Postage Glossary

Whether you are considering purchasing a postage meter or are trying to make some important marketing decisions, it is important to be familiar with some key mailing concepts. This postage meter glossary is designed to provide some definitions to key terms and introduce users to key concepts.

Base - A device that moves the envelope through a meter in order for it to be stamped. When people refer to base, they usually mean 4 things: the feeder, the stacker, sealer, and the tape dispenser.

Feeder - A device that is used to automatically guide envelopes through the meter.

Folders - a device that folds envelopes automatically. Some devices have settings where you can select the number of folds and the folding size.

Franking - a term that is synonymous with stamping. This term is used more often in Europe.

Franking Machine - another name for a postage meter. This is usually used to describe a system that places postage on an envelope.

Inserter - machine that inserts letters or other mail into envelopes. Some inserters actually fold and seal the envelope.

Meter - The part of a postage system that stores the cost and prints the postage.

Printers (mailing) - These allow you to print customized marketing messages and information on envelopes. They are special printers designed for mailings.

Printers (postage) - This allows you to print postage that can be applied to mail. Most of these are designed for packages or convenience.

Rates - the tiers of pricing that is set by the postal service for shipping an envelope or package. These are usually published in charts based on weight or volume.

Scale - a device that weighs the envelope of package and calculates the postage cost.

Sealer - a device that applies liquid to top of the envelope and closes it.

Sorter - A device that processes incoming mail and separates it into groups. This machine is usually used by organizations with a high volume of incoming mail.

Stacker - a device found in some postage systems that clears the envelope from the meter and then places it into a pile or group.

Stamp - A small adhesive sold by the government that serves as evidence that postage has been paid for.

Tape Dispenser - A device feeds adhesive tape through a meter. The postage is applied to the tape and affixed to a package or envelope.