is 100% digital and charged through a preloaded balance. If the small business’s customers wish to pay with cash or checks, they cannot. This prevents fraud, and incorrect payment – the meter will know exactly what it costs to ship the letter or parcel.
Meters can also track expenses. Through analytics applications, you can keep an eye on important data, such as which departments are spending the most on postage. This can help small businesses better manage their budget.
What are the typical costs for leasing a postage meter?
In case you don’t already know, postage meters cannot be purchased. If a business wishes to have one, it must lease one. There are five companies in the United States that offer postage meter machine leases. These are: Quadient (formerly Neopost), Hasler Inc. (acquired by Quadient), Pitney Bowes, FP Mailing Solutions, and Data-Pack Mailing Systems.
We suggest that you get in contact with a representative from one of these suppliers. The representative will help you apply for the metering permit that you’ll require to use a postage meter and answer any other questions you might have.
The lease cost is paid monthly, arriving in a fixed amount (unchanging) or a usage-based amount (changing; based on how much mail is being processed). Low volume mail loads typically receive a fixed-amount, whereas high volume mail loads typically go on a usage-based amount.
For a small business with low mailing volume, it’s safe to say that you will probably pay a fixed amount.
Businesses will have different criteria for what they need in their devices, so we have compiled a handful of postage meter machines ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.
For businesses with a smaller budget, we suggest the Quadient IS-280.
This device has a processing speed of 18 LPM (letters per minute). For data tracking, the IS-280 can observe the postage spending of up to ten user accounts (or departments) in your business.
The IS-280 either comes with a 2-lbs weight scale OR can be upgraded to a 5-lbs weight scale. With the 2-lbs weight scale, the lease rate is $19.75 per month. For the 5-lbs weight scale, the lease rate is $22.75 per month.
The two factors to consider are the volume of mail sent, and the highest weight of the mail you’re sending. If your business intends to send more than 150 mail pieces per month, we suggest that you do not select this device as that amount of mail will exceed the IS-280’s limit.
If your business will be sending a higher volume of mail than 150 mail pieces per month, then we suggest the iX-3 Series Postage Meter.
The iX-3 Series has a processing speed of 45 LPM. Its weight scale begins at 5-lbs, and comes with the option of upgrading to 10-lbs, 30-lbs, or a 70-lbs weight scale – these weight-scales are primarily designed for packages.
If your business requires more than ten user accounts, this device is better suited to you. The iX-3 Series can accommodate up to 300 user accounts.
*For information on pricing, we suggest that you get in contact with a representative. As this is a more complex machine, the monthly lease price may either go through a usage-based payment method or be customized.
When it comes to increasing productivity, one of the most effective ways to do so is by simplifying one’s tasks. Of the various tasks that a business can simplify, mail and shipping is certainly one of them. Postage meter machines remove variables and can help businesses out.
As the old saying goes: work smarter, not harder.