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Introduction to franking machines

Following on the 38% stamp price increase in 2012 and the ever-present threat of further increases, many businesses are looking to franking machines as a way to keep their mailing costs down. A penny saved is a penny earned, and a franking machine will save you a pile of pennies.

franking machine

How does a franking machine work?

First a little background: the franking machine was invented in America in 1884 by Engle Frankmussler (hence the term “frank”). Its purpose was to counter stamp theft and speed up the laborious postage processes. Frankmussler’s device was called a Postage Stamp Affixing Machine.

A franking machine calculates the cost of postage and prints these details on outgoing mail. Licensed to the Royal Mail, machines are kept updated with current tariffs and payment is made based on how much mail is sent or pre-paid in bulk. Letters and parcels are weighed by in-built scales to ensure that correct postage is always applied.

Any business that sends mail can benefit from a franking device. There are cheaper models for low-volume needs which offer great savings and convenience. There are also sophisticated high-volume ranges which offer a wealth of specific features. With so much choice, there will certainly be a franking machine that offers the right features for the right price for your needs.

What are the costs involved?

Sending franked mail is cheaper than using regular stamps. Royal Mail business franking customers pay up to 45% less and in some cases, VAT is exempt. For businesses that send a lot of mail or small parcels, the Royal Mail also offer a business account service which provides additional courier and response services for a small annual charge.

Franking machine costs fall into two categories: the cost of buying or renting the franking machine on the one hand, and operating costs such as maintenance and renewing supplies such as ink. The UK market is dominated by Pitney Bowes, Neopost, the Franking Machine Company, European Postal Systems (EPS) and of course, the Royal Mail.

Are you a small business owner looking for franking machines to buy or rent? Get your free quotes and compare offers from market leaders like Pitney Bowes, Neopost and others!

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