Choosing a Postage Meter? How to Find the Best One for You

Business.com / Technology Solutions / Last Modified: June 22, 2017

As a small business owner, you have plenty of tasks on your to-do list. Going to the post office to mail packages is not one you should add to that list.

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As a small business owner, you have plenty of tasks on your to-do list. Going to the post office to mail packages is not one you should add to that list. Whether you're managing a small Etsy shop or you're on the cusp of enterprise-level business, you may need a postage meter. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, most small businesses spend about

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, most small businesses spend approximately $338 per month on postage – that's about $4,000 per year. Being able to weigh, scan, print and process all your outgoing mail and packages from your office can save you time, money and hassle.

You can't buy a postage meter because of federal laws and rules about postage, which is considered a currency. To figure out whether you should stick to stamps or lease a postage meter, start by looking at the volume of mail you handle every month. Then consider the features you want from your postage meter.

 

Editor's Note: Have a lot of outgoing postage? If you're looking for information to lease a postage meter, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

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Low-volume mailing

If you only ship a few packages each month, you may not need to have a postage meter in your office. The good news is that if you have a printer and you use USPS to ship, you can create a profile online at the government's postage website to pay for postage and print labels yourself. The only catch here is that you may be overpaying on postage. You'll have to stick to Priority mail, which means using approved boxes and envelopes, and paying a flat fee for each size.

Shipping as a priority

Once you've determined that you need a postage meter, you need to find a dealer. Neopost, Pitney Bowes, and FP Mailing Solutions are just a few of the dealers that are available. Each of these services offers a variety of meters so you can choose one that meets your needs without breaking your budget.

The postage meters

All postage meters should qualify for metered mail discounts, so you can save money on all of your mail and packages. Plus, they should all include a scale, which ensures accurate weights of each of your outgoing packages, so you only pay what is required (choosing Priority mail every time can cost you more in the long run).

The biggest difference in postage meters is the speed with which they print postage on labels or envelopes. Small businesses likely won't need much more than the entry-level postage meter that lets you weigh your package and print postage from the machine. If you're sending out mail in higher volumes, you can look into leasing a meter that prints up to 45 letters per minute, 120 per minute and up to 26,000 per hour.

The cost

The meters themselves are relatively inexpensive to rent. The smallest and least expensive option is likely to cost you about $20 per month. Mid-level postage meters cost about $35 per month. If you need a high-volume meter, you could pay up to $1,300 per month.

You also need to factor in the cost of postage, shipping materials (envelopes, boxes and packing materials) and ink for the meter. Even with all those costs, you're still likely to save money by investing in a postage meter.

Amy Nichol Smith

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