More and more businesses are investing in a set of parcel scales, so that they can keep on top of postage costs and pre-empt what a courier will quote for out-going goods.
However, depending on your business, your out-going goods could be massive, bulky consignments, or small but valuable packages - or anywhere in between. What are the best parcel scales to go for? We’ve put together this handy guide - six tips when buying a parcel scale - to help you invest in the right type of parcel scales for your business.
1) You get what you pay for
Obvious, really, but parcel scales are like anything else: you get what you pay for. Marsden have worked with many businesses in the past who have preferred to go for cheaper parcel scale solutions and saved money up front. However, after a year or two they’re needing to replace them.
Spending a little bit more will mean your parcel scales will last a whole lot longer. Plus, as bench scales and parcel scales have become much more competitively-priced in recent years, you may find you don’t need to spend as much on your weighing scales as you’re expecting. The Marsden B-200 Bench Scale, for example, is a popular parcel scale with a massive 300kg capacity (although smaller capacities are available), highly accurate and just £85.
2) Stick to digital parcel scales - for accuracy and reliability
Analogue weighing scales are becoming few and far between, the reason being that, aside from them being less widely available than their digital scale counterparts, they’re prone to failing sooner.
Analogue weighing scales have more moving parts than a digital parcel scale, meaning there are more parts to go wrong over time. Plus, often the accuracy of analogue weighing scales is questionable.
3) Match the capacity of the scales to what you’re likely to be sending
Any set of parcel scales you buy will have a set capacity. Now, you will likely find that the higher the capacity you choose, the less accurate the scale is.
As an example, the Marsden B-200 Bench Scale comes in several capacity options; the largest capacity, the 300kg version, gives readings to the nearest 100g; choose a smaller capacity however, like 15kg, and graduations will be as accurate as 5g.
So, consider the parcels you normally weigh, and what the largest parcels are likely to be that you’re sending out. Remember - if you pick a digital parcel scale with a capacity much higher than you need, your weighing will be less accurate than you need it to be, and you’ll possibly end up paying a little more in postage than you need to.
4) Think about the shape and size of your goods, too
The size and shape of the goods you’re sending out will dictate the size of the weighing platform you need. Of course, if your parcels are small, a digital bench scale will suffice - these come in various sizes and capacities and usually with integrated displays and platforms.
For larger consignments, you may want to think about separate weighing platforms, and even look at industrial platform scales like these if you’re going to be sending out pallet-sized deliveries.
5) Consider a remote indicator if what you send is generally quite big
Of course, if you’re at the larger end of the scale, you may want to think about separate indicators and weighing platforms. These offer a little more flexibility and durability if you’re weighing goods in a warehouse environment.
For larger goods, there is more freedom and flexibility with a weighing platform and separate indicator, particularly if the indicator is battery operated...
6) Mains operated or rechargeable?
...which brings us to our final point - how the weighing scale is powered. Many parcel scales will be both mains and rechargeable battery operated. Rechargeable batteries can often give an impressive length of time between charges, sometimes as much as 200 hours. And with some having auto power off options too, you’ll be fine for weeks, maybe months, before you need to recharge the batteries.
Of course, mains powered digital parcel scales are great, but you’re dependent on a nearby mains supply. If you’re using a separate weighing platform and indicator to weigh your out-going goods, battery power may be much more convenient.
If you’re unsure about which parcel scales are the best solution for your needs, just get in touch with a member of the Marsden team here.