Copier Buying Guide & FAQ
The hefty sticker prices on new copiers encourage many businesses to consider buying
used copiers. Often, this can be a smart choice:
Properly refurbished copiers can be a dependable part of your office for years.
Note that we say "properly refurbished copiers", simply cleaning the outside and making sure it still works is NOT sufficient. Before buying a used copier, ask the seller about their refurbishing process. Used copiers should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out, have all worn parts replaced, and be inspected by a certified technician for any potential problems.
Because of this extensive maintenance, refurbished copiers should come with a warranty. Talk the seller up on this: don't finalize the sale without a warranty. Even a used business copier can cost thousands of dollars, so you should make sure your investment is protected!
Whether buying new or used copiers, it's best to buy a Maintenance Agreement that covers all the parts that typically wear out or break, including the belts and drum. When buying a used copier, the insurance is definitely worth the cost of the service coverage.
Many vendors will sell a used copier "as-is" for even steeper discounts, usually with no warranty or one as short as 14 days. While the initial price may be attractive, you'll probably
wind up paying more in the long run in repairs and maintenance for
this reconditioned copier.
Don't buy a throw away printer/copier. The $300 all-in-one printer, scanner, and fax machines that you can buy at Office Depot or Staples are useful for home offices only.
Per-copy prices are much higher and they're not built to handle a business copy volume,
so stay away from them for any multi-person office.
Check the Odometer. Copiers have built-in counters that track total usage. Ask your vendor what the "mileage" is on the machines you're considering, then check for yourself once the machine is delivered.
Find a vendor you can work with. You should buy a remanufactured copier
from a vendor who you can trust and build a strong relationship with!
FAQ: What is the Best Copier for My Business?
This is one of the questions that begins nearly every conversation I have with a new client. How do I choose the right copier for my organization’s needs? It doesn’t matter if you own a small business, manage a department in a mid to large-sized company, or run a church or school office. You still need a copier, printer or all-in-one machine that will do everything you need it to do at a price you can afford.
The first place I always start is by asking, “What needs do you have that aren’t currently being fulfilled by your printers and copiers?” This is a good place to start.
Whether you are buying new or refurbished copy machines, here are some questions you'll need to answer:
- What Do I Need the Copier to Do?
Modern digital copiers are sometimes referred to as "multifunctional copiers" because they can do more than just copy. Almost all models are also capable of printing, faxing, and scanning. You may want extensive document handling and sorting/stapling features. Some options that were add-ons several years ago now come standard. Avoid the temptation to buy older than two generations from the current model. Not only are they more prone to mechanical failure, but since manufacturers are phasing them out entirely, support and parts may become more difficult to find in the coming years
-Do I Want a Color or Black & White Copier?
You also need to decide whether you need a copier that supports color - expect to pay 20% to 30% more if you do. Today, color copiers have become more and more affordable.
We can find a multi-function printer and/or copier with color that will fit just about anyone’s budget. If you’ve been outsourcing your color printing, this may be the perfect opportunity to save money in the future.
- What Will My Monthly Copy Volume Be?
Start with your current copy volume. Your monthly paper consumption, the built-in counter in your existing copier, and your print shop receipts can all be used
to help determine your current volume.
Once you have a rough volume figure, increase it by at least 20%. This will help you account for future growth, as well as compensate for the somewhat inflated monthly copy volumes set by manufacturers for their models. Even though properly refurbished copiers should perform almost as new, overworking a refurbished photocopier is the quickest route to frustrating downtime, so you're better off not pushing it too hard.
- How Many Pages Per Minute Do I Need?
Copier speed is measured in pages per minute or copies per minute (ppm/cpm) the number of letter-sized pages the machine can produce in one minute when running at full speed. Most offices will get by comfortably with machines in the 25 to 75 ppm range.
If you run a lot of copies every day, you don’t want a slow printer. People who are used to 90 pages per minute will not want to go down to 60 pages per minute. It’s a balance between the cost of the printer and the value of your time and productivity.
-How to Find a Copier Repair Service You Can Trust?
In this area, you always get what you pay for. Make sure you choose a copier and printer company that has well-trained techs and top-notch service standards.
Find out what the service provider's standards are for the time between the phone call and the technician arrival time. It should be one business day or less.
If it is not, you may want to rethink things.
Also when a service tech works on your machine have them explain to you
what they are doing and why. Have them show you the old parts that were replaced.
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