Thirty per cent—that’s how much your business postage costs can decrease by purchasing a franking machine. Using a franking machine reduces the time and effort required to send out mail as this device is adept at handling different types of mail (special delivery, double mail, etc). This increases your overall business efficiency, which is what contributes to the tremendous savings you can enjoy by using a franking machine. However, not every business has the capital outlay to fund the purchase of a brand new franking machine. For such businesses, buying a franking machine second-hand is a tempting option.
However, the question you may be asking yourself is whether or not it is worth your while and money to take such a step. The cost is lower and you can find a model that hasn’t been used extensively. On the surface it does appear as though buying a franking machine second hand is a great option for businesses that cannot afford to invest in a brand-new model. Nevertheless, there are a few other factors that have to be taken into account before a final decision is made.
Registration and Licensing
Businesses can only purchase franking machines from suppliers who have been licensed by Royal Mail. In the case of second-hand franking machines, it is quite possible that the machine was registered in a different area. The Royal Mail has defined postal regions across the country, so you have to get the machine registered in your postal region.
If the machine isn’t registered, you cannot top it up with stamps and labels. If the machine had been registered in a different region, it could prove to be a major hassle for you to have it re-registered in your postal region under your business name.
Repairs and Replacement
On average, a franking machine has a useful life of 10 years. Even if a machine has only been used for a couple of years, there is a risk of some parts being damaged or completely worn out. In some cases, the machine has been out of use for some time and the inactivity leads to the cartridge drying up.
You may have to spend a handsome sum on repairs and replacement even if there is minor damage to the machine you purchase second hand. Common issues you might encounter include damaged print heads and weighing platform. The cost of the repairs might end up being greater than the amount you paid to buy the machine second hand.
Believe it or not, there have been instances when an individual or business leased a franking machine from a supplier but did not return the machine once their lease period expired. The Royal Mail marks these machines as ‘stolen’. Over the past few years, some of these ‘stolen’ franking machines have shown up for sale on websites such as eBay. You might be able to buy the machine for an extremely low price, but it won’t serve your purpose.
Last, but not least, buying the franking machine does not complete the job. You have to buy supplies and get regular maintenance to deal with everyday issues that arise with franking machines. However, when buying a franking machine second hand, there is a chance that the model may have become obsolete. The manufacturer and supplier may no longer offer support for it and you will find it hard to buy the parts and supplies required to use the machine.
Keeping all these points in mind, it can be safely said that buying a franking machine second-hand is not worth it. The only scenario in which you can reasonably consider doing so is if you are absolutely certain that the supplier you are buying from is reputable and reliable. In that case, you have some form of assurance that the machine will work. After all, if you face any issues, you can take them up with the supplier. Otherwise, we recommend buying or renting a brand new franking machine.
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