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Using a Postage Meter at Home

Hate standing in long lines at the post office just to buy stamps? Who doesn't! Now you can avoid long waits at the post office by using a postage meter at home. Whether running a home office or just sending out personal mail, there.s a home postage solution that will work for you.

When it comes to postage at home, you have two options . a stand-alone postage meter or a system that runs through your computer. There are some advantages to using a stand-alone postage meter. First, such a system doesn.t use valuable computer resources, which can be important if you often need to process large mailings. Some of these postage meters include built-in scales, which can determine the amount of postage needed and print it all at the same time.

If your stand-alone meter doesn.t include a way to weigh your mail, you.ll need a separate scale. Postage meters can print postage directly on your envelopes, which represents a lower overall supplies cost. Another potential advantage is that metered mail looks more professional than stamped mail . however, what you gain in professionalism you often lose in terms of personalization. In most cases, you.ll be required to use the standard format set by the machine.

When thinking about purchasing or renting a postage meter for home use, you have a number of things to consider. First, what.s your volume of mailings likely to be? There are meters designed for occasional use and meters designed to handle heavy use. What size materials do you typically mail? Some meters handle standard letters with ease, but may have more difficulty with oversize letters or postcards.

Speed of the meter can also be a consideration. If you regularly do large mailings . say 500 items or more . you may want a meter that can not only accommodate bulk mailings, but one that can print bulk postage at a fairly rapid speed.

In addition, some meters offer the ability to track more than one account, which can be useful if you need to be able to determine postage costs for a particular client or project.

Another important consideration is how additional postage can be purchased for the machine. In the past, you had to actually take your machine to the post office to have it loaded with additional postage. Now you can add postage virtually 24 hours a day with a simple phone call or visit online. Many meters offer an online interface that allows you to not only add postage online, but also track various accounts and postage costs online.

When making the decision to purchase a meter, consider the costs of supplies. Some meters cost less to run than others. How many impressions, for example, can you get before you have to replace the ink cartridge? How expensive are the cartridges and where can you find them?

Next, consider the machine.s capabilities. If the meter has a built in scale, how much weight can it accommodate? Most scales can handle up to five pounds, although you may need to find one that can measure additional weight. If you regularly send packages, you may need a separate scale. If that is the case, does it make sense for you to buy a meter with a built in scale? Some meter models can also seal envelopes, as well as apply postage.

Once spent some time evaluating your needs, you can then compare postage meters . you.ll no doubt find one that will work for your particular situation.