Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Franking Machines Help
  • NJA
    Full Member

    As ever after some help from the hive mind that is the STW forum.

    I am moving my business away from serviced offices and into our own place as we are expanding. As a consequence we will no longer have access to the franking facilities and need to get a franking machine.

    A quick bit of Googling yields lots of people that are keen to send a salesman (virtually obvs) to give me a quote but nobody who is brave enough to show their pricing on their website. I hate that.

    So does anyone have experience of buying, leasing or sourcing a franking machine or can recommend anyone reputable to give me some advice.

    Thanks,
    Nick.

    pedlad
    Full Member

    Are you posting unique things or just letters? If the latter have a look at docmail hybrid mail. They act as a virtual printer, pack and post your letters for less than a stamp.

    davemental
    Free Member

    We use Pitney Bowes at work, no idea if the machine is leased or owned outright but the service and support is pretty decent. Always a plentiful supply of consumables on hand and technicians arrive fairly promptly on the rare occasion something goes a pete tong.

    TheDTs
    Free Member

    Just get a Royal Mail online account, a set of scales and a cheap zebra printer off eBay. RM will send you thermal paper, packets and all the other stuff. Haven’t bought cable ties for years!

    charliedontsurf
    Full Member

    Work out the break even point.  It’s a lot of post to cover the franking machine rental.  Plus the time weighing and setting the parcel size.  Stickers jammed in the bloody printer.  Grrrr.  You save about 10p a parcel. Labour costs about £10 per hour.  Can you frank 100 parcels in an hour? If you can do 101 an hour you are 10p up!

    at Singletrack, and previously at Bikemonger…  have a word with your local post master.  We simply bag up our post with no stamps or franking, jump the post office queue and hand over the sack. We then settle up once a week. They do all the work.  There is also a prepayment account they can set up for you.

    hope this helps.

    TheDTs
    Free Member

    We used to do what Charlie did but this meant a late dash to the post office and it became inconvenient. Franking machines and pushy Pitney Bowes sales people seem like a waste of time and money. Scales, used zebra printer (which has never jammed) and free supplies from RM is very easy.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    We use Pitney Bowes at work. Certainly won’t bother renewing/replacing when the time comes.

    Consumables are heckish expensive for the small machine. (cartridges were circa 90-100 last time I looked) I seem to recall someone in our office worked out that if you only sent first class letters, by the time you paid for the print cartridges you saved about £5 over the life of the cartridge vs stamps.

    You pay a flat fee for topping up the meter as well as your service charge so it only makes sense to top up a relatively large amount at a time.

    The machine is infuriating to use and very slow. Ours loses the WiFi commonly enough its now cabled. It still fails to connect to the service center for top up, rate changes, data uploads etc seemingly half the time and won’t let you process post until it does, sometimes days later.

    Having worked at a large institution where the machine sealed sorted and franked it saved a lot of time and effort, for a small user I’m not at all convinced. The only benefit is the convenience of not having to buy stamps.

    TheDTs
    Free Member

    Or Cheap stamps from Costco

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Well I’m ex Pitney Bowes 😀

    I didn’t sell on the postage side but I can tell you… negotiation is key, play with the Salesman and they’ll stand on a desk and shout “I got a deal!” at the smallest number. Go for the end of a quarter and you’ll get a decent deal.

    pampmyride
    Free Member

    Sent the franking machine back too. I use RM click & drop account, Print labels on an ancient laser printer that goes 6 months on a budget cartridge. As charlie says above, unless volumes are high, there is not a saving. 10 years ago, I had a local PO counter that I could leave a pile of post & pay later … but it shut & new shop/counter was far too busy.

    Alphabet
    Full Member

    I have a RM click and drop account and a Zebra printer which works really well and as said above, all consumables are free from RM. My SO has a similar setup but due to much higher volumes gets her post collected for free rather than having to take it to a post office or sorting office.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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