These days, you can lease just about anything in the realm of office machines and equipment, from all-in-one printers to the software that controls them.
Because technology is changing rapidly, you may be thinking about getting a new copy machine or replacing an out-of-date laser printer. And, if you aren’t currently in an equipment lease, you might be weighing the pros and cons of buying and leasing. Of course, both options have their advantages.
When you buy a printer outright, it’s yours. No monthly payments. No financing hassles. However, the purchase of a high-dollar, all-in-one printer can certainly put a dent in your available business capital. That’s one of the top reasons most of my customers choose to lease copiers and printers. Other advantages include:
- Structured payments to match your business cash flow, cycles or budget.
- Longer leases with fixed payments on the equipment – sometimes up to 60 months or more.
- Tax deductions, as lease payments are an operating expense.
- Access to equipment upgrades that will keep you productive and competitive.
- Improved balance sheet ratios because lease obligations are’t capitalized.
- Options for purchase or lease renewal at the end of your term.
You’re probably already familiar with all these positives. Virtually every company that specializes in printer and copier sales and service will be happy to discuss this list with you. However, beyond that basic decision between buying and leasing, there’s a deeper question I encourage people to ask.
How do you know if your dealer is on your side?
A Good Copier Dealer Should Be a Customer Advocate
In the 14 years I’ve been handling copier and printer leases, I’ve come to recognize the importance of being a customer’s advocate and chief negotiator. That responsibility starts on day one when I or someone on my team reviews leasing vendor options for a local business in Canton, Akron, Youngstown or elsewhere in Ohio. It continues right up through the final payment and all those important (but often forgotten) end-of-lease obligations.
It’s important to recognize that you, the customer, don’t have much leverage with or access to the leasing company a dealer chooses. For the most part, you are dependent on the dealer throughout the entire process.
Questions to Ask Before Signing a Copier Lease
So, even though you may know the ins and outs of office equipment leasing, how well do you know the copier/printer dealer that you’re working with? Before you sign on the proverbial dotted line, I encourage you to ask your dealer’s leasing manager these questions because, at some point, it will save you time, money and stress.
- How long have you worked with the leasing companies you use?
- How well do your leasing companies understand the office equipment industry?
- I need special terms with my lease. To what level can you negotiate with the leasing company?
- What type of equipment upgrades do you normally offer and when?
- How will you handle this lease for my business if someone else is in charge of our copier leasing at the end of the term?
- How far in advance will you notify my business when the lease is nearing its end?
- What kind of options will I have at the end of my lease?
Before you enter into a leasing agreement with a printer and copier supplier, make sure that company is an expert not only in the equipment it sells, but also in the leasing services it offers. Breaking a lease is a big decision, so it’s better to be satisfied right from the start.