Companies sending direct mail pieces between July 1st and September 30th of 2009 are eligible for huge discounts. Set by the U.S. Postal Service, if you own a company that meets certain guidelines, you could receive up to 4 cents per piece of mail in credits and 30% on postage costs. If your business requires you use direct mail for promotion, you should consider an in-office mailing system if you haven”t already.
With a mailing system, the possibly of overpayment is eliminated saving the average small business tons of money. Before you go and purchase a postage meter, learn what you will be able to negotiate on to get a better deal. Here are some tips:
- Owning a postage meter for your business is like having your own postal branch. The actual meter in the equipment is leased from a USPS approved provider and pays the postage including First Class mail and even delivery receipts. The postal scales that are in the meters calculate the postage costs. If you want additional mailing equipment like label printing machines, folding equipment, you can negotiate a package price with the vendor.
- The meter is leased, usually for under $30 each month and most of the time you will pre-pay the postage costs. If you want to avoid the pre-pay option, you can get billed at the end of the month, but this will have an additional fee and is non-negotiable most of the time.
- For smaller offices, you can have a ‘mail station’ where the equipment weighs, calculates and prints postage on envelopes. This station is typically the size as a fax machine and for purchase. Folding machines, stacking trays, digital scales, envelope “tabbers” and other equipment can also be purchased new or used, and you can usually negotiate on the price from the same vendor that provides the postage meter.
- Some vendors will offer supply contracts along with mailing equipment. Supplies (e.g. ink, envelope sealer, etc.) can usually be purchased for far less from an online retailer or large office supply store, either directly or through an automatic delivery agreement.
- Rate insurance is something that can be purchased and happens when postage rates are raised. Your meter will need to be reflect the change and sometimes can cost more than a few hundred dollars over the course of a year. If you want to avoid this, negotiate this insurance rate, or just avoid it and pay the reset if one occurs.
- As much as we’d like to, we can negotiate postage costs. However, you can save if you qualify for a bulk mailing permit, or are a non-profit. You might also be eligible for the “sale” rates as mentioned above.