What is a Postage Meter?

A postage meter is a mailing system that prints postage directly on the envelope (or an adhesive tape/label) for any type of mail — first, second, third, or fourth class; air mail, registered mail, special delivery, or other special services. You load money directly onto the postage meter, and when postage is printed onto your mail, the amount is subtracted from your balance. 

The meter is the critical part of your mailing system. It prints the indicia and stores the postage.

The base is essentially an envelope handler, designed to transport the item to be stamped through the meter. The four main parts of a base include the feeder, sealer, stacker, and tape dispenser.

A feeder guides envelopes through the meter. Although you can get a low-end meter without a feeder, feeding a large mailing by hand can be pretty tedious.

A sealer moistens the envelope flap and closes it.

A stacker clears mail from the machine after it is stamped. Low-end stackers are no more than a catch tray placed at the edge of the meter. Power stackers can stack more envelopes by using a conveyor mechanism to move the stamped pieces away from the meter’s edge.

Tape Dispenser
In some cases, it is not possible to print an indicia directly on to a mailing piece – like with a large package. In these cases, strips of adhesive paper, called tape, are fed through the meter and affixed to the package. The tape is stamped with the indicia or postage amount.

A scale weighs letters or packages, based on the then-current rates, and indicates how much postage to apply to your mail piece. Interfaced models automatically apply that amount when running the piece through the meter. Some scales also allow you to rate shop to see if a different carrier is less expensive. FP RateGuard insurance is available to guard against multiple USPS® rate increases.

What will the actual “stamp” that the postage meter creates look like?



Do you send out mail? We have a full line of postage meters designed to meet and match every need. Only have about a dozen pieces of mail a day? We have a postage meter that is just for you. Eliminating manual stamping and sealing while saving money on each piece of postage allows you to have more time and money to spend on your business. Have thousands of pieces of mail? Our enterprise series of postage meters has you covered. The PostBase Pro can process up to 140 letters per minute, and can be equipped with a dynamic scale. A dynamic scale can process different weights and sizes of mail at once.