Postage Meter Rental Guide 2022

Letters lined up in a mailroom stamped by a postage meter

Postage Meter Rental Quick Summary:

  • Postage meters are only available to rent/lease (not to purchase)
  • Rentals typically run between 12 and 60 months…
  • …and normally cost between $20 and $200 per month
  • Prices are not transparent so use our tool to request free quotes

There’s a hard way and an easy way to rent a postage meter.

In this guide we'll take the sting out of postage meter research and take you through the main models and pricing of the USPS-licensed suppliers: Pitney Bowes, Quadient (formerly Neopost), FP and Data-Pac.

Hint: If you are interested in a particular supplier, click the dropdown arrow on the left-hand sidebar to navigate straight to their section.

To make things even easier for you, our unique quote-gathering tool does all the hard work for you. Click here to tell us a bit about your business, then we'll ask postage meter suppliers that match your requirements to get in touch. It’s as easy as that!

mailboxes

Postage meters take the stress out of delivering direct mail to your customers.

Postage Meter Rental Companies

Before reaching out to suppliers, it’s worth clarifying exactly what you need a postage meter for.

The best machine is one that meets all your needs, but doesn’t exceed them. That might seem obvious, but some postage meter rental fees actually include hidden charges for not using your meter to its full potential.

Sensible questions to ask yourself include:

  • How much mail do you send on average?
  • What types of mail does this include (letters, postcards, parcels etc.)?
  • Do you need additional features? For example, the ability to print marketing messages on your envelopes?

The next step is to find postage meters that meet your requirements.

Pitney Bowes Postage Meters

As one of the four big dogs of postage meter providers, Pitney Bowes looms large for trustworthy products. 2021 saw the company's fifth consecutive year of revenue growth so clearly they are not slowing down any time soon.

Pricing

Every model comes with a 60-day free trial and free ground shipping. If you change your mind, Pitney Bowes will even cover return shipping costs. Spending around $150 per month on postage? Consider one of the following models:

  • Mailstation2: $19.99/month for a year
  • SendPro Mailstation: $26.99/month
  • DM100: $34.99/month for a year
  • DM200: $65/month for a year

Businesses with monthly postage costs above $300 should consider a more advanced model, which are priced on request only.

Pros

  • Monthly statement shows your lease and postage costs

Cons

  • Prices listed are for new customers only
  • Postage and supplies not included in price

Quadient (formerly Neopost) Postage Meters

Quadient’s postage meters save you around 7% compared with buying stamps. They estimate businesses will save 20% on their mailing costs with a postage meter because postage calculation accuracy improves with a meter.

Pricing

Quadient's postage meter costs start low, but rates for all but their most basic models are subject to your usage. Completing our short form is a good way to get an accurate quote for Quadient postage meters. They have options to suit every budget – from the compact IS-280 that fits on the end of a desk, to the weightier IS-6000.

  • IS-280 iMeter: $19.75 per month
  • iX 5 Series: Pricing on request

Pros

  • Detailed web reporting on postage usage
  • Training of client staff is reportedly excellent

Cons

  • Opening the product twice on the same computer counts as two licenses
  • Some users found the design tool crashed with complex workflow

FP Postage Meters

Francotyp-Postalia (FP) produces postage meters that are diverse in their ability to handle mail. For instance, the PostBase ONE can process and seal letters up to 3/4″ thick weighing 15lb without the need for pre-sorting different mail sizes.

Pricing

Low volume mailrooms should choose the FP PostBase mini (17LPM) which is $22.95 for 13 months plus one month free.

PostBase Vision Semi-Auto will suit businesses with $250-$759 monthly postage spend. If things are moving faster, companies with $1,000-$5,000 in monthly postage costs will be better off with the PostBase Pro.

Pros

  • User friendly account management system
  • Color touchscreen feels modern

Cons

  • Terms of contract unclear to some customers, so check yours carefully
  • Occasionally customer service is not easy to get hold of
Confused about postage meter costs? Answer our quick quiz and we'll reach out to suppliers for you

Data-Pac Postage Meters

DataPac, est. 1976 is the newest postage meter supplier, providing low end meters (software and hardware solutions). Its products integrate with those of Pitney Bowes, Quadient and Hasler as well as others. For instance, DataPac's Shape Based System adds onto your existing hardware (even from another brand) to accurately measure size, thickness and weight processing up to 200 LPM.

Pricing

DataPac is not transparent about its pricing online. However, the company claims the savings you will make on mailing costs thanks to their Advanced Curve system will offset your entire lease price (a big claim!). This is based on an approximate lease cost of $2,100 per month without a local service contract.

DataPac claims their EZ Mailer – 140LPM –  ink costs are up to 75% lower than competitors'. That may be true depending on your individual situation; a single black cartridge is $69.95.

Pros

  • Handy gauge accounts for puff of air inside mail for better accuracy
  • Integrated email system plus non-dedicated computer for other mail center applications

Cons

  • Smaller company, cannot offer same discounts/free delivery of larger competitors
Save Time and Money with No-Obligation Quotes on Postage Meters
How much are your monthly mail costs, on average?

Cost of Renting a Postage Meter

Postage meter rental costs vary because there are several options and service levels to choose from.

Broadly speaking, prices start from just shy of $20 per month for a basic machine like the IS-280 iMeter from Quadient. For a larger machine, you’re looking at as much as $1,200 or more per month.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these postage meter rental prices exclude postage costs. The USPS sets postage rates, so they’re completely independent of the lease agreement with your postage meter supplier. You should also factor in the cost of ink and envelopes (or boxes and parcels, depending on what it is you send).

Potential Savings

A metered First Class ordinary letter is 5¢ cheaper than the cost of a stamp. These savings add up considerably over time. If you were to lease a postage meter, here’s how much money you’d save on postage over your contract:

Lease Length
Pieces of mail sent per month
(First Class letters no larger than 11 1/5″x 6 1/8″)
12 months
24 months
36 months
60 months
500$300$600$900$1,500
5,000
$300$600$9,000$15,000
50,000$30,000$60,000$90,000$150,000

Remember, you'd save even more money if you qualify for Commercial Rates with USPS. This is often the case for companies using postage meters because lots of the pre-sorting is done before mail reaches the Post Office. You just need to make sure you're sending at least 500 pieces of First Class mail per month and meet the Commercial Mail requirements.

Can I Buy a Postage Meter?

No. Because stamps actually count as a form of currency, federal law regulates the creation of postage stamps. The USPS is responsible for controlling the number of stamps in circulation at any given time and only authorizes five suppliers to rent out postage meters.

Benefits of Postage Meter Rental

Spend Less on Direct Mail

Companies get generous discounts on postage just for using a postage meter. The reason is you're doing a lot of the post office's work for them, so it's in their interests to financially incentivize you.

In fact, it’s up to 9% cheaper to send a letter that you’ve stamped with a postage meter than to use the regular stamps from the post office.

And, if you take into account the even lower rates for presorted mail, you can cut your total postage spend by considerably more. For example, you'd save 15¢ per individual First Class letter if you pre-sort mail in bulk addressed to the same 5-digit ZIP code thanks to Commercial Rates.

Save Time

In the time it takes one of your employees to weigh and add stamps to a package, your competitors are using postage meters to do the job a hundred times faster. It’s no wonder the average small business wastes up to a day each month on manual mail processing.

Postage meters also eliminate the need for regular trips to the post office. A typical machine includes built-in digital weighing scales and a system for topping up your postage balance online. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it frees your staff to focus on more valuable work.

Pay Accurate Postage

If you don’t have enough time to weigh each piece of mail, you’re not alone. Most firms rely on guesswork and shortcuts when it comes to applying postage to packages en masse.

But when you’re charged more because an item in your shipment exceeded the maximum letter dimensions for first class, it’s time to think about getting a postage meter. Postage meters calculate and print the correct amount of postage every time.

Protect Yourself From Rising Rates

The USPS raising stamp prices every year is about as safe a bet as the Earth orbiting the Sun. Fortunately, metered postage rates don’t increase nearly as often, thanks to rate protection guarantees.

A rate protection guarantee is a rate freeze that applies to all mail you process with a postage meter. If you negotiate a guarantee as part of your lease, you can be confident that external events won’t impact your business case.

Track All Your Spending in One Place

Postage meters are internet-enabled, which means you can purchase postage online. It’s as simple as keying in an amount on the meter itself, or doing it through your supplier’s online portal.

There’s no more receipt paper trail to track, and postage management software means monitoring your monthly spend is much easier. Advanced reporting solutions are indispensable in large businesses sending lots of mail.

Prevent Fraud and Abuse

Postage management tools can help reduce fraud by letting you customize permissions and set spending caps. Pitney Bowes Inview software, for example, lets you set purchase authorization levels for different employees.

Next Steps

Securing the best price on a postage meter rental really comes down to two things; preparation and persistence.

With a bit of forethought, your postage meter will be worth thousands of dollars to your business. By the time your lease comes up for renewal, signing on the dotted line should be a no-brainer.

But it cuts both ways. A hastily signed agreement will do more harm than good if your needs increase later on and your postage meter can’t scale with your business.

In short, it pays to take time to ensure the agreement you choose is the right one for your firm.

Finding a postage meter system for the right price can be a time consuming process, but our comparison service does all the hard work for you. Click here to tell us a bit about your business, then postage meter suppliers that match your requirements will be in touch in a matter of minutes. It’s as easy as that!

Sabrina Dougall

Sabrina writes about tech for business as well as consumer software. She covers topics ranging from digital marketing to ecommerce fulfilment, security systems, franking machines, and more. Having run her own successful small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how much there is to keep on top of. Writing with your company’s needs in mind, she distils truly useful product information (without the sales pitch).