A postage meter is a definite asset to any enterprise for the routine dispatch of mail. It is a professional, convenient, cost-effective and time-saving piece of machinery. The primary issues to be considered before deciding on the purchase of a postage meter are the monthly mailing expenses, the average and the maximum pieces of mail dispatched, and the type of postages handled, whether it is confined to standard letters or packages of different weights.
The vital piece of the equipment that prints the indicia on the mail or the package is the meter. Meters can never be purchased; they can only be leased from companies authorized by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Some meters are password protected, while others vary with respect to accounting codes, automatic postage reset, date advance, and the denomination capacity. Some may also be preset for common mailing jobs. Digital meters with increased security options print a two-dimensional barcode. These are the most expensive but best preferred since they allow the user to electronically obtain the changing USPS rates.
The feeder, sealer, stacker, and the tape dispenser units of the base transport the mail or the package through the meter. Unlike the meter, these components can be purchased for varied prices depending upon the speed and the type of mail-handling capacity. A feeder-less meter is quite functional, however it is tedious since the mail needs to be hand-fed.
For dispatching packages of different weights, digital scales directly connected to the postage meters are best, though they are priced at over several hundred dollars as opposed to a spring scale for $40. It is now possible to rent a digital scale for $5 a month, which is profitable for small businesses. The payment for the use of postage meters may be made in advance or at regular intervals. Some manufacturers also provide additional postage if paid in advance.
Improvements in the technology and hassle-free refilling services have served to make a postage meter a welcome addition to office equipment.
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