Any automated way to print and stuff envelopes?
July 30, 2013 2:11 PM   Subscribe

What is the cost for a machine that stuffs regular-size papers (8.5x11 and A4) into an envelope (folded) or larger manilla envelope (no folding)? Any tips on how to get one used/for the lowest possible price?
posted by jsturgill to Technology (8 answers total)
This place calls them "folder inserters".

Here's a liquidator that was selling one for $1000. Here's one sold as surplus for about the same.
posted by supercres at 2:19 PM on July 30, 2013

I can't help you with stuffers but (and possibly you know about this already) you can find machines that just fold (but don't stuff) for a couple hundred bucks or cheaper, just Google around.
posted by Wretch729 at 2:24 PM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: The main thing I'm curious about is actually stuffing un-folded papers (10 or 20 pages) into manilla folders. Automatic paper clipping would be nice as well.
posted by jsturgill at 3:37 PM on July 30, 2013

Pitney Bowes, Mailcrafters and Bell & Howell made (and may still make) envelope inserters that will flat stuff 9" x 12" mailing envelopes, with 20+ pages of inserted material, per envelope. However, these were/are generally not the kind of affordable "tabletop" folder/inserters linked by supercres, but large automated units that mail houses bought for 3 shift contract work. Unless you've repetitively got tens of thousands of such envelopes to stuff per week, it's unlikely such units would be cost or space effective for you.

Another option might be to contract with a mail house in your area, who can bulk print, staple/clip/bind, stuff envelopes, seal and deliver your materials (or any subset of services), and get you bulk prices on expendables like paper, envelopes, and postage (if you mail).
posted by paulsc at 4:09 PM on July 30, 2013

What volume do you need to do? 100s 1000s 10,000s?
posted by dottiechang at 5:21 PM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: Maybe 100s per month.
posted by jsturgill at 10:16 PM on July 30, 2013

Along the line of dottiechang, if you can mail 200 at a time (and are in the U.S), a mailhouse might save you money. At quantities of 200, you qualify for bulk mail pricing. A maihouse can give you an estimate of what they'll charge you, plus the postage. It might not save you money, but it might be cheaper than your time stuffing envelopes. Check with small printshops - they usually offer mailing services too.
posted by hydra77 at 11:43 PM on July 30, 2013

If you can get them collated from the printer, it shouldn't take you more than an hour to stuff 100 envelopes after the first time. Get envelopes that are just slightly oversized.

Maybe they have improved, but I used to work with an automatic collate/fold/staple/stuff machine, and the thing would have been a lot more trouble to get set up and clear the occasional paper jams from for 100 items than it would have been worth.

un-folded papers (10 or 20 pages)

If every envelope will have a different combination of papers, it would make absolutely no sense to have an automated envelope stuffer unless you have some sort of difficulty with physically being able to place papers in an envelope.
posted by yohko at 11:57 PM on July 30, 2013

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