4 MIN READ | OFFICE COPIERS
Are you considering a copier purchase or lease, but are not sure what you should be asking before beginning a conversation with a vendor? This article will give you insight into the most common copier acquisition questions we receive from customers and the questions customers should be asking when they reach out to a provider.
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When Should I Get a Copier?
Candidates that would benefit from a copier lease include:
- Companies with ten or more printers
- Companies whose printers are in high demand (need to purchase ink and toner often)
- Companies who experience a lot of equipment downtime
- Companies who need additional features and security not offered in desktop models
It's important to note here that there may be savings through managed print services even if you aren't in the market for a copier.
If you're considering a copier purchase, make sure you've completed a cost analysis before reaching out to a vendor.
How Much Does a Copier Cost?
We answer this question in greater detail in our article about how much a copier costs, but the short answer is that it depends.
Copier purchases can range from as low as $2,500-$60,000 per machine and service can range from less than $0.01 to around $0.10 per page if you are using color printing.
Copier brand, speed, and features all play into the overall cost of your copier, but the true differentiation will be the service you receive by the vendor. For instance, you might be able to get a lower service price, but the savings will be negligible compared to the risk of extended downtime.
Remember, copier dealers who offer you much cheaper services than their competitors are most likely offering inferior service. This happens because they have less profit margins to create effective service with, which means they are most likely training lower quality service technicians or have lower quality tools.
Should I Buy or Lease a Copier?
As an office technology provider, we have customers on both ends of the spectrum ranging from those who lease copiers to those who buy. The decision to buy or lease a copier should be based on your business' long-term needs.
Buying a copier gives a company the benefit of not making long-term payments toward a machine, and though this does technically save money over the course of a would-be lease, the amount is pretty small.
On the other hand, copier leases can be easier to budget for and often include automatic upgrades at the end of the lease term.
Should I Buy a Used Copier?
Like a car, customers can find a lot of value in purchasing a copier used. Sometimes, used copiers are sold that are so new that they're almost right out of the box. Instances like these can arise when customers quickly return or exchange a new copier they don't need anymore.
This creates a chance for a company to lease or purchase a virtually new copier for a lower price. Great used copier opportunities can also come after a machine has been in service around three years and the customer/owner wishes to upgrade their machine(s) early.
In this scenario, make sure the volume placed on the copier is comparable to the volume the machine is designed to handle. If you don't look out for this, it would be the equivalent of you purchasing a car that had skipped one too many oil changes. It still works, but its lifespan will be cut short.
RELATED: Used Copier: What You Didn't Know
Should I Use a Dealer or Manufacturer?
To buy or lease a copier, you can reach out directly to the copier manufacturer or to a dealer. While some companies prefer to "cut out the middleman" by going straight to the manufacturer because they think they'll get better service and lower prices, this is not always an accurate mindset.
There are a couple of copier manufacturer vs. dealer myths that you should be informed about:
- Manufacturers charge lower prices− In terms of the machine, this is not true. Manufacturers give the same discounts to their vendors as they do their branches. You may save some money on equipment, but that's due to individual pricing from vendor to vendor (an internal business decision), not because they can't receive the same price from the manufacturer.
- Manufacturers provide better service− Manufacturers require their private vendors to train at the same facilities as their internal service technicians.
- My company has too many branches for a local dealer to service− Dealers are often part of the same large national network that manufacturers use to service customers, which means that a local dealer can service a business states away just like a manufacturer could.
How to Make the Final Decision
After you've reached out to a copier vendor and received a quote, make sure you understand everything in your copier service agreement. If you don't, you could be setting yourself up for a situation where you're backed into a corner, should you ever wish to cancel your service.
If you don't understand something in your contract, make sure you ask, because contracts should be designed to protect the vendor and the customer.
Make sure you are comparing comparable products when choosing between a few models. We run into this all the time with potential customers who ask for a quote for a specific piece of equipment but receive a quote from a competing vendor that has given them the price for an inferior machine.
Don't let a competing vendor provide you with a cheaper quote on an inferior product. If you do, make sure you give the other vendor an opportunity to provide you with a second quote that includes a comparable machine. It's the only way to truly compare.
By remembering to ask the questions above and consider the answers fully, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision that will help your company's bottom line while increasing its efficiency.
RELATED: How to Cancel Your Copier Contract
Buying a copier can be a more stressful decision than one may think. There's so many features to consider that making the final decision can quickly shift from a simple to extremely complex decision.
We hope that you keep these questions in mind when buying your next copier. For more office technology-related content, follow our blog!
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.