Bar coding for bulk mailing – does it really save a lot of money for non profits?

Many non profits are lead to believe that barcoding gives huge discounts when they bulk mail. What many organization do not realize is they must be CASS/PAVE certified. This certification is an expensive endeavor for smaller organizations.  Because of the expense for these certification the organization will actually lose money unless they are mailing out thousands of “mail pieces” at a time. Here is an example of the cost of non bar coded and bar coded for “mail pieces” for the not-profit industry.

Standard bulk mail – sorted – no barcodes – nonprofit: 11.5¢ to 17.4¢
Standard bulk mail – sorted – barcoded – nonprofit: 8.9¢ to 16.8¢

This information was found on the following website.

In addition, the website above also provides the way to cut the largest cost from bulk mailing. Sorting mail gives the greatest bang for the dollar. They advise the following: “Most of the savings in bulk mailing comes from sorting. Barcoding typically reduces your postage cost by anywhere from 0.3¢ to 2.3¢. The largest barcoding savings are for mailings that have more than 150 pieces going to the same 5-digit zip code, with smaller savings for mailings that are scattered among many zip codes without 150 pieces to any one zip code.”

Given the savings noted by the website using a maximum of 2.3¢ and a 300 piece mailing the organization would save $11.50. However, this savings is eaten up because the organization has to pay at least $20.00 each time to run the addresses list against the master USPS address list. The church must provide a print out of the addresses matching against the USPS master list called a Form 3553.

Unfortunately because of this it does not really pay to use barcodes on mailings unless the organization is mailing several thousand pieces of mail each time.

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