Weighing up franking machine pros and cons

The most important “pro” is that whether you lease or buy a franking machine the overall expenditure with franked mail will be considerably less than with stamped mail.

Royal Mail wants businesses to convert to cost effective Smart technology franking machines with their Mailmark service.

Pros of buying a franking machine:

  • You own the most suitable franking machine for your needs outright.
  • You’re not tied to a maintenance contract.
  • You won’t have to buy supplies through the franking machine company.
  • Payment is at the outset so any budget considerations are managed at the earliest point.
  • You often make savings on the overall cost of having franking machine services.
  • Post is treated as business post so there are less delays.

Cons of buying a franking machine:

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  • The initial purchase cost is high, it’s normally £1000 or higher.
  • If you buy an older model it may become obsolete more quickly. Royal Mail is gradually phasing out machines which aren’t Smart machines.
  • Older model supplies and parts could be less easy to source.
  • There is no maintenance contract so an engineer doesn’t have to be quick!  
  • Breakdowns are more probable with an older machine.  
  • A second hand or reconditioned franking machine may seem like a great investment but its lifespan, facilities and capabilities may be limited.

Pros of a rental franking machine:

  • You have the knowledge, back up and resources of a professional supplier within easy reach.
  • They are paid to maintain your franking machine within a hire contract.
  • Down time will be less with a contract in place if there’s a breakdown.
  • Supplies are easily purchasable online 24/7.
  • Post is treated as business post so there are fewer delays.

Cons of a rental franking machine:

  • You are tied to a contract so if you want to change this can be difficult.
  • Supplies are to be sourced through the hire company so offers through other stockists cannot be taken advantage of.

Renting a franking machine at £14.99 a month costs £179.88 in one year and over five years and not taking lease price rises in to account this brings us to a total expenditure of £899.40.

Buying a new Smart franking machine which is Royal Mail approved and likely not to be retired for a long time costs from £1000.

The difference is when you want to spend with the above comparison. Is your company in a position to invest £1000+ at once or will finances respond better via monthly expected rental expenditure?

Overall, buying a franking machine can work out as more cost effective but do you want to risk not having a maintenance contract in place and experiencing greater down time?

Remember, changing to a franking machine from stamps will save on expenditure.

The majority of the pros and cons are matters for personal preference but speaking to expert franking machine firms can help decision makers.