Here’s a tough question: What’s the one thing nearly all business owners consistently overpay for?
The answer is pretty surprising: Postage costs. Stamps, shipping charges, even the time it takes to go to the post office can all add up, costing thousands of dollars or more each year, depending on the volume of mail you ship. Most business owners don’t know exactly how much it costs to mail a particular parcel- so they end up “over stamping” and overpaying- often by quite a bit. Postal stores and shipping providers have overhead costs to meet, too- you pay for these when you’re charged to ship an item.
You can avoid overpayment- and create big savings- by using a postage meter. A postage machine, or digital mailing system, can calculate postage costs precisely, so you’ll never overpay, and can be used in-office, saving you trips to have packages shipped from other providers. Here’s a quick guide to using a postage meter:
How meters work
Postage meters are leased, and work similarly to a parking meter. You “fill up” by making a payment, and postage charges are drawn against your balance. Most meters allow you to “refill” when necessary, and some calculate monthly charges and send a bill- similar to paying for electricity costs. In addition to paying the postage charges, you’ll also need to lease the equipment. You can choose machines with advance features (scales, document feeders) or a simple stamp machine that just prints postage stamps on your outgoing mail.
Mailing machine equipment can be very simple (a stamp machine) or very complex- some machines fold, collate, stamp, and stack bulk mailings containing several different printed pages. If your business sends large bulk mailings, you could benefit from such a machine. Machines can also be fitted with equipment to ship packages- you’ll weigh the parcel and arrange for the pickup online in a few simple steps. No matter which features you need, you can take advantage of cost savings- with a postage meter, shipping costs can be calculated down to the penny for each mailing, so you’ll never overpay.
Costs and billing
Equipment leasing costs can range from less than $20 a month to hundreds for sophisticated equipment designed to handle large volume mailings. You’ll pay for the postage machine equipment (the meter) as one bill, and pay postal charges according to current rates. Some meters only allow you to “pre-pay” postage charges, while other companies allow you to “pay as you go,” where you receive a bill for both postage and meter use costs at the end of a specified period of time. Pay-as-you-go options usually carry additional charges or fees.