Stupid Things People Do with Copiers and Printers

Stupid things people do with copiers and printersThe year 2012 is quickly coming to a close. While you may be committing (or recommitting) to all kinds of New Year’s resolutions – exercising more, eating less, kicking the smoking habit and more – we hope that you’ll also give serious consideration to this one: eliminating abuse of copier and printer machines.

Over the more than three decades we’ve been selling and servicing copiers and printers in Canton, Akron, Toledo and many other Ohio cities, we’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff. I’ve asked our service technicians to share the strangest (and, in some cases, funniest) things they’ve seen people do with their office equipment. We hope this encourages you to take even better care of your copiers and printers, so that they will take good care of you and your organization in 2013.

Construction Paper, Wall Paper and Printers Don’t Mix

Service tech Mark Rader shares his favorite stories:

Teachers love to be creative – sometimes too creative. I once had a teacher run black construction paper through a copier, thinking the copies would come out darker.

Another teacher cut down wall paper to 8- 1/2″ x 11″ pieces and ran it through the printer. This turned out to be a major problem, as the wall paper was the kind that you wet down and stick. When it went through the printer’s fuser, it wrapped around the roller. Uh oh…

Finally, one of my customers received a fax on thermal paper, which is heat-sensitive paper that’s designed for use in a thermal printer. She decided to run it through the copier to copy something on the back side of it. Surprise, surprise, the paper came out black. Lesson: thermal paper and copiers don’t mix!

Don’t Use Copiers Like a Microwave

Service tech Cory Hartley talks about a sticky situation he once encountered:

Scanner bulbs used to be made with halogen, which gives off heat. (Today, manufacturers use xenon, which remains cool.) A customer with a halogen-bulb scanner called about constant jamming in the document feeder.

The problem was perplexing, but we finally got the customer to admit that one of his employees liked to warm up his doughnuts on the copier glass. Turns out the film from the glazed doughnuts were making it impossible for the feeder to run documents over the glass. Once we cleaned that up, everything worked just fine. But we did wonder where all the photo copies of the doughnuts ended up.

Copiers Don’t Make Good Mousetraps or Condiment Storage

Service manager Ed Brudzinski reports that, on more than one occasion, techs have found mice caught in the gears, which definitely will stop a machine. He says, “Printers are a bad way to catch mice.”

After an office celebration, our service techs discovered mustard and ketchup packets inside a copier. Copiers are also not a good place to store condiments.

Store Your Office Supplies Somewhere Else

Here’s a word of advice from our tech Paul Hull:

Never keep paper clips on the copier or remove staples near a printer. When this stuff falls into a machine it usually results in a service call.

Do you have a funny story to share about how someone at your office has used a copier or printer? Share it with us in the comments below! Happy New Year!

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Big Bad List of Cool Things You Can Do with a Color Copier

Technology with multi-function color printers and copiers has come a long way. And because copiers use toner and not ink, it’s more cost-efficient than ever to use them for many printing projects you would have sent to an offset printer in the old days. (Not that long ago, right?)

You say, “Give me examples.” No problem! Although I work mainly with Sharp color copier and printer equipment, I know other brands also offer the capabilities to create these products.

But before you read any further, it’s important for you to keep the following things in mind:

  1. Use the “thick” setting when using “thick” paper. High quality color printing depends greatly on your paper settings. You want to avoid streaking, which can happen if you use the wrong setting. (Always follow manufacturers recommendations for paper types in your copier/printer).
  2. Always follow your manufacturer’s directions on paper settings. For example, with certain Sharp all-in-one color printers, you must use the manual feed tray for postcards, tab paper, glossy paper and other specialty stock. Other models can handle up to 110 lb. card stock in the main unit tray and optional drawer. So, don’t waste paper! Check before you start printing.

So, without further ado, here’s my big bad list of cool things to do with a color copier (in no particular order):

  • Invitations – Personalize them easily and at no extra charge!

Invitations made on a color copier, Copeco

  • Thank you cards – Skip the trip to the store over your lunch break. You’ll never run out.
  • Holiday cards – Surprise customers with a photo of your office staff (or not).
  • Booklets – Print educational materials on demand.
  • Raffle tickets – Now it’s easy to make your own for that big fundraiser.
  • Table-top advertising – Publicize your upcoming events at upcoming events.

Table tents made on a color copier, CopecoTable top advertising made using a color copier, Copeco

  • Brochures – Update them as often as needed and print small quantities.
  • Flyers, pamphlets and leaflets – Create handouts on the fly and print them up just as quickly.
  • Posters (up to 12″ x 18″, cropped to 11″ x 17″) – Hang them up everywhere or place them on easels for eye appeal.

Posters made on a color copier, Copeco

  • Programs and bulletins – Control your costs and create just enough.
  • Event tickets – Grab yourself a perforation tool and get started.

Tickets printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Event signs – Tell everyone where to go and what to do.
  • Name tags –  Make sure everyone gets to know everyone else.

name badges printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Back stage passes – For the privileged few.

backstage passes printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Certificates – Give credit where credit is due.
  • Magazines, newsletters and catalogs – Yes indeed, the quality is that good!

newsletters printed on a color copier, Copeco

  • Business cards – So everyone can be into your business.

business cards printed on a color printer, Copeco

What kinds of projects have you used your color copier for? Tell me about them below in the comments. Or send me a tweet at @CopecoCopiers.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a Copier

quality checklistWe 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.

Choosing Toner: OEM and Compatible and Remanufactured—Oh My!

Which toner cartridge is right for you?OEM and compatible and remanufactured—oh my! Choosing a toner cartridge should not elicit Dorothy’s fear of lions and tigers and bears, though sorting through the options available today can be confusing. It is important to choose the right cartridge for your organization and avoid purchasing cartridges that could end up costing you more money. In this post, we hope to demystify the types of cartridges available and help you make a more educated choice the next time you need to order toner cartridges for your organization.

OEM Toner Cartridges

What Are OEM Toner Cartridges?

OEM toner cartridges are cartridges that are produced by the original equipment manufacturer. For instance, if you have purchased a Sharp multi-function printer, by purchasing a toner cartridge manufactured by Sharp you would be purchasing an OEM toner cartridge for your machine.

What are the advantages of OEM Toner Cartridges?

Being manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer, OEM cartridges represent high quality and reliability. With an OEM toner cartridge, you also have the guarantee or warranty that big brand names can offer.

What are the disadvantages of OEM Toner Cartridges?

While OEM cartridges are high quality, they also carry the highest price point. Similar to purchasing a Band-Aid brand box of bandages vs. a box of Walgreen’s bandages, with the name-brand product, you are paying for the name—and all that stands behind that.

Compatible Toner Cartridges

What are Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Compatible toner cartridges are produced by third-party manufacturers. The toner cartridge is made from an OEM cartridge that has been returned or recycled. The compatible toner cartridge has been cleaned and a new virgin core and new drum have been inserted, just like the OEM cartridges. The compatible toner cartridges Copeco sells are also tested and ISO certified.

What are the advantages of Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Compatible toner cartridges have the same yield as OEM toner cartridges, but at a better price point. Those that we sell at Copeco are guaranteed 100% for up to one year after purchase. They are also tested and approved by the manufacturer, so you are guaranteed quality.

What are the disadvantages of Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Not all compatible toner cartridges are created equal. Manufacturers do not all adhere to the same standards. It is important to purchase compatible toner cartridges from a reputable company you trust. When choosing suppliers for our compatible cartridges, we went through a rigorous process to make sure the suppliers we work with deliver compatible cartridges with the same quality as OEM cartridges.

Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

What are Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

Sellers of remanufactured toner cartridges take a compatible or OEM cartridge that has been returned or recycled and refill it, then they resell the cartridge.

What are the advantages of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

Just like compatible toner cartridges, remanufactured toner cartridges can be purchased at a lower price point than OEM cartridges.

What are the disadvantages of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

It is hard to know what you are getting with a remanufactured toner cartridge or where it is coming from. While it may come with a lower price point, it may also come with lower quality as well. If you purchase a remanufactured toner cartridge that ends up being low quality and can’t produce the same yield, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Which Type of Toner Cartridge Do We Recommend?

We recommend and sell both OEM and compatible cartridges. You can’t go wrong with an OEM toner cartridge. It comes from the manufacturer of your machine and you can rest assured that there will be no issues with quality. If there are issues, you also can have peace of mind that the brand will stand behind their cartridge.

Compatible toner cartridges are a good middle ground between OEM and remanufactured cartridges. You are able to save money while still ensuring quality. Many compatible cartridges have a warranty, and you do not have to worry about inferior performance. As we stated before, make sure you are purchasing compatible cartridges from a company you trust.

We hope we have given you the confidence to make the right toner cartridge decision for your office, but if you have questions about OEM, compatible or remanufactured cartridges, feel free to contact our supply department. We are happy to help you find the right one for your organization.