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    Franking machine or buy at post office?

    I send alot of items by special delivery and this can take quite a while at the post office so I'm looking for a way to make it quicker and easier for me and the people at my local post office and try to save some money at the same time!!!

    I'll be saving 10p per item but not sure if it's going to be worth it once the cost of a franking maching comes into play? Anyone know how much that's going to cost me to buy or rent???

    Also how much time does it save in the post office? I assume they've still got to check them and sign them etc so it might not save much time. Also it's going to cost me more in ink and paper etc to print the stuff. Maybe it's just a bad idea? Would look nice for my customers but not sure it's actually going to save any time or money. Might save a little time in the post office but surely gonna take me ages to print and stick it all at home? A potential saving of 10p doesn't sound that great when you realise you're gonna have to do all the work!!!

    32 Comments

    Original Poster

    Also is there an easier way or getting them into the post office? Short of getting a trolley from Tesco and wheeling them in??? I see on their web-site that they'll pick up from your office for £2 a week or free if you spend £15k a year with them which I may well do soon. Either way does that include special delivery items? Would be great not to have to take them all to the post office but I guess that even if it does include special delivery then I'd still have to print it all myself!

    It shouldn't take very long if you have the special delivery forms already written out before you enter the post office. Been down the franking machine route with the missus business and it just aint worth it. It's easier to just take the parcels in batches of 10 at a time.

    I think using royal mail smartstamp may be best for you costs £5 a month or £50 a year and can use the following methods of sending
    Special Delivery™ Next Day
    Special Delivery™ 9.00am
    First Class
    Second Class
    Standard Parcels
    Airmail
    Airsure®
    International Signed For™
    Surface Mail
    Recorded Signed For™

    So you can print their Name, address and postage all on one envelope or label.

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520535

    I think using royal mail smartstamp may be best for you costs £5 a month … I think using royal mail smartstamp may be best for you costs £5 a month or £50 a year and can use the following methods of sending Special Delivery™ Next Day Special Delivery™ 9.00amFirst Class Second ClassStandard ParcelsAirmailAirsure®International Signed For™Surface MailRecorded Signed For™So you can print their Name, address and postage all on one envelope or label.



    I saw that but thought it sounded like a bit of a rip-off. Pay £50 a year to basically do what they're supposed to do and have to pay for the ink/paper too.

    Original Poster

    pinkleponkle;1520531

    It shouldn't take very long if you have the special delivery forms … It shouldn't take very long if you have the special delivery forms already written out before you enter the post office. Been down the franking machine route with the missus business and it just aint worth it. It's easier to just take the parcels in batches of 10 at a time.



    When I was last in they said it's changed so all you've got to do is write your name and address on the slip, they do the rest on the computer now. So I assume I can grab a load of the special delivery slips and write my name/address and like you say just take them in bundles to the P.O.

    I could probably spread them accross the week to make things a bit easier.

    and with any delivery method that needs a sig you still have to go to the post office to get the form franked. oh and sub post offices quickly blacklist you if you are getting them to do work without earning money from you. So unless you live near a main post office you will soon se the big downside.

    been there done that with franking machine and smartstamp. They are good if you just want regular post and it's small enough to whack in a post box, **** for anything else.

    Its the time thats money. If your printing lables for addresses the extra in will be tiny amounts. Plus they just bill your card for what you send. As for pickup if your as busy as you seem £280 a year for pickup is a great price. Just over a £1 a day.

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520556

    Its the time thats money. If your printing lables for addresses the extra … Its the time thats money. If your printing lables for addresses the extra in will be tiny amounts. Plus they just bill your card for what you send. As for pickup if your as busy as you seem £280 a year for pickup is a great price. Just over a £1 a day.



    Good call. I already print addresses so the extra like you say will be virtually nothing.

    £1 a day to get someone round to pick them up for me? Sounds interesting, would save about 50p on fuel straight away!

    So basically I get smartstamp and a collection service (which might work out to be free if I spend enough) and that's everything done? No need to go to the post office for anything?

    Anyone know how much a franking machine will cost me? Would be nice to save 10p per item too.

    Original Poster

    With the collection thing it doesn't say whether the free service (if spending over £15k) is before or after 3pm, I assume after 3pm as before would suck.

    Down load the trial for smartstamp and have a play. I just have and if I were sending lots of mail from home this would save me time.

    Original Poster

    So franking looks like it's going to cost about a fiver a week but should save me about a fiver a week so effectively free or smartstamp for £50 a year. I assume they're essentially the same thing? ink and paper for the franking machine likely to be on par with ink and paper for my printer?

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520608

    Down load the trial for smartstamp and have a play. I just have and if I … Down load the trial for smartstamp and have a play. I just have and if I were sending lots of mail from home this would save me time.



    Good idea, will have a look. I assume smartstamp will look a bit better than the franking machine would make it look? I like the idea of just using my printer and not having to rely on another thing that needs looking after. I assume the franking machine would need alot of typing to put addresses in etc whereas smartstamp I could probably copy/paste so would save lots of time.

    To be honest I have used a franking machine where my girlfriend used to work and they are a bit of a pain. Also the one I used only did first or second class in different weights. But new ones might be different.

    So overall will you save cash? Probably no... But will save you a whole lot of time which could be put to other uses.

    Benjimoron;1520629

    Good idea, will have a look. I assume smartstamp will look a bit better … Good idea, will have a look. I assume smartstamp will look a bit better than the franking machine would make it look? I like the idea of just using my printer and not having to rely on another thing that needs looking after. I assume the franking machine would need alot of typing to put addresses in etc whereas smartstamp I could probably copy/paste so would save lots of time.



    No franking machines just put the postage on just like on a bussiness letter although you can have a logo too just like smartstamp. I think they will get rid of franking machines soon anyway.

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520652

    To be honest I have used a franking machine where my girlfriend used to … To be honest I have used a franking machine where my girlfriend used to work and they are a bit of a pain. Also the one I used only did first or second class in different weights. But new ones might be different.So overall will you save cash? Probably no... But will save you a whole lot of time which could be put to other uses.



    Yeah, I think that's the right idea. Ironically I thought the smartstamp was a rip-off at first but I'm going to go for it! £50 a year to be able to just print a label and stick it on and have someone pick it up. There aren't any better ways of doing it are there? Any ways of getting smartstamp or similar for free???

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520668

    No franking machines just put the postage on just like on a bussiness … No franking machines just put the postage on just like on a bussiness letter although you can have a logo too just like smartstamp. I think they will get rid of franking machines soon anyway.



    Ah, so I'd be printing two labels for each package??? Franking seems a rip-off of my time now!

    Original Poster

    "You can trial print as many envelopes or labels as you wish before printing real postage, but you can also apply for a refund if you don’t use your postage in time, or make a mistake."

    Surely you couldn't just apply for the odd refund? How would they know you hadn't sent it?

    See your learning now. I used to think how can I save a few pounds. So at first you think wow I saved £3 then you think but I wasted an extra hour. So then I think I have just in effect payed myself £3 for that hour. Why the hell would I work for £3 an hour when I could be using that time to better use.

    Original Poster

    Any good reason to use smartstamp rather than just printing postage on-line? Would save £50 a year. Might not look so great though but that doesn't bother me as much as £50!!!

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520689

    See your learning now. I used to think how can I save a few pounds. So at … See your learning now. I used to think how can I save a few pounds. So at first you think wow I saved £3 then you think but I wasted an extra hour. So then I think I have just in effect payed myself £3 for that hour. Why the hell would I work for £3 an hour when I could be using that time to better use.




    Agreed, I could be spending that time sleeping!!!

    Benjimoron;1520684

    "You can trial print as many envelopes or labels as you wish before … "You can trial print as many envelopes or labels as you wish before printing real postage, but you can also apply for a refund if you don’t use your postage in time, or make a mistake."Surely you couldn't just apply for the odd refund? How would they know you hadn't sent it?



    Well you have an Id number on the postage label which is unique to you which is read by the sorting machine so thats how they double check. However only 97% of bussiness mail gets charged for due to errors and misreads so you should be able to claim about 3% of your postage back without any suspicions.

    Original Poster

    Ah I see, so you buy 100 postage labels a year but use some twice then their system's going to see 150 items go through. Likewise you couldn't claim alot not used.

    Original Poster

    Do I have to register for vat if I have a high turnover? I seem to remember reading before that you do but I can't find it on paypal?

    Benjimoron;1520759

    Do I have to register for vat if I have a high turnover? I seem to … Do I have to register for vat if I have a high turnover? I seem to remember reading before that you do but I can't find it on paypal?



    Well Im guessing you an ebay trader then but not an ebay shop. Well I wouldnt be to worried about the VAT. Your more likely to have problelms with you PAYE ie the tax on the earnings. If you are a sole trader and its not your main job you'll be fine.

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520790

    Well Im guessing you an ebay trader then but not an ebay shop. Well I … Well Im guessing you an ebay trader then but not an ebay shop. Well I wouldnt be to worried about the VAT. Your more likely to have problelms with you PAYE ie the tax on the earnings. If you are a sole trader and its not your main job you'll be fine.



    Just been reading up and it appears I have to register for VAT if my turnover goes about £60k a year which it may well do soon. Only problem is that my supplier doesn't charge VAT so I'd have nothing to claim back! Any ways of avoiding registering for VAT?

    What is your situation? Do you have a trading company? Are you an employee of the company? As your supplier doesn't charge you VAT I take it you are adding lots of value to the products you sell? Are the products you buy from the uk?

    Original Poster

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1520849

    What is your situation? Do you have a trading company? Are you an … What is your situation? Do you have a trading company? Are you an employee of the company? As your supplier doesn't charge you VAT I take it you are adding lots of value to the products you sell? Are the products you buy from the uk?



    I am a self employed trader. Not adding lots of value, mearly selling on for a small profit. Products are from the uk, I guess the supplier is being a bit naughty and not paying the VAT either but it's not my problem! Only problem becomes when I have to register for VAT because I sell more than £60k worth and I would then have no VAT to claim back but would have to pay it.

    Think I'll just stick to selling less than £60k worth a year.

    Benjimoron;1520684

    "You can trial print as many envelopes or labels as you wish before … "You can trial print as many envelopes or labels as you wish before printing real postage, but you can also apply for a refund if you don’t use your postage in time, or make a mistake."Surely you couldn't just apply for the odd refund? How would they know you hadn't sent it?



    I've used Smartstamp for over a year now. Don't send enough to warrant it really cos of the £5 monthly charge, but I like the idea of not having to remember to buy stamps. Also if you print the address label with the stamp then it keeps a log of who you posted to and when and how much.

    Refunds are simple. You print off a form, stick on the ruined stamp, and post it (Freepost). Refunds are then credited back to your account. If you haven't got the ruined stamp (eg the printer ate it) then they check your account to see which stamps have gone through their systems cos they are all numbered/barcoded.

    Just a reminder that postal charges are increasing in April 2008.
    [URL]ftp://ftp.royalmail.com/Downloads/public/ctf/rm/2008_2009_Prices_document_for_publication_final.pdf[/URL]
    Collections are going up to,
    Ad hoc daily collection £6 to £10 daily
    No pre 3pm collection now for £280 - only one collection option at £450 a year (which may still be pre 3pm) or an extra £750 on top of £450 for a timed collection.
    Still free collections for £15k annual spend.
    So if you;re interested in collections, organise before April!

    is printing postage through paypal not an option? seems to me its just like the smartstamp but is free?
    paypal.com/uk/…ter

    fordy;1521604

    Just a reminder that postal charges are increasing in April … Just a reminder that postal charges are increasing in April 2008.[URL]ftp://ftp.royalmail.com/Downloads/public/ctf/rm/2008_2009_Prices_document_for_publication_final.pdf[/URL]Collections are going up to,Ad hoc daily collection £6 to £10 dailyNo pre 3pm collection now for £280 - only one collection option at £450 a year (which may still be pre 3pm) or an extra £750 on top of £450 for a timed collection.Still free collections for £15k annual spend.So if you;re interested in collections, organise before April!




    Wow not seen you Fordy on here for time, thought you had left us.:)

    GAVINLEWISHUKD;1522833

    Wow not seen you Fordy on here for time, thought you had left us.:)


    hehe, I'm still around!!! not as much online as I once was - my job takes me around the world and getting access to internet isn't always easy!
    But I still log on and check up on you all!

    Sorry, commenting is no longer available on this discussion.

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