Top 7 Reasons To Consider Printing Your Own Postage
By Cindy Wellard
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If you have a computer, laser or ink jet printer, and an Internet connection, you can print your own stamps. Here are some advantages of printing them yourself.
- Easy to use. PC Postage suppliers (currently there are only two: Stamps.com and e-stamp) make getting started very easy. Their online sign-up screens walk you through each step -- from applying for the official U.S.P.S. Postage License to printing your first stamps.
- Access to postage refills 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without leaving your computer. What is more convenient than not having to run to the Post Office for stamps? Postage is bought by connecting to a secure server and is "deposited" into your account -- up to $500.
- Your address is checked and standardized per USPS approval. What it boils down to is either by Internet connection or with a supplied CD, addresses are "fixed" by adding Zip+4, replacing incorrect abbreviations and removing punctuation.
- Your mail is bar coded. Once your address is "fixed," a bar code is automatically added. The bar code helps your mail faster and insures deliverability. It also portrays a professional look.
- Postage is automatically calculated. Based on your entries regarding weight, destination and mailing class, (First Class, Priority, or Express) postage is automatically calculated and deducted from your account balance when you print the stamp.
- Postage Records are available to track mailing costs for a single user. Approved suppliers are working on versions that will track postage for multiple users or departments.
- Security comparable to online banking. The Performance Criteria for PC Postage requires suppliers to include in its product a Postal Security Device (PSD) which insures the accurate calculation of postage in customer accounts. It also produces a unique digital signature, which is included in a two-dimensional bar code printed on each piece. When tampered with, the PSD will cease functioning.
- Cheaper than metering. Meters cost approximately $50 per month to rent and carry charges for resetting, maintenance agreements, and special ink. Both PC Postage suppliers have convenience fees of 10 percent with a cap.
- Your stamps online software will integrate into most word processors and address books. Just click the PC Postage icon while inside your document and print the stamp.
- No long-term commitments. You may quit anytime and receive a refund for any unused postage in your account. The current month's convenience fee will have to be paid.
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Article Submitted On: February 04, 2000