Metered Mail vs. Stamped Mail: What's the Difference Mr. Postman?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 20, 2019

Jul 20, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Stamps have been around for a while now. In fact, the world's first postage stamp, known as Penny Black, was mailed in the United Kingdom in 1840. 

When people think about mailing letters and other items through the postal service, they usually only think of the stamp method. But if they wanted to save on money and time, they should probably also consider metered postage. 

Read on, and we will walk you through the differences between stamped and metered mail and help you decide which is best for your postage.

What Is a Stamp?

A stamp is an adhesive-backed piece of paper that attaches to your mail. It acts as a receipt, showing that the postage has been paid for. A stamp for a First Class Mail Letter costs $0.55. 

What Is Metered Mail?

Just like a stamp, metered postage is a receipt showing that the mail has been paid for. The main physical difference is that metered postage is printed directly onto the mail, unlike a stamp that is placed on top of it. 

Metered mail is typically used by businesses who need to send out a high volume of mail. With that said, metered mail can also be used for individual pieces of mail as well.

Metered postage for a First Class Mail Letter costs $0.50. To pay for metering, the USPS offers a service called Postage Now, where people can pay via an electronic funds transfer system.

The Differences Between Stamps and Metered Mail

Many people will choose stamps simply because it is what they know. Also, if you are someone who rarely sends mail, then running to the post office and paying a relatively small amount to mail a letter doesn't seem that bad at all.

But if you are someone who regularly mails or if you are a business who sends mail in bulk, metered mailing may be the way to go. 

A big problem with stamps is that every time you run out, you need to run to the post office to buy more. With metered postage, you can print the postage right from your desk. 

Also, it can be confusing when it comes to how many stamps to put on a piece of mail. And if you are mailing a lot of different things, then it can get really hectic.

When you use a metering machine, the machine accurately weighs your mail and calculates the correct postage. Also, if you go with metered postage, you can avoid having to deal with any controversial stamps.

It's important to note that you can't buy a postage meter outright. Instead, you can lease one from an authorized dealer. And although there is only a 5 cent difference between metered and stamped First Class Mail, those costs can really add up.

See for yourself when it comes to the benefits of metered mail and get a quote today. 

Which Postage is Right for You?

Stamps are fine if you are sending mail every once in a while. But if you need to send out a lot through the postal system, then you should consider going with metered mail as it is often the more convenient and cost-efficient method.

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