COPIER PURCHASE PRICING | 5.5 MIN READ
Print devices, from desktop MFPs to commercial grade office copiers, have a wide range in pricing. Most printers purchased at a retailer are more consistently priced because you pay for the device as-is, straight out of the box. But when comparing offers from multiple copier dealers, how do ranges in pricing vary so greatly?
Even when you receive a quote of the same make, like Canon, there can be price differences from dealer to dealer. Is one dealer just trying to make more money than they other?
The more likely scenario is that the details of your machine vary from quote to quote. Whether it is the hardware, the features, or the service pricing, these factors will change the price of your quote. Understanding what is in your copier pricing quote is the best way to make an informed decision.
This article will walk you through the different pricing considerations you should considered when evaluating a quote from a copier dealer.
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The price of your print device will come down to three major areas:
Hardware references the engine of your multifunction printer. This will determine the speed your print device can output print jobs, as well as the volume it can do per month.
Need a print device that can output a large volume of print jobs every month and doesn't take forever to warm-up and get the job finished? You have to pay for that.
But not every organization needs a copier that can print in record time or needs to be able to print hundreds of thousands of pages per month. Evaluate the needs of your organization before you begin a conversation with a copier dealer representative.
True multifunction printers do more than just copy and print. They may be able to create booklets, staple documents together, or even redact portions of a document to satisfy confidentiality agreements. Features are add-ons that will dramatically affect the price of an copier that is otherwise the same as another one in your quote.
These features may include:
- Booklet finisher
- Software add-ons
- Hole puncher
- Expanded paper capacity trays
Service is paid for by the cost-per-copy rate you have agreed to within your service agreement. Sometimes the service agreement is rolled in with your lease (for organizations that wish to only receive one bill) and sometimes it is separate.
This portion of the service agreement will be different for black and white prints compared to color prints, and your service cost will likely vary based on the age of the machines.
This is why the service costs on a new machine are often higher, and it is common for your service rate to increase as the machine ages (which will be notated within your agreement at the time of signing).
Comparing Your Quotes
Now that you understand what goes into your copier quote to create the final pricing, it's important to also understand what to look for within your quote.
Unless you are doing business with a copier dealer you already know and trust, you will likely seek different quotes to get the best deal for your organization. Keep in mind, though, that the best deal doesn't always mean the lowest monthly payment.
A few things to consider when looking at quotes from copier dealers:
If there are pricing discrepancies, make sure that you are comparing like hardware. Is the output capability similar for per month volumes? Which machine is faster? Have you tested each machine to ensure you are pleased with the quality of the output? These are questions you should be asking when looking at the hardware in each quote.
A final question that should be asked when evaluating hardware is whether or not machines are a similar age. No, I don't mean the year the model was produced. I mean whether or not it is new or used.
Just like a car, a new copier will cost more than a used copier. But also like a car, it is much more likely for a used copier to require more service. As a result, it is likely that your service price will be higher for the used model, but the hardware/machine cost will be higher for the newer model.
Keep in mind, though, that used doesn't mean "bad." Some used machines are only used because they are out of the box. A customer thought they wanted that model and then upgraded shortly after install. Now that device is used and you can reap the benefits of the savings.
This doesn't mean, though, that a competing copier dealer can't compete with a used model being offered. If you're trying to compare apples-to-apples, make sure the quotes are for both new or both used.
Your organization likely doesn't need every feature available for your device. Likewise, there will be some features you definitely need.
If there are price differences for similar machines, double check the features/add-ons listed. Make sure they match, and make sure they cover your organization's needs. Features can range from $200-$2,500 per add-on, so this can add up significantly if left unchecked.
When reviewing your proposal, if the dealer you'd like to do business with is higher (and out of budget), double check and make sure there aren't any add-ons that can be removed from the quote.
For the most part, this is the most subjective of the items because the dealer has latitude to raise or lower the price at will. Normally, this is lowered for higher volume customers or customers using all new equipment.
If you see differences in service fees, check to see if there is a monthly minimum and ensure that your quote is comparing similar criteria.
Service costs are the most subjective because that is where the dealer makes their money. It's also where the dealer has the most control of the quality you receive.
Today, multifunction printers are similar in reliability, so if you are using your print devices for basic office printing, nearly any brand can satisfy this. Where you run into problems is with the service you choose.
Your print device is only as reliable as the service you have attached to it. A reliable copier with unreliable service will become an unreliable copier.
Our advice: don't squabble over a few more dollars per month just to get the same deal on service. Remember, if you're trying to lower the price of service for the company that you hope to choose, there's a reason you want to pick them.
It's likely that they come with the highest recommendations, you trust them, their operation seems more organized, or a combination of several factors. They are able to accomplish this through their higher service costs. Higher costs often mean a company is able to hire and retain the best service technicians who are not overworked and able to get to fixing your print device sooner.
There are many ways you can save money when purchasing/leasing a copier or other print device, but ensuring great service should be the highest priority.
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Posted by Bernie Schom
Bernie Schom is the Vice President of Sales at Standard Office Systems and has been in the copier and printer industry for over three decades.