If you're looking for a postage machine, you could be forgiven for thinking your options will be limited, especially if you're operating a small business. After all, no company can sell postage machines in the United States, and only a small number of companies -- five, at this writing -- are authorized to lease them to businesses. And postage meters are mostly for the big guys, right?
Happily, you'd be wrong on both counts. For one thing, those five companies offer a surprisingly diverse range of options. What's more, those options cover businesses of every size that can benefit from metered postage. That likely includes your business. In order to make your research more manageable, we present the top five options for various types of businesses.
Best Home Business Postage Meter:
Pitney Bowes Mailstation 2
A machine whose big performance belies its tiny size, the Pitney Bowes Mailstation 2 is a good way for solopreneurs and home offices to take advantage of metered postage savings.
We give a slight edge to the Pitney Bowes Mailstation 2 over its closest competitor, the FP PostBase Mini. Their specifications are in some ways very close -- the Mailstation 2 processes 18 letters per minute to the PostBase Mini's 17 LPM.
The Mailstation 2 pulls ahead on the strength of its compact size, ease of use, and the ability to handle not only mail indicia, but also marketing messages for your customers. Businesses can see a savings up to 25% per month on postage.
Best Low Volume Postage Meter:
Pitney Bowes DM125
The Pitney Bowes DM125 fits on a desktop. Its small size and quiet operation make it an unobtrusive office mate, but its performance will make you stop and take notice.
The Pitney Bowes DM125 is suggested for businesses that send between 100 and 1,000 pieces of mail per month. Equally at home with a landscaping business or a small medical practice, it includes the choice of a 2 lb. or 5 lb. integrated scale, making it equally adept at handling packages or postcards.
Rate updates and refills take place via the internet, and the controls are intuitive enough to allow setup with low or no assistance. With a 35 LPM speed (semi-automatic), and the ability to extend the machine's functionality with inserting systems, letter openers, and other peripherals, this is a small business solution that doesn't skimp on performance.
Best Moderate Volume Postage Meter:
FP PostBase 45
The choice of hand-feed or automated models allows you to choose the best option for your business without sacrificing performance either way.
There are two scenarios in which the PostBase 45 shines. On one hand, businesses that handle a light volume of mail but experience cyclical or seasonal spikes are well served by this machine. On the other, it's also well-suited to businesses with a moderate but steady mail flow.
The PostBase 45 Auto boasts an integrated automatic feeder/sealer, which increases efficiency over its hand-fed counterpart. If you're not concerned with automation, the hand-feed model is equally capable.
Both machines process 45 LPM, and both provide 20 standard user accounts, 20 custom indicia advertisements, 10 custom text messages, and 10 user presets. The inline ten-pound scale can be upgraded, and with the addition of a Dell All-in-One PC running MailOne 2.0 software, your business can get even more out of its metered postage and document management.
Best High Volume Postage Meter:
Speed is important, but for many businesses handling a high volume of mail, versatility is equally valuable. The Neopost IN-750 isn't just a postage meter; it's an all-in-one solution that can be expanded via hardware and software.
The Neopost IN-750 is as flexible as you need; if you want an added function, just tack it on. Hardware -- including folding, opening, printing, jogging and tabbing systems -- integrates easily thanks to the system's thoughtful modular design, while a robust software and application ecosystem ensures that your business receives not only a savings on postage, but also a full suite of reporting, tracking, account management and security features.
Inline weighing ensures easy handling of irregular items like packages and catalogs. In short, the IN-750 is versatile and adaptable, keeping your business agile.
Best for Mail Center Use:
Blazing speed when processing envelopes and mixed mail alike meet unmatched ergonomics and user friendliness in this industry-leading machine.
The Neopost IS-6000 was designed in collaboration with everyday users. The end result is a machine that's not only highly efficient, but that's also designed in a way that improves uptime while minimizing operator movement.
It's been awarded the International Forum (IF) Product Design Award, and its speed -- 18,000 envelopes an hour, or 10,800 pieces per hour for mixed mail -- make it an asset in any dedicated mailroom.
The system is anchored by a high-visibility color touchscreen that connects the user to a full range of MyNeopost Services. Its modular design makes adding new peripherals a snap, and further extends the capabilities of an already excellent postage machine.