Your experience with postage meters for small business

For the last ten years I’ve been using a Pitney Bowes Personal Post postage meter for my small publishing business. It’s worked like a champ the whole time. The only complaints I have are that it’s not very fast, it doesn’t auto-feed, and it doesn’t seal at the same time. But it’s small and light, which is a big plus.

PB is offering me a more sophisticated unit (DM 100) at a lower monthly rental rate, but there are several problems. It’s much bigger, which is something of an issue, they don’t have a local office where I could see it and test it for myself, and they want me to sign a 27-month lease that I can’t get out of even if I change my business or go out of business. (Although not extremely likely, these are possibilities.)

They are also implying that the technology of the PPM is outdated and may soon not be permitted by postal regs. (Does anyone know if that’s true?)

So I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with the DM 100, or with any other comparable postage meters or other solutions that might be suitable for a small business like mine. I publish a business newsletter that goes out in 9x12 flat envelopes to about 300 subscribers every month. In addition, I send out renewals and invoices in #10 envelopes. Total output is about 500 pieces a month.

The ideal would be something about as small and light as the Personal Post meter that is faster (> 10 ppm) and also can seal 9x12 envelopes. A slight increase in weight is acceptable.

Options that won’t work: any computer solution that prints directly on the envelope (unless you can point me to a reasonably priced printer that prints on 9x12 envelopes), or that prints on labels that would have to be stuck on the envelopes, especially if the “stamp” is specific to the address.

Any ideas?

I think this has less to do with postal regs and more to do with Pitney Bowes’ insistance to use their automated system to re-fill meters with postage. They are doing away with actual human help on that score.

PB recently (last year) forced the DM100 onto my small business as well. I use it to seal 9x13 envelopes with photographs in them…usually about 500-700 pieces a month. I feel that this one does a pretty nice job of consistently sealing, with minimal jammed pieces. As for the auto-refill, it’s just set up to a phone line and when you need more postage, it’s a button press away.

All in all, I can’t complain about the DM100. I have to spend a small chunk of time feeding my mail when the time comes, but at my (and yours it seems) quantity needs, it does just fine.