Why are Labels so Important?
When it comes to franked mail, no matter which make or model of machine a business might possess, choosing the correct, compatible label is a must.
Not only do labels aid essential legibility, but because they come in a wide range of sizes (as well as a variety of colours) they also help ensure that even the largest, most awkwardly shaped of parcels can be date stamped with the correct amount of postage and addressed with relative ease. Additionally, their use is recommended by The Royal Mail, especially for coloured and/or patterned envelopes.
What kind of Labels are Available
Franking labels are available for both manual and automated machines. They come in boxes containing perforated self adhesive strips of single or double labels, some of which are cassette fed in order to speed up the ink drying process.
Perhaps the best known suppliers, approved by Royal Mail, are Pitney Bowes, Neopost, FP Mailing and Frama, all of whose franking machines and related postal products enjoy a large market share.
Where can I Buy Labels for Franking Machines?
Naturally these suppliers do recommend use of their own branded labels, but that's not to say others can't be used. It is common practice for businesses looking to save money to invest in low priced compatibles, but, in choosing to do so, one must ensure the compatible does fit the specific requirements of the machine and the paper is of sufficient quality in order to guard against the unacceptable smudging and blurring of ink.
Reputable websites will almost certainly provide a guide as to which of their products is suitable for use in most, if not all, of the machines on the market today. Websites include Label Planet, Mailing Supplies Online, Stationary Stores and Amazon.
Franking machine labels are generally sold in boxes of 1000 (500 sheets, 2 labels per sheet) regardless of size or whether the labels are double or single, though smaller (sample) boxes of 200 are also available, as are sheets which contain a single label large enough to allow space for company advertising. Sizes stated on the guide should be exact, as should the presence of any margins or templates.
Almost all suppliers provide a good financial incentive for buying in bulk and because it is in the interest of businesses, both large and small, to ensure they are sufficiently stocked, it makes sense when placing an order to request a larger amount. A 25% saving when buying 10,000 labels as opposed to 1,000 is not uncommon and free shipping on such orders often applies.
Franking Machine Labels: Not just a One Trick Pony
As well as adding postage to letters and parcels, franking labels are now also used to pay charges for incorrect postage. With changes in mailing costs, according to size as well as weight, having come into effect in recent years, underpayment for mailed items has become more common place than ever.
Businesses are all too often contacted by Royal Mail with demands for full payment on those items sent to their customers underpaid and, although the items are still delivered, the business, in turn, incurs an additional charge. To save the business time, this charge can now be paid by using a franking label from the same machine used on the original package to state the total penalty and additional postage.
Indeed, there are many reasons as to why today's businesses decide to adopt this modern method of mailing, not least of all long term costs and convenience. So when investing in that all round concept which is franked mail, it pays, not only to consider carefully which machine to choose, but also its accessories. Labels, for all they may seem a small and, at times, near insignificant feature, can ultimately prove just as vital as anything else in a company's bid for success.