How Much Does a Franking Machine Cost?
What Are Franking Machines?
Franking machines physically print postage onto an envelope or mailing so it can be sent directly to the recipient without the need for stamps. The machines are used mainly within the business world to manage high volumes of outgoing mail.
The process of printing the postage onto mailings is known as franking. Buying or renting one can save businesses time and money because they process outgoing post much faster than the human hand. Franked mail is also sold at a discounted rate. However, the machines themselves are expensive. In this article we will look at the costs of franking machines and their accessories.
Why Use a Franking Machine in the First Place?
Many companies may question why a franking machine is even needed. Smaller businesses and start ups may not have a great deal of outgoing post and see the machine as an unnecessary expense. However, franking machines are fast, efficient and relatively cheap to run.
As we have already discussed, the machines can process mail at a much faster rate than staff. They also save time as sending letters by hand often involves trips to the Post Office. Postal meters can send mail via Recorded Delivery, Special Delivery, International Mail and Airmail. This means trips to the Post Office are not needed even with special types of mail.
Many companies choose to rent their franking machines rather than pay for them outright. Many leasing companies offer free ink cartridges, a limited supply of free postage a month and a maintenance cover plan for the machine.
Monthly prices start from as little as €20 for basic models but can go into the hundreds for the newest models with a service plan included. Rental agreements usually last 12 to 18 months but upon expiry the customer often has the opportunity to upgrade to a newer model.
Franked Mail Prices
Every piece of frank mail is at least 5 cent cheaper than its standard mail equivalent.
A first class letter under 100g is 60 cent for standard mail but just 44 cent for franked mail. Sending the same letter second class via franked mail is 31 cent as opposed to 50 cent. Large letters cost 92 cent when sent first class via franked mail as opposed to the normal price of €1.20. A franked parcel of 4kg costs €9.00 to send rather than the standard rate of €10.30.
The savings quoted here may not seem much when talking about individual letters or packages but considering the sheer volume of post most businesses send out, the total savings can be vast.
For example, 16 cent is saved by sending a first class Letter via franked mail. A company may send out 5,000 such letters a month which equates to a saving of £800. This saving will exceed any monthly rental fee of the machine and will go a long way in recovering the original outlay for companies who bought their machines outright.
Franking machines are so popular because they save companies money in the long run. Of course, there is the expense of buying or leasing a machine to start with as well as maintenance and accessory costs.
However, there is little doubt that the overall savings are impressive. Indeed, the more franking machines are used, the more money they will save. The Post office offers such discounts on franked mail to encourage business customers to use their services and it seems that many businesses do just that.
As with all countries in the world, the sale of franking machines in Ireland is highly regulated. In fact, there are only three companies licensed to sell franking machines in the Republic.
These companies include:
1. Pitney Bowes Ltd
2. Neopost Ireland Ltd, and
3. CASS Ltd, all of which are based in Dublin.
The state owned postage provider, AN Post, also stipulates what models can be sold in Ireland, and a full list is available on their website.
CASS are distributors of the Frama brand of franking machines currently available on the Irish market. Models start from the Frama Eco Mail 2005 for small businesses that can process up to 2000 letters per hour, through to the Mailmax Speed for high volume postage departments which can frank 10,000 letters in an hour.
Frama machines can either be purchased outright or leased from the supplier. Prices of a franking machine for a new model starts from around 2,000 euros (although second hand models may be available for slightly less). Rental prices start from around 25 - 35 euros a month for the most basic models.
Pitney Bowes offer the largest range of models of the three authorised suppliers, starting from the DM 50 for small businesses through to the Connect + range of models which can processes thousands of letters per hour.
To help prospective buyers choose what model would be best suited to their needs, Pitney Bowes offers a one month free trial to its customers. Again these machines can be purchased or leased, with leases running from one to five years and the latter having the lowest monthly cost.
Prices for buying a franking machine start from around 2,000 euros, reaching over 20,000 euros for a high end postage system. Rental prices can range from as little as twenty five euros a month to several hundred.
Neopost offers something for everyone with over twenty different franking machines and prices available to businesses in Ireland. The price brackets are similar to those of Pitney Bowes, but as with all franking machine companies, you will need to contact the supplier for an accurate quote for your business.
While looking at the cost of franking machines, don't forget to add in the price of consumables such as ink cartridges, toner, maintenance and replacement parts.