There once was a time when office mail rooms used bulky, inefficient and expensive meter machines to stamp their outgoing mail. The machines dispensed postage, all right, but they ran down, causing postal inspectors or company representatives to have to come to a stalled office to reset and recharge the meter. Once ink ran out, the same rep had to be called in to sell a proprietary ink that would involuntarily be the only one that worked in the meter – for a hefty fee. The meters were so inflexible that all they did was stamp postage – you needed a separate machine for addressing.
And yet there are still mail rooms that use meters – in the new digital age, that's tantamount to driving a horse and buggy down the freeway!
Fortunately, thanks to online postage software, commonly referred to as PC Postage, the day of the postage meter is coming to an end. With PC Postage, you buy your postage online from the United States Postal Service or one of its selected partners (such as Stamps.com), and print your postage out right onto your envelope using an ordinary inkjet or laserjet printer.
What is PC Postage?
PC Postage is a program originated by the United States Postal Service which allows customers to print official US Postage directly onto envelopes or mailing labels after being bought over the Internet. Unlike traditional postage meters, postage can be bought "A la carte" as needed as opposed to being bought in large block as with a meter. Therefore, your mail room is not saddled with massive amounts of paid-for postage that you might not need all at once.
PC Postage is offered through a number of partner vendors, among them Stamps.com, Endicia, and Pitney Bowes' Shipstream. Each pc offers postage services for nearly all mail classes, as well as support for nearly all mailpieces, from postcards up to the maximum 70-pound parcels allowable via the USPS.
Why use PC Postage? Why not just lease a meter?
PC Postage offers you several benefits over the traditional postage meter by empowering you to run your mailroom the way You want to, not the way the meter allows you to.
o PC Postage is easy to set up. Register for an account, install the software, and you're ready to go.
o No additional equipment to purchase – an internet connection, computer and printer is all you need. Many of the leading PC Postage vendors such as Stamps.com even provide you with a free scale as a startup incentive.
o No long-term contracts and no hidden fees – With postage meters, you can be on the hook for three years to pay the month-to-month charge of up to $ 70 just for the lease or payment on the machine.
Postage Meter Contracts Contain Tons of Hidden Costs?
Additionally, postage meters include many different hidden costs that can increase their total operating expenses dramatically. Whiles these costs vary, here are the four most common hidden costs found in a postage meter contract:
1. Most meters have special blends of proprietary inks, or inks in containers engineered to fit only the machine – obtainable, of course, only from the meter's service representative. Either way, the ink alone can cost you upwards of $ 0.10 per print – for a meter that can usually make 800 prints per ink fill, that's an outlay of $ 80 each time the ink needs recharging.
2. When you "reset" your meter, either by buying more postages over the phone or having a representative come and recharge the postage inside, the meter company charges an additional fee. You are not charged a recharge fee (which can run as much as $ 25 per recharge) as a PC Postage customer.
3. PC Postage gives your business more flexibility in its mailings. You can print postage, address, and tracking in one single print, giving your mailings a professional, polished look. This includes support for postcards and tri-fold mailings.
4. In the unfortunate event of a misprint or other mistake, refunds can be handled right through the PC Postage vendor client, saving you time and money.
PC Postage: the logical evolution of postal technology. Erase the headaches that come with the old postal meter – try PC Postage today!