We say it often on this blog: Purchasing a copier or multi-function printer for your business is a big decision. It is a decision most businesses do not make everyday, so you want to make sure you make the right one. In my 20-plus years with Sharp, I have seen customers completely satisfied when they have selected a copier that fulfills all of their needs. I have also helped many clients that made decisions that were less than optimal make better decisions for the future.
What are the most common mistakes I have seen businesses make when purchasing a copier or multi-function printer? I have outlined them below so that you can learn from them and be confident in the decision you make for your business.
1. Not buying color
Many businesses avoid purchasing a copier or multi-function printer because, “Color is too expensive.” When you look at the price of a black-and-white copier and a color copier side-by-side, it may appear that the color copier is more expensive. But, are you outsourcing color? Are you paying extra for short runs? Are you throwing away changed documents? Are you printing color to inkjet or laser desktops? If you answered yes to any of these questions, purchasing a color copier or multi-function printer could pay for itself and save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
2. Not understanding the lease
How often do you read the full terms of service when signing up for online services like Facebook or Gmail? Probably not very often. Most people do not read privacy policies and terms of services. Often all of the legalese looks like Greek to us!
Work with your salesperson to make sure that you understand exactly what is in your lease. Get a copy of anything you sign and understand what it means before signing.
Questions you should ask include:
- How long is the term?
- Is it a dollar out lease or a fair market value lease?
- Can changes be made if your needs change?
3. Not understanding the service contract
Just like the lease on your new copier or multi-function printer, work with your salesperson to make sure you understand all that is included in your service contract. It is an ongoing expense for the next three to five years? Again, make sure you get a copy of anything you sign and understand what it means before signing.
Questions you should ask include:
- How many copies are included?
- What is the overage rate?
- What is NOT covered?
- Does it cover network or printing issues?
- Can it be changed annually?
4. Over or underbuying
Over or underbuying is an issue that affects more than just office equipment. Just think of real estate and life insurance—you could get into trouble with both if you over or underbuy. How do you make sure you purchase a copier or multi-function printer that is just right for your needs? Ask these questions:
- Does it have all of the functions I need?
- Is the copier the right size?
- Is it fast enough?
- Will it handle the number of copies I make?
- Will it last the length of the lease term?
5. Buying used or “certified pre-owned”
To save money, many businesses will buy a used or “certified pre-owned” multi-function printer or copier. Sure, this can save you money upfront, but how much will it cost your business in the long run? The piece of equipment may only last a few years, and you could end up purchasing two (or more) copiers when you could have purchased just one copier new. It also becomes harder to find parts and supplies as a copier ages (and has more problems).
While purchasing a certified pre-owned piece of equipment gives you some additional guarantees over a non-certified copier, it does not give you the same guarantees as purchasing from an authorized dealer. What happens if the vendor goes out of business? Who will back up those certified pre-owned guarantees? Purchasing a copier or multi-function printer from an authorized dealer such as Copeco gives you the guarantee of the dealer, as well as a manufacturer that will stand behind the product.
I hope these five tips will give you confidence when purchasing your next copier or multi-function printer for your business. If you are located in the the Canton, North Canton, Akron, Toledo areas or elsewhere in Ohio, contact us. We would be happy to walk you through the purchase process and help you pick the right copier for your business.