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April 2016

The Hidden Costs of Franking Machine Contracts

Since Royal Mail increased its prices in April this year, and introduced its new service Mailmark TM, Franking machine manufacturers have reported a huge interest in business’s switching to franked mail.

There is now a far greater choice of franking machine suppliers since the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2005 submitted its undertakings to help increase choice and competition in the marketplace to ensure consumers no longer have to pay over the odds for franking machine maintenance and their consumables, such as franking inks and labels.

However, despite cheaper leasing and maintenance contracts, as well as access to high quality, low cost consumables, some business owners are still being stung by hidden costs that soon mount up and effectively wipe out any savings you make by using franked mail!

The benefits of Franked mail are well documented, it can save you money AND time so it can be a really effective way of minimising your mailing business overheads whilst maximising your efficiency – essential for a healthy developing business – big or small.

Leasing means that you don’t have any initial financial outlay, and, you can immediately start saving money on your mailing costs. (However, the downside of leasing will mean the overall end cost will be far more expensive than buying a franking machine outright).

So, before you sign on any dotted line, here are 7 top tips to help you get the best deal for your business:

·         1. Do your research – I know this can take time but it is worth it! It can be tricky too as most suppliers don’t actually show you their prices online to help you compare different franking machine supplier costs. Get about 4 or 5 quotes before committing yourself and TELL the supplier you are – it may make a difference to the end figure they give you!

 

·         2. Make sure you know all the financial costs and what it includes. Does it include yearly maintenance? Are your franking inks and labels included in that cost or are they extra?

 

 

 

·         3. You determine how long your lease will be. Suppliers will want you to be tied into a long lease - they will make more money from you that way! Hopefully your business will expand at a rate of knots, so you work out the length of time which will best suit you and your business (you can generally take out a 1,2,3,4 or 5 year lease).

 

 

 

·         4. Some franking machine suppliers may also charge you for re-crediting your franking machine. This can be as much as £6.00 per re-credit whilst dialling out to a high cost 0906 premium rate phone number. Check the re-credit costs and ask to have a standard rate phone number installed in the franking machines settings to reduce any additional telephone charges.

 

 

 

·         5. Some other franking machine suppliers may charge you extra to include a return address on your franked mail. A return address can look ultra professional and be a great marketing tool however you can save money and increase the life of your franking inks by not using logo’s or a return address if you don’t want to – it’s your choice.

 

 

 

·         6. Shop around for your franking consumables. Franking suppliers will tell you that you need to buy your consumables from them otherwise it will invalidate your franking machine warranty – it won’t (OFT 2005 undertakings) you are free to choose who you buy your franking consumables from. Typically compatibles / refilled inks and labels are less than half the price of an original ink – And that is a huge saving! Buying low cost inks and labels means you will keep your mailing costs down to a minimum – and choosing a refilled ink means you can also feel good about reducing your business carbon footprint too – but always make sure franking inks are Royal Mail approved!

 

 

 

·         7. Franking machine suppliers want your business so ask for extras like top up fees, return address slogans and annual maintenance charges to be added to the end deal for FREE!

 

 

 

In short getting the right information is key to getting the best franking deal for you and your business and at Ecofranking, as a trusted supplier of franking consumables with years of experience and industry knowledge we are always happy to help you with any questions you may have. You are welcome to contact us with any questions on 01434 422600, or email us, sales@ecofranking.co.uk

 

 

 

 June 2014

For Best Results We Recommend Using Ecofranking Own Brand Franking Supplies

For best results we recommend using.............

Based on performance Aldi and Lidl were both recommended second and third place in Which’s best buy for dishwasher tablets in February this year.  But based on value for money,  as well as performance they knocked the socks off the top selling brand Fairy Platinum by 30p per wash – which is a potential consumer saving of over £100 per year!

Now savvy business savers whether working from home or in an office will – and should look to reduce business / office overheads. But it can be a false economy if the saving means you sacrifice quality so choose wisely! If your Business is already using a franking machine you’re already more than half way to saving on your mailing costs. Combining this with using Royal Mail’s new Mailmark TM discounted postage rates, as a franking machine user, you have the potential for further savings on your postage spend in the future too.

So what about dishwasher tablets you may ask and what’s that got to do with FRANKING? – When you or your colleague bought, or entered into a lease agreement with your franking machine supplier. You will have been told that for optimum performance they recommend you use genuine OEM franking inks only and warned of the perils of using franking machine inks that are compatible, refilled or remanufactured.

 Consequently business’s can be scared away from further savings because suppliers steer, and at times scare, you into using genuine OEM franking inks at a huge cost to your business which can in fact wipe out the savings made on your daily postage costs by using a franking machine.

As a franking machine user you now have a much better choice of high quality compatible / refilled / remanufactured franking inks and labels that, as long as they are Royal Mail approved inks, will give you the quality you want for your printed franking mark AND save you money.

For example a solicitors office rang Ecofranking up the other day asking for our prices for a compatible Pitney Bowes DM100 blue ink (our price at Ecofranking is only £18.95+vat) as they were horrified to have been quoted £98.95 +vat for an OEM ink! That’s a difference of £80– YES £80! The DM100 franking ink cartridge is one of our biggest sellers as it gives you exactly what you want but for a fraction of the price of an genuine OEM franking ink – and the print quality is super and the same yield too!

So remember that looking for low cost alternative franking supplies for your franker doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice in quality but will mean a huge saving to your business!

 

 March 2014

We're nearly into Spring (Yay) which means there is only about another 4 weeks until the latest price increase from Royal Mail on the 31st March 2014.

http://www.royalmail.com/prices-2014?intcampaignid=Promo_H1_tariff_2014

When the cost of a service goes up, we, like most people, will evaluate that service to make sure it continues to be good value for money for our business.  It is well documented that using a franking machine will save you money on your postage, save you time and gives you a smart, professional ink mark on your mail - so savings all round!

When you choose to use franked mail you must also take into account the ongoing supplies costs. The cost of an original ink cartridge can sometimes be three times the amount of money you pay compared to buying a good quality compatible ink - which means you can very quickly wipe out any savings you make by using franked mail. So why do people continue to use the more expensive OEM options, keeping their mailing costs high, when using franked mail should actually be saving you money?

It saddens and frustrates me when I hear from some of our customers that they are still being told by their franking machine suppliers that using compatible inks will invalidate their warranty and cause problems with their franking machines!  Most people aren't aware that The Enterprise Act in 2002 prompted the Office of Fair Trade to look into the franking industry as a whole. The OFT approached the two leading franking manufacturers – Pitney Bowes and Neopost and also Royal Mail. They asked them to prepare satisfactory undertakings to basically stop the monopolisation that was potentially happening within the franking industry. These were agreed in 2005 by the OFT, to protect you the franking consumer.  

We sell thousands of compatible inks and labels alongside genuine OEM versions. We have every confidence in our Royal Mail Approved franking products and also know that we are genuinely saving our customers their hard earned cash! - If your engineer tells you that using compatible consumables will invalidate your warranty – tell them they are wrong! Then point them towards the following link...

Office of Fair Trades 2005 agreed franking undertakings report - http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2005/110-05#.UydXjNrW9dg

So if over the next couple of weeks you will be weighing up the best and most cost effective mailing solution for you, remember you are free to use compatible franking consumables. With these savings in mind overall franking tends to always be one of the most cost effective postal services for your business.