Royal Mail Smartstamp - avoid queing at the postoffice.

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Perhaps the worst part of ebaying, apart from the fees, is queing at the post office, and standing for ages whilst they weigh your items and ask the same questions over and over.

You could buy a franking machine, but lets face it, they are pretty expensive, and you need a licence...

There is an alternative though, called Smartstamp, this is a software package available from the Royal Mail that allows you to print your own stamps, from the comfort of your home.

You simply pay up front for your postage, then print out stamps as and when needed, simple really!

You can not only print stamps, but also print the address, even custom logos to make your postage more professional, its very easy to use, but you will need to invest in some accurate scales as you need to weigh the items yourself. Dont use cheap scales, as your customers will be annoyed if the have to pay extra postage and handling fees when you get the weights wrong.....

It has some drawbacks, such as it does cost about five pounds a month, JUST TO USE IT, thats on TOP of the cost of your postage. You can save a little by paying for a year up front, but considering how using the package is saving the Royal Mail money, its a bit of a cheek that they charge you.

Their marketing department seems to be run by idiots also, as I have had offers sent to me for freebies, only to be emailed (after claiming them) that it was a mistake and only available to new customers! Talk about looking after existing customers....not.....

Those things aside, its great to be able to put aside a fixed amount of money for postage, and not worry about running out of money (as you have set it aside for postage earlier). Being able to know how much postage costs, and for different services (parcel force, recorded, next day, first, second class) etc is useful as you can give accurate quotes for different services to your buyers.

As the postage is allready done before you go to the post office, you just need to hand them over, and they wont need to weigh them all (be warned though, some post offices are a pain in the rear end, and WILL insist on weighing all the items, a good post office wont though.)

I seem to have had a few parcels go missing if smartstamped and put in a post box, so I recommend handing them over at the postoffice AND getting a proof of posting for them (write one out before hand, the post office will give you a pad of them for free if you ask nicely)

To find smartstamp, just go to royalmail.com and look for the link!

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