Small businesses with limited cash flow can enjoy the benefits of franking machines through renting or leasing. Before signing a contract, most suppliers usually offer a free 30-day trial period. This will help the business owner decide if this device is right for his business.
Features of a small business franking machine
Small business or entry-level models usually have the following basic features:
- 2kg integrated weighing platform
- Automatically weighs and calculates the exact rate for each item
- Shortcut keys
- 3 saved adverts
- Can handle 20-50 letters per day
- Can process up to 8mm thick envelopes
- 5-10 cost centres
- LAN or analog connection
- Small, compact and easy-to-use
- PIN protected
These devices usually start at £1,000 depending on the brand and the dealer. You can also rent them starting at £20 per month.
Contracts vary from supplier to supplier. Some suppliers offer a short-term 6-month contract. Others have 1,2 or even 5-year contracts. Be sure to ask if you can avail of the free trial first before signing an agreement. Some dealers require you to sign a contract right away to avail of the free trial.
Companies that offer free trials
Pitney Bowes offers the DM50 for a 30-day trial. It features a 2.5kg integrated scale that weighs and calculates the exact postal rate. You can refill your postage through Postage by Phone. It uses the IntelliLink technology to let you download Royal Mail updates automatically. It is PIN protected. It is loaded with all the domestic and some international rates so you don’t have to memorize them. It’s easy to use and makes your mail look professional.
You can cancel anytime within the initial 30 days. Just inform PB and they will pick up the device for free and terminate the agreement. If there is any unused postage, they will refund it to you.
This promo comes with a starter pack that contains:
- 25 labels
- ink cartridge
- 5 metered mail envelopes
- £10 postage credit
The AutoStamp2 is an award-winning franking machine that is available for a 30-day free trial. It features high quality digital printing and a 2kg integrated scale. It can handle 8mm thick envelopes. There are 10 custom slogans saved in the device. It is PIN protected. It is also Energy Star compliant. You can refill your credits online 24/7.
It’s easy to use and comes with shortcut keys for your frequently used jobs. It connects to a LAN or analogue modem.
FMC has a wide range of small business franking systems to choose from:
They offer a 4-week trial which includes rental stock franker, a postal scale, free delivery and telephone support and maintenance. You can cancel the agreement anytime before the trial period is up. You can also wish to continue for another 17 months for only £24.99 per month.
Before signing an agreement, you should look to the following:
- Costs – top-up fees, ink, maintenance, repairs, Royal mail changes)
- Length of contract
- Benefits – some companies offer incentives such as free logos, ink and envelopes)
- Royal Mail approved
When you avail of this promo, it is understood that you are thinking about renting the equipment afterwards. You should compare costs as different brands have different features and therefore priced differently. You should also make sure to pick the right contract length so you can have the best value for your money.
Read the fine print and ask the supplier to explain things that you don’t understand. Ask about support and maintenance as these are quite expensive. When you’re renting, this is usually already included in the agreement and the dealer will take care of any repairs. If they need to pull out the machine, will they send you a replacement?
Some suppliers also offer a lot of benefits including delivery and installation, starter kits that include an ink cartridge, labels, etc. all without charge.
You should also inquire about other fees such as documentation fee which can cost around £150 and above. Consumables such as ink cartridges and labels are also a concern as you will regularly use these. Some include the costs of these supplies in the contract while with others you would need to buy them yourself. Compare prices of consumables online and offline. Other costs include topping up fees and Royal Mail updates which usually cost around £50 per update.
Finally, no matter how great the offer is if the company is not Royal Mail approved, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of franking. Make sure that you are renting from an approved company for compliance. All the companies mentioned above are licensed so you don’t have to worry.
To make the process easier for you, fill up the simple form above and we will match your requirements with the best suppliers in your area.