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What Should I Consider When Buying a Postal Scale?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Buying a postal scale is a great way to increase mailing efficiency while reducing costs and time spent waiting in line at the post office. There are basically two types of postal scale: manual and electronic or digital. A manual scale uses a spring to weigh letters and parcels. After you get a reading, you need to consult a printed table of current postage prices to know how much postage to use. Manual scales are cheaper than electronic scales, but have a greater risk of human error.

If cost is not an issue, consider buying a digital postal scale. Not only are these more accurate than manual ones, but they also come preprogrammed with postal rate information, so you don't need to do the math yourself. When postal rates change, you can simply adjust the prices. Some models offer the possibility of connecting to the Internet to download updated postal rate information.

When considering which postal scale to buy, there are a few other things to keep in mind. If you will be mailing a lot of oversized packages, you need a postal scale with a large weighing platform and a weight capacity of more than 2 lbs (0.9 kg). If you plan to use it mainly for envelopes, then a smaller model might suit your needs.

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Another feature to look for in a postal scale is postage rate comparison, with which the scale provides you with different rates for mailing the package. This usually includes First Class, Priority Mail, and Parcel Post. Some postal scales even provide pricing options for FedEx and UPS.

Advanced models allow the user to connect the postal scale to one's own postage meter, which must be leased from the post office or an authorized mailing equipment manufacturer. Once you've determined the exact postage needed on a scale, the postage meter can print out a stamp. Having a meter is great if you need to track and control the money spent on postage.

For offices and public spaces, it is possible to buy a postal scale with password protection to protect it from unauthorized use. This is especially useful if the scale is connected to a postage meter. Finally, look around for a postal scale that is easy to use and maintain. Having a scale should make your mailing needs painless, not the opposite.

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