Written by: Dave Bentley – Mailsave analyst
There is little transparency about the pricing of franking machines.it is difficult to get a price list from any of the manufacturers. This is complicated by prices for different terms, rental prices including a service charge and many other variations.
Most suppliers offer new and second-hand equipment (‘refurbished’ to different standards!).
To determine whether a franking machine is a good idea for your business you need to consider the time savings compared to buying and sticking stamps on your envelope. Then adding the savings you can make because of the reduced postal rates.
The headline saving against stamps is for second-class postage. A second-class stamp costs 65p compared to franking that letter for the same service for 50p. The suppliers are then likely to tell you that franked mail is faster than stamped mail and therefore this can be compared with the first class stamp rate of 76p ….. A saving of 26p or nearly 35%?
Although it is difficult to verify this comparison with Royal Mail it is probably a reasonable starting point to calculate the number of letters your business sends with the price of the machine. Obviously not just the rental or purchase price but any service charge and ,of course, the ink cartridges required.
In December 2020 the best price Mailsave was offered was £6.80 per month for a 12 month contract for an entry-level franking machine. The highest for a similar model was £20.00 for a similar contract and machine.
The lowest outright purchase price was £310 and the highest £800 both having an annual service charge of around £150 after the first year.
Most of the manufacturers also include prices that include ink and this should be taken into account when negotiating unless you are happy to buy none original cartridges (widely available on the Internet) which are much less expensive.
By contacting the manufacturers through Mailsave they already will know you are aware of prices available and ready for a tough negotiation.