Best Franking Machines for Small Business

FP Mail PostBase Mini is our top recommendation for a solid all-round franking machine for a small business. Read on to find out our favourite alternative models for different volumes.

We've researched the best franking machines for small businesses based on a number of factors including: size, brand, volume of letters processed, price and whether or not it offers Mailmark franking.

At the end we've looked at the potential savings for your business based on franking versus buying traditional stamps.

We also weigh up whether or not you should choose to rent and explain how you can buy a franking machine. To skip to the good bit, and hear directly from franking machine suppliers, simply fill in a few details and we'll ask the best providers to get in touch with you.

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The best franking machines for small business

Below are quick summaries of five, low volume franking machines designed to process between 20 and 100 pieces of mail per day — so they’re perfect for small businesses.

Our top franking machines are: the FP Mail Postbase Mini, the Pitney Bowes DM60, the Quadient IS-280C, the PB DM110i, and the FP PostBase Vision 3S.


FP Mail PostBase Mini

The PostBase Mini has a 6.5mm envelope slot and optional Wi-Fi connectivity. Mailmark extra-enabled, it franks up to 24 letters per minute. Prices are available on a per-quote basis, though you can buy one second-hand for around £200. It's very small and compact (12.2″ x 8.1″) and you can choose between five colours for the scale.

Read Full FP Mailing Review

PostBase Mini spec.
Processing speed
(letters per minute)
Maximum scales weightMailmark franking
242kg

Pitney Bowes DM60

The DM60 is a good entry-level franking machine for businesses with very low postage volume: sending up to 30 letters or parcels per day. It provides automated accounting for up to 10 departments. Since it's internet-connected you can access its data through your mobile or tablet. There's a free 30-day trial for this one.

Pricing

  • Purchase: £1,068
  • Extended warranty: £93
  • Rental over five years: £6 per week (£312 annually and £1,560 in total)
  • Rental over five years plus warranty: £8 per week (£416 annually and £2,080 in total)

However, if you speak to a sales rep over the phone they're able to give you discounts. Which we suggest you ask for, given there are postage meter re-credit charges of £6 per refill or £9 if paying by invoice. And if you try to get clever and top up in larger amounts, between £101 and £1,300, PB will charge you £13 (refill above £1,300 charges a fee of 1%).

DM60 spec.
Processing speed
(letters per minute)
Maximum scales weightMailmark franking
182.5kg

Quadient IS-280C

With an easy-to-navigate menu and shortcut keys for quick access to frequently used settings, the IS 280C is an ideal first franking machine for businesses. You can settle bills at the end of the month, which means you’ll never pay for more credit than what you need, and keep track of your ongoing postage costs online. Plus, there’s the option to set up as many as 10 user accounts, which allows you to view a breakdown of mail sent by department.

IS 208C spec.
Processing speed
(letters per minute)
Maximum scales weightMailmark franking
Low2kg

Pitney Bowes DM110i

The DM110i marks the next step up in affordable franking machines. With a higher processing speed than any of the models reviewed above, it’s ideal for small businesses sending regular, mid-volume mailouts. The build quality is excellent, but should something go wrong with your machine you can access the Pitney Bowes Self-Service Portal for free help and advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DM110i spec.
Processing speed
(letters per minute)
Maximum scales weightMailmark franking
252.5kg

FP Mail PostBase Vision 3S

The PostBase Vision 3S has everything that your modern, small business needs. It processes 35 letters per minute while offering a 5″ colour touchscreen, a 5kg integrated postal scale, and 20 different shortcuts to help you find the most commonly used postal rates with ease.

PostBase Vision 3S spec.
Processing speed
(letters per minute)
Maximum scales weightMailmark franking
355kg

How much does a franking machine for small businesses cost?

So how much does a franking machine cost? Let’s talk numbers.

An entry level, low volume franking machine such as the Pitney Bowes DM60 costs £1,068 to buy outright, or £6 per week in fixed payments over the course of five years. For a slightly more advanced model, such as the FP Mail PostBase Vision 3S, you’ll looking at closer to £1,500.

This might seem like a lot, but most machines will make back their cost in savings within a year – scroll down to see our exact breakdown of franking versus stamps savings.


Is franking machine rental right for your business?

If you can’t afford to pay a large upfront sum, and you don’t want to be drawn into a lengthy lease-to-buy contract, it’s worth considering renting a franking machine. Franking rental deals start from as little as £16 per month, and the machine may be covered by warranty for the length of the contract.


How much can franking save your business?

The financial benefits of franking mail are so great that even small businesses sending a low volume of post stand to save heaps of cash. Quite frankly, you’d be mad not to do it.

Franking prices are around 12% cheaper than standard stamp prices. You purchase credit from your supplier, and the franking machine automatically subtracts the exact cost of postage from your account for each item processed.

Franking prices vs stamps
Delivery serviceStampsFrankingAnnual saving*
1st Class letters95p84p£2,761
2nd Class letters68p60p£2,008

* For businesses sending 100 letters on every working day, given there are 251 working days in 2022

Mailmark franking

To get an even better franking rate, you can use Mailmark franking, which uses a barcode.

Not all machines are approved to print these barcodes, and those do tend to cost a little more.

You'll save 18% on First Class letters with Mailmark franking versus stamps, and 25% on Second Class post.

Prices accurate as of April 2022.

Mailmark franking prices vs standard franking
Delivery serviceStandard franking pricesMailmark franking pricesAnnual saving*
1st Class letters84p78p£1,506
2nd Class letters60p51p£2,761

* For businesses sending 100 letters a day on every working day


Next steps: How to get a franking machine

Getting free franking machine quotes with Expert Market is easy as 1, 2, 3…

Step 1: Fill in our quick form so we know your requirements — it only takes a minute

Step 2: We match you with the most suitable suppliers for your business — they’ll be in touch with tailored quotes

Step 3: You choose the franking machine you need, and the supplier will set it up for you. Simple!

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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).