Tips for Buying a Copier

Once you’ve decided to purchase a copier, considered your needs, and become familiar with the technology involved, you should begin searching for a vendor that can provide you with the right machine.  Here are a few tips to make sure you purchase the right machine at the best price.

Always overestimate copy volume.  If you currently own or lease any kind of printer copier machine, you’ll already have a reasonable estimate.  Copy machines keep usage tallies, just like a car odometer.  Look in the manual or call the manufacturer to find out how to get this number on your current machine.  If you’ll be using an all in one printer copier with features like printing and faxing, add at least 30% to this total.  If you don’t have a current machine, approximate the number of copies/prints you’ll need and add at least 10% to the total.  By overestimating, you’ll leave room for overuse as you learn to operate the machine, and avoid choosing a machine that won’t be able to support your printing needs.

Know which features you need.  This is very important.  You should have a good idea how many copies you’ll be making in order to approximate machine speed, and should know the format (black and white, color) that you’ll be using.  You can avoid extra charges by buying a machine with only the features that you need. 

Know the Acronyms.  Copier salespeople can sound like they are speaking another language when they use industry terms.  Become familiar with abbreviations and acronyms.  The salesperson will be able to understand your needs, and you can get a better deal because you’ll know what to ask for.

Ask the right questions.  Vendors will be competing for your business, so make sure you ask, “What makes your company better than X, Y, Z competitors?” You should also ask for deals on lease terms, supplies, and maintenance.  Buying a copier is like buying a car off the lot- there is always room for negotiation.

Get it in writing.  Make sure any estimates are written down in an itemized quote.  This way you can eliminate the features you don’t need and purchase the ones you do.  You should also have the specifics on important service considerations, like repair technician response time, in the estimate and in the contract.

Make sure that you compare various price quotes, and that you consider supplies and maintenance when setting your budget.  Make sure you purchase the machine that is best for your business.

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