If your business carries out a large part of its correspondence through mail, a franking machine will prove to be a worthwhile investment. Using a franking machine, you can stamp letters and packages to be posted on any given day. Moreover, it also calculates the total amount you have to pay for postage. If this sounds good to you, you should know the costs you will incur with this machine. Aside from the purchase cost, which can be anywhere from £900 to £15,000 depending on your needs and budget, there are several running costs that come with owning or having a franking machine.
You have to pay the supplier on a monthly or annual basis for providing support. If your machine gets damaged or breaks down, you will need to inform the supplier of the problem. Under the contract, the supplier is responsible for repairing and maintaining the machine for the specified duration. To keep the contract valid, you have to keep paying the fee charged by the supplier for support and service. Regardless of how hefty it may seem, it is better than having to spend hundreds of pounds from your own pocket on repairs and replacement.
You have to buy credits for your franking machine periodically. You can use the Internet to purchase these credits. This makes it convenient for you to recharge your credits as you can do it online at any time of the day or night, whenever you have the time for it. Besides, you don’t need to wait in a queue to buy credits and some dealers won’t charge you for topping up your credits.
If you want to have your business logo printed on the envelopes, you will have to get the file converted by the supplier or else the machine won’t recognise it. Once the logo file has been converted, you can download it to your company server and save it for future use. Though a one-time cost, some businesses change their logos from time to time. If you are in luck, the supplier might do this for you for free.
The postage rates in the UK are set by the Royal Mail. You need to keep pace with any updates made to the rate list or else your machine wouldn’t be able to calculate the correct charge. You can set up online updates to be notified of any changes made to the rates. However, you will have to download the updates for around £50. This cost depends on how frequently Royal Mail decides to change its rates, but it is a recurring cost nonetheless.
There are a number of supplies that you need to purchase from time to time, including:
- Ink cartridges – Depending on the franking machine you are using, the ink cartridge could cost more than £40. You may get a free cartridge when you buy the machine, but after that you will have to pay for the new cartridges.
- Labels – If you want to frank large parcels and packages, you will have to buy labels. Your franking machine might not work for bigger packages, so the labels will allow you to get the job done. You can select a package based on your needs, as they come in 20s, 100s and even 1000s.
Some businesses opt to rent a franking machine rather than buy one. This is often the case when a franking machine is needed for a short-term project. The rental depends on the type of franking machine you get. You can pay as little as £20 a month or as much as £300 for renting a franking machine. In addition to the rental, you have to pay fees for documentation as well as for service and support. This could cost you a further £200.
If your company can bear these costs, don’t hesitate for a minute to get a franking machine.
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