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How to Use a Postal Scale

by Paul Sanders

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Envelopes in a post office with postal scales

One way to save money on shipping is to use a postal scale. By calculating exact postage for each package and envelope, you can avoid overpaying. Your postal scale can actually pay for itself with the amount you save on postage. Once your scale is set up, follow these simple instructions to start using it for shipping. All you'll need to get started is a postal scale, your computer and a printer that accepts labels or label sheets.

Using Postal Scales:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your scale. Read your user manual and follow all installation instructions for your postal scale. Each scale is different, with unique controls and menus. Some scales operate primarily from your computer, while others connect directly to the postage printer. Learn how to navigate your scale's menus and operate your postage meter and printer.

  2. Calibrate your scale. You won't need to calibrate your postal scale often, but it if you haven't done so during installation, do so now according to directions in your user manual.

  3. Select the proper units. Most scales will display weight in either metric or English units. You may need to switch modes to get either kilograms or pounds. Your postal scale may have other settings you will want to adjust, depending on the type of package or packages you are weighing.

  4. Weigh your package or letter. If you're weighing with a container, you may need to reset the scale by placing the container on the scale and pressing "Tare." Your postal scale will then disregard the weight of the container, and you can weigh the package.

  5. Print the postage. Your postal scale will send the package weight to your computer or printer. From there, you can follow the prompts to enter a recipient address, a return address and print a shipping label. You may need to change the settings on your computer to deal with the specific label size that you'll be using.

Tips:

  1. To print postage, you will probably need a postage meter installed. In most cases, the postage meter will require an Internet connection to communicate with the postal service's website.

  2. Check with your local postal service to see if postage metering is available and whether your postal scale is supported.

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