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Postage - What To Do?

We currently have a postage meter from Pitney Bowes - cost about $50/month.  Our mail volume is going down, currently $120.00-$150.00/month.  I'm debating internally the options:  postage meter, stamps.com (or other online service), or rolls of stamps and an occasional trip to the post office for special packages.  What do you find works for you?
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Comments

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I just use stamps. Even when my litigation practice was going full steam, I doubt I ever spent more than $20 a month on postage.
  • Pitney Bowes postage meter is not worth the money unless you have exceptional volume and/or are regularly sending out heavy items but even then, annual lease cost is steep.

     

    I am stuck sharing a pitney bowes lease myself.  Reviewed numbers and every month I am throwing money away on that machine.  As soon as my agreement is up, I will begin using postage scale and Dymo Twin Turbo label printer and print stamps on demand from endicia on an as-needed basis.  

     

    Good luck. 
  • Stamps.com or a dymo labeler w/ endicia postage is the way to go. Stamps.com I beleive still has the small monthly fee but full postal capabilities. While endicia with a label printer no monthly fee but only prints postage, can't handle the extras.
  • Ben is right on. I've detailed my experience here. I prefer a Dymo printer with Endicia, except it doesn't help with certified mail, so I still like to keep a supply of large denomination stamps just to cover the certified mail expense. If you do a lot of certified mail, you probably want to signup with a certified mail servicer who can provide laser printable green cards and electronic tracking of signatures.
  • Our firm used simple stamps forever, policed and rationed out by our office manager.  When I joined as a partner two years ago I thought that this was ridiculous. 

     

    She isn't a stamp-Nazi about the whole thing by any means.  But when we have mail to go out after she's gone for the day and we're out of stamps, its a no-brainer. 

     

    We switched to Stamps.com.  We pay the $15 a month and don't have to use their supplies.  Now we just print to envelopes, do our flat rate priority mail (which is cheaper for discovery and most other large items), and our media and other USPS needs. 

     

    The savings have been great.  No more lost time at the post office for priority mail or stamps, etc.
  • BGriewahnBGriewahn Pittsburgh
    Like Sam, I just use stamps.  if something needs to go out certified, I make a trip to the post office.  That doesn't happen very often, frankly.


    --Bob--
  • I use a Dymo LabelWriter Twin Turbo, with Endicia postage. Works for most of my postage needs, including priority and express mail. On the rare occasion when I need certified mail, I just stop by the post office. And the Twin Turbo handles two different label rolls at once: one for the postage labels and the other for plain labels. I think that using the printed postage looks more professional than plain stamps. I do use plain stamps for marketing mailing (higher open percentage supposedly, or so I recall from long ago when I worked on political campaigns and helped with mailings).
  • Adam LillyAdam Lilly Cumming, Georgia
    I feel really shallow about it, but I feel like it looks less professional to use regular stamps. My solution (so far) has been to go to the stamp kiosk at the post office and buy stamps there, so I get the black and white thermal printing rather than the Sunday comics characters or birds of Fall.

    I am interested in the Endicia option. Can anyone elaborate on the pricing of that in action, as opposed to in the company's pitches?
  • Adam, I use a Dymo labelwriter twinturbo label printer. Dymo has software -dymo stamps which can be installed on your computer or used on the web to print postage.

    Costs are purchase of a Dymo printer, stamp rolls and/or sheets, and postage (you purchase postage & stamp labels from endicia). No monthly service charge.

    With the advent of Dymo stamps online, I'm not sure you need to by the Dymo label printer, because you print the sheet postage on your regular printer, so you can look into that.

    The only limitation so far has been amount of postage. You can print postage for all 1st class, priority, but only in set amounts, you can't print extra postage. Nor can you print postage for extras like delivery confirm, certified, etc.

     

    Stamps.com on the other hand (i used to use), you have to pay the monthly fee (still alot cheaper than pitney bowes tho) and you have to by the stamp sheets from USPS, but you can print to any printer and can print all the extras.

     

    So if its just letters and priority, Endicia is great, and cheapest. Even when I have an occasional cert. or delivery confirm, gotta go to the PO anyhow, so I print the postage and pay for the extra at the PO.

     

    If you do a lot of certified or express then you're probably better off with Stamps.com

  • Sure sounds to me like you guys think a PB meter rental costs more than I have been paying for the last 3 years.

     

    Its so much more convenient too. At my rental rate if it saves me one trip to the Post Office a month it more than pays for itself.
  • Andrew, What are you paying?

     

    It looks like they start at about $20/mo., but most people I know had been paying $60 to $150 per month, plus postage.

     

    At $20/mo. it is a reasonable competitor to Stamps.com, but still doesn't beat the $0/mo. cost of a Dymo Stamps account.
  • $34. And I don't have to buy the labels that Dymo uses. Don't tell PB but we buy the aftermarket ink from Amazon for basically nothing.
  • We have the mailstation2. It is sufficient for 4 lawyers and a paralegal.

     

    We started out with Dymo and I figured out that the difference in cost between the two based on my mailing volume was almost exactly $3 a month. I consider the convenience of the PB to be worth that.
  • Yeah, the Dymo brand labels are overpriced, but I buy off-brand labels from Amazon for fractions of a penny per stamp.

    It looks like PB is becoming more competitive. The pricing is much better than I have seen from other attorneys. I still prefer the Dymo because I can use it to print other labels.

    Good to know what the competition is doing though.
  • Something people seem to forget is that almost everything in life is negotiable. I negotiated the price on our washer and dryer at Sears. PB wants some of your money more than they want all of your money.

     

    And yeah, we still use out Dymo for other labels as well. In fact we have the twin one and a single for address labels, flats labels and file folder labels. Another thing I stumbled on is that it is pretty easy to network the Dymo (which sits in the paralegal's office.)
  • Has anything changed on this subject since 2012? What are people doing now?

    I'm wondering why no one has mentioned the Dymo printer sheets (which can be printed on a normal printer) as an alternative to the Dymo labels (which require a separate labelmaker).

  • chadmurraychadmurray Decatur, IL

    The Twin Turbo 450 can be bought for a song and lets you print shipping labels easily too. No reason to use the sheets if you can get the labeler for next to nothing.

  • anthonysparkanthonyspark New York, NY

    We use stamps or "click n ship" priority mail labels. For the most part, if we're resorting to snail mail it's because it's an important original, so we need the delivery tracking and confirmation of priority mail, anyway.

  • @chadmurray said:
    The Twin Turbo 450 can be bought for a song and lets you print shipping labels easily too. No reason to use the sheets if you can get the labeler for next to nothing.

    What is the advantage of the labels over the sheets? Why add another device, even if the expense is minimal? I can print shipping labels on my regular printer too. Maybe you need to try it to "get it"? I know the Dymo labels are extremely popular, but I'm hoping someone can explain what makes using the Twin Turbo better than just printing postage and labels on a regular printer.

  • chadmurraychadmurray Decatur, IL

    If you're printing a whole sheet out, you might as well just buy stamps. Printing as needed lets you get exactly what you need, when you need it, very quickly. The shipping envelope thing is a simple time saver - instead of screwing around with a full sheet, you can enter the info, push print, and out comes the single label you needed. If you need more than one, you can queue up a full set and it will print them. It's just a nice setup and a definite time saver.

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