PC Postage Saves Time, Money, and Headaches

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Stamps.com Pro offers quick one-screen labeling and integration with Word and Outlook for mail merges and printing.
Small businesses tend to do a lot of mailing and shipping. And "PC postage" services are a huge advance over the hassle of standing in line at the post office or using a postage meter.

Both Endicia.com and Stamps.com let you prepare and print stamped labels and envelopes on your computer; both also offer a host of time-saving features such as integration with your contacts database and real-time address verification, e-mail shipping and receipt notifications for both you and your recipient, scale integration, electronic generation of customs forms, pickup scheduling, supply ordering, and usage reports. Each provides deeply discounted third-party insurance and free delivery confirmation for Priority Mail.

I tried out both products, and found the Stamps.com Pro software much slicker and more intuitive than Endicia's DAZzle. With DAZzle, you must choose various options from menus and dialog boxes for every label, while Stamps.com Pro puts all key information in one window. Select a contact from your address book, check off a few boxes, click to weigh your item with the integrated scale (a scale for up to 5 pounds comes free with sign-up), and you're done.

I also liked the Stamps.com Pro Cost Code feature, which simplifies client billing and departmental accounting. On the other hand, Endicia's DAZzle shows a useful full-size preview of your envelope or label in the main window.

Both Endicia and Stamps.com can generate most classes of postage, including standard first-class mail.

Even with their monthly fees (Endicia starts at $10, and Stamps.com at $16), you'll likely save real money if your business does a lot of snail-mailing.

Note: Small businesses with more-limited mailing needs may want to consider Dymo's Desktop Mailing Solution.

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