Stamps or Franking Machine
If you are a small or medium sized business and have been using stamps for postage, you may well be considering buying or hiring a Franking Machine.
There are some advantages in having a Franking machine instead of stamps, especially if you are posting well over 1000 letters a month. For instance, it might be quicker to feed letters through a machine than sticking stamps on letters – but not much. With self-adhesive stamps there is not much in it unless you are doing the 1000 all at once.
Postal rates with Franking Machines are cheaper then postage stamps. However with the costs of having a Franking Machine you may find that you are paying more for your post.
Royal Mail does offer a lower postage rate on franked mail because they save one operation in the sorting process, namely postmarking each envelope to cancel the stamp.
However, franked mail does not have any priority over any other mail, both stamped and Franked mail goes into and through the system at the same time.
Here are the disadvantages:
1 All Franked mail has to be Posted the same day it is Franked, otherwise it has to be Franked a second time. A double cost.
2 All Franked Mail has to be Posted in the Special Franked Mail Post Boxes or put into a special Wallet before posting.
3 If your post is Franked you cannot take advantage of any Price Rise.
1st and 2nd class stamps are valued at these price points forever. Therefore when the price goes up you can still use them even if the cost of postage doubled tomorrow. With a Franking Machine more often than not you are charged to update your machine which can be up to £100.
4 If you are sending Mail out to the public and are looking for a response (a mail shot for example). Franked mail will cut down the response by up to 40 to 50%.
This is because when the mail arrives the potential customer can see straight away who it is from and therefore diminishes the chances of the envelope even being opened.
It is quite logical to assume that all mail received will be opened. It has been proved otherwise on many occasions. Next time the post arrives at your home get your partner to open up the post. They will nearly always OPEN STAMPED MAIL FIRST. This is because it is personal to them not just another junk Mail etc.
5 THE HIDDEN EXTRAS CAN MEAN YOUR POSTAGE BILL INCREASES. What do I mean by this as Franked mail is cheaper?
Franked Postage is cheaper then stamps but you must consider the extra charges that the Franking Machine companies can and do make.
Here is a list of some of the extras they can charge. Not all Franking Companies charge all of the following.
Rental Minimum rental is between £15-£20 per month.
Charge 6% approximately for putting credit on your machine for your postage.
Charge up to £100 every time the Postage goes up as the machine need up dating.
Charge up to £120 per hour for servicing once a year which is a requirement of Royal Mail.
Charge up to £50 for replacement ink cartridges.
6 Franked mail does not have any priority over any other mail, both stamped and Franked mail goes into and through the system at the same time.
7 One of the arguments for Franked Mail is that it looks more Professional.
If you’re sending mail to another company who cares? The young lady on reception or secretary who opens the mail and the postman certainly isn’t. Therefore who else is there to see it?
If your sending to the public a Stamp will always get a better response and isn’t it better to be more personal and friendly then Corporate?
8 With Email now been widely used instead of Stamps let alone Franking as it is the cheapest way to send mail.