For businesses and individuals that send out a lot of mail, a postage meter may be of tremendous use. A postage meter is a machine that allows the user to weigh the item being mailed, and then print the correct amount of postage needed onto the item being mailed or a label that will be attached later. The user sets up a funds account in advance with the service to pay for the postage being printed. Be aware that if you will be using your meter for bulk mailings, you need to apply for a special permit. It should be noted that under federal law, postage meters may only be rented or leased. They cannot be owned. Read on to learn how to compare postage meters.
Things You'll Need
- Internet access
- Office supply catalogs [optional]
- Pencil or pen
Think about your specific postage needs. Write down notes if needed. The best possible match for you is going to be the meter that meets all of your postage needs without adding costly frills.
Check out the websites of the authorized postage meter providers. Check out the different meters and meter rental packages they offer. Look up the cost of supplies such as ink and labels. What about accessories such as scales?
Read the fine print regarding the meters you like the most. You are looking for warranties, guarantees, return policies, maintenance and repair plans, and cancellation of service rules.
Go through any office supply catalogs you have received. Take note of the cost of the supplies for the meters you are considering. If you do not have catalogs, check online at the office supply stores you regularly deal with. You are looking for the cost of postage meter supplies such as ink and labels.
Compare service, features, and cost for the meter and the supplies. Overall, which meter is going to be the best one for you and your needs? If you have questions, contact the company directly through their toll-free customer service number or through the contact methods on their website.
Tips & Warnings
- Many office supply stores carry the labels and ink needed for postage meters, so they do not have to be purchased from the postage meter supplier. This can add up in savings if a lot of mail is sent out.
- There are only a limited number of licensed postage meter suppliers. Since the federal government controls this, the U.S. Postal Service can provide the most current list of licensed postage meter suppliers.
- While the meter itself must be rented, there is no requirement to also rent the accessories. If accessories are desired, they may be purchased outright.
- One risk associated with having a postage meter is that as long as money is in the funds account, anyone with access to the meter could use the meter to print postage onto unauthorized or personal mailings.