It seemed like such a good plan. For their small businesses, several of our readers use postage printers from DYMO. The software that goes with these printers comes in two versions: free and $10 per month. The free version requires users to round their postage up slightly; the paid version does not. Then the company dropped a new rule on customers: if they want to use the free version of the software, they have to buy their labels from DYMO. If they want to keep using cheaper third-party labels, they have to pay $10/month for the service.
“They now require an activation code to be entered every 200 stamps printed, of course, the activation code is only available on Genuine Dymo Stamps rolls of stamps,” reader Adam grumbles. “Endicia/DYMO just lost our company’s business – we’re not going to be strong-armed by them.”
Depending on how many of the stamps you use, the $10/month plan could make financial sense, or it might not. Buying in bulk, customers can pay less than a penny per label for compatible off-brand stamps. The official labels cost around ten cents each. Once you’ve printed more than a hundred stamps in a month, buying the monthly plan is pretty much the same.
All that ignores the point, though–while the stamp/label printers are nice technology, the official labels are marked up to subsidize the stamp-printing service. “what used to be a free service for the life of Dymo label printers now carries a service charge, cleverly disguised within inflated prices on ‘genuine’ Dymo label stock,” points out Michael, another customer. One way or another, you have to pay.