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Postage stamps versus postage meter versus online postage - which is best for you?


Right now you have several methods to choose from to pay for your postage: postage stamps, postage meters, and online postage.Each method of postage has advantages and disadvantages.The methods continue to evolve and improve over time.However, a small business must know the best postage method in order to maximize their postage costs.

Postage Stamps
The traditional postage stamp has its advantage in that it is simple and the cheapest form of postage.All other forms have startup costs and most have monthly fees on top of the postage you purchase.Traditional postage stamps will only cost you the price of postage, plus the time it takes you to acquire the postage and to affix it to your parcel.

The cost of time may cause you to consider trying a different method of paying for postage.With the traditional stamp, you must go to the post office to purchase the stamps.Everybody has spent time waiting at the post office so there is no need to describe how much time is wasted there.Additionally, you must calculate postage and affix each stamp to the parcel.

Several companies offer you the ability to print your own stamps at home.At first glance, you will think this is a huge convenience and wonder why anybody would go to the post office again.However, there are some distinct disadvantages to printing your stamps online.First, you will have some start up costs.Some of those costs will be covered by the company when you sign up because they want you as a long term customer and don't want you to decide not to use them because of the initial fees.

Online stamps will need a scale, printer, computer and an internet connection.You will then be able to print your stamps at home or at your place of business.One advantage or disadvantage, depending on your point of view, is that all mail stamped also has the address printed at the same time.This is to ensure that the correct postage is put on the piece of postage.However, some numbers indicate that a small business has up to 80% of their mail pre-addressed.This means you have to work around it by having the postage printed and address printed on stickers and then you can throw away the address instead of affixing it to the letter.Hence, this can take up some of the time you saved by doing the postage at your place of business.

Meters are machines that you rent to print your postage stamps at your place of business.The biggest disadvantages here are start up costs and monthly fees.The meters must be rented and you have to have a scale to go with them in order to weigh the mail.Each time postage rates change you will most likely have to pay a fee to have your machine recalibrated.Hence, meters have the largest start up and ongoing costs.

The advantage of using a meter as your preferred method of postage is that you don't have to have an internet connection.You can have the meter running independently of the internet.Additionally, you won't have the address problem that you have with the online method.Hence, the advantage of the meter comes in when you are doing a lot of mailings and you don't have an internet connection or need addresses printed.

In summary, the best postage method really depends on what your needs are or the needs of your business.If you have minimal mailings, then the traditional stamp is probably your best method.If you have a decent amount of mailings, you may want to consider online or the meter depending on your specific needs.

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