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Saga Digital Postal Scale Review

This article represents the author's own optinion and may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more information.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Last month, not knowing how much packages weigh has cost me over $50 in shipping mistakes while I've been selling some things I no longer need. To fix that I purchased this Saga Mercury 66 lb. Digital Postal Scale and after about a dozen shipments it's practically paid for itself given it's low price.

This model from Saga comes in 3 different versions with differing maximum weights of 45 lb., 66lb. and 86 lb. If I knew then what I know now I would have purchased the Saga 86 lb. Digital Postal Scale because it's not much more and it's the only version that has a backlit display which makes it easier to read.

How A Postal Scale Saves Money on Shipping

Before I get to the review lets go over why you'd want a postal scale. Except for Priority Flat Rate boxes the weight of the package is the biggest factor in determining the cost of shipping a package. By knowing the weight of your packages you can accurately determine the cost of various shipping options to use in eBay listings.

A few times I made a mistake of looking at similar items listed by other sellers to see what they were charging for shipping and just used the same value. For some heavier items that wind up underestimating the cost and eating the difference. In one case it was 40% of what I sold the item for.

Even when I don't make mistakes estimating the weight I've been taking larger packages to a Authorized Shipping Partner that packs and ships them so I don't have to buy and store a lot of boxes I may never need. I didn't realize that they add on a 30% surcharge to the standard shipping rates.

Using Avery #5126 Internet Shipping Labels I'm able to buy and print my own postage labels online for FedEx, UPS and USPS. When you print postage online for USPS there's a slight discount. If you link your PayPal account and UPS accounts together there are additional discounts of up to 30%. The discount for Priority Mail isn't that big but for UPS ground packages I'm paying over 50% less than I was at the third party shipping store. I don't know if The UPS Store shipping rates are cheaper since it's less convenient to get to.

The Avery Labels can be placed over other labels which has allowed me to reuse boxes I receive. I get a few shipments every month and it's easier to reuse then to recycle.

More often than not I try and ship Priority Mail Flat Rate because the rates are usually cheaper. You can order Free Priority Mail Boxes online. The ones that have saved me the most money have been the Regional Rate boxes. They're similar to Flat Rate except you pay more for different zones. Many times the Regional Rate Box A costs less than a Padded Flat Rate Envelope.

Being able to weigh and print my own shipping gives me more options and has saved a decent amount of money so far.

Accuracy

The scale claims to be accurate down to 0.1 ounce and that corresponds to my experience. At the Post Office I can just drop off pre-paid shipping at the counter without having to wait online but I've been choosing to wait online to get a receipt and to compare the weight. The weight I got from the Saga Digital Postal Scale has always been plus or minus 0.1 ounce compared to weighings from the expensive postal scales the Post Office uses. Same goes for shipments I've dropped off for UPS.

To get the most accurate readings I always put the postal scale on a flat, level surface, turn it on, press the Tare button to zero out the scale (just in case) then place the package on the scale. Readings are always consistent when I weigh the same package multiple times too.

The max resolution of these scales is 0.1 oz or 5 grames. It can weigh items as light as 0.2 oz  or 5 grams. You can change the mod to display pounds, pounds and ounces or kilograms.

Hold Function

The scale is pretty small (I keep it in a desk drawer between uses) which makes it hard to read the digital display on very large packages. To solve this there's a Hold Button.



Before placing the package on the scale press the Hold button then put the package on the scale, wait 5 seconds, remove the package and the weight will still be on the scale.

It takes some time but it's worth dealing with a Hold button instead of getting a more expensive scale with a USB port or a display on a cord.

By the way. The Saga Postal Scales have "USB" in the title and description. There is no USB port on the Saga Postal Scale and you cannot connect the scale to your computer. The provided USB cable is USB on one end and a jack that plugs into the power port of the scale. It's provided as an option to power the scale through a USB port instead of using the batteries (included) or included AC adapter.

9V DC power port for USB cable or AC Adapter
2 included AA batteries underneath

Lift Up Lid

The top of the scale lifts up allowing you to place envelopes vertical on the scale. I haven't used this often but it has come in handy with large envelopes.



Placing them flat on the scale sometimes obscures the digital display. Placing large envelopes vertically allows me to see the display.

Underneath the lid is also a USPS Rate Chart. Some people might find this useful but I just check rates online. The print on the rate chart is small.

Conclusion

This is one of the cheapest postal scales I could find. It's mostly made of plastic but the construction and materials look like they can hold up to my occasional use (half dozen packages a week or so.) It's very accurate and in a couple of more shipments will have already paid for itself.

The scale isn't limited to weighing postage. You can weigh other items up to it's stated max rate. You can use it as a kitchen scale. I use mine to weigh a pet that has some health issues. Just place an empty box on the scale, press Tare to zero out the scale, remove box, press hold, put the pet in the box, put the box on the scale.

There's a sticker on the bottom of the scale that says "Not Legal For Trade". This means you can't use the scale to sell things by weight (apples, gold, etc.).

Overall I'm very glad I purchased it. In a couple of more shipments it will have saved me enough money to pay for itself and I've been able to find some other uses for it. I only wish I paid a couple bucks more for the 86 Lb version for the back-lit display.

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this review. It was very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the heads up about the USB part!

    ReplyDelete

 

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