The true costs of franking machines: low volume machines
Franking machines function similar to printers, they need ink and occasionally some maintenance. Because they are much more complicated and need network access to updates postage rates and top up your postage balance, franking machine manufacturers found all kinds of tricks to charge you on top of your purchase price or rent. Because the true costs of franking machines might be hidden in the fine print, there are some common contract terms for which you should look out when buying a low volume postage meter.
The price of the Franking machine
Suppliers such as Pitney Bowes, FP Mailings or Neopost will provide you with their franking machines for as little as 20 pounds per month when entering a one year rental agreement or a longer lease contract. While this will cost you £240 a year, you can as well consider buying a low volume franking machine for between £500-£800.
Entering a rental agreement or lease contract, all maintenance and service is normally included in your monthly or quarterly payment. When buying your franking machine, expect to spend additional £80-£100 per year on service and maintenance. In most cases, this covers all repairs and even replacements of your postage meter. Some postage machine supplier don’t charge maintenance in your first year after the purchase. Such a replacement is either done within 24 or 48 hours, depending on your service agreement and supplier.
The delivery and installation is normally free and can executed within two weeks of your purchase. With some suppliers, it’s possible to have urgent delivery within 5-7 working days.
Ink prices and imprints
Using most contracts for low volume postage meters like the Pitney Bowes DM60, FP PostBase Mini, Neopost i-280. Looking at manufacturer’s original ink only, price ranges spread from as much as £40 to £80. Don’t just assume the lowest price is the cheapest ink as impressions per cartridge vary massively between 800 and 2500 impressions and thus, a lower cartridge price might actually result in more expensive impressions.
Top-up fees and rate changes
Nearly all providers charge you for topping up your franking machine at some point. While recharging your postage machine is free all the time in only very rare cases, most manufacturers grand you some free top-ups. For rentals and leases, those are often 12 per year. When purchasing, it might as well just be 12 overall. Some manufacturers may as well grant you only the first top up for free and charge between £7-£12 per transaction afterwards.
While most contracts include free rate adjustments when Royal Mail changes their postal rates, some franking machine suppliers charge you for postal rate changes, for example because new rates are transmitted using a new piece of hardware or have to be adjusted using a CD. This might cost you up to £60 per rate change.
The costs of franking machines made comparable
We can advise you on finding the best franking machine for your business. Using our simple and straightforward process, we can put you in contact with numerous suppliers. Getting many quotes allows you to compare what is charged better and play competitors off each other to get the best deal possible. Simply fill in our form and receive quotes within the hour.