Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Five Things You Need to Do Before You Buy a Copier

The average copier lasts five years for most businesses and if you invested in a quality brand-name product, you might even enjoy eight years of stellar performance. During my 35 years in the field working as a copier rep, I regularly met with customers that wanted another copier when the machine they had began to have regular breakdowns. In an effort to save you money as well as headaches, here are my tips on how to buy a copier. First, you need to do the following before your first appointment with a copier rep:

1. Verify you really require another machine rather than unimportant repair work. Schedule a service call and ask the technician to furnish you with a written estimate on what it would cost to fix the copier and bring the copier back to specification. Hopefully, you’ve established a good rapport with your technician in the years he has serviced your account. Ask him to be point blank clear on what he would do if he were you - fix the machine or purchase another one. Technicians are a great source for fair-minded, unbiased information precisely because they are not sales representatives and often understand the new product line better than the sales force that are actually selling the product.

2. Once you have confirmed that you are in the market for a new system, do your homework BEFORE you call a copier rep to set an initial appointment. You have to know the industry lingo. In today's market, a customer does not purchase a copier - they purchase a multifunctional copier system that copies, prints, scans and sometimes faxes. You need to decide if you only require black and white imaging or color imaging, as well. Conduct an internal assessment to determine your company’s requirements in each of these area’s. Do not overlook the possibility of adding color imaging to your new system. Even though costs have fallen dramatically on color imaging and studies have shown that written communication with two or three colors on the page is much more effective, but only providing you have the volume to justify it. Otherwise you can end up with a system that is over kill and will be a very expensive piece of equipment that can end up being very costly to maintain. You may find that you can expect many more capabilities then you did from your last round of a copier purchase for far less money.

3. If you leased your last copier, call the leasing company and request a buyout letter. Ask specifically for the following information to be given to you verbally and in a written form:
a) lease expiration date, b) a buyout to own amount, c) a buyout to return figure, and d) the proper directions, regarding potential return of equipment. Be advised that the copier company you purchased the system from might be entirely different from the leasing company that provided you the financing for the purchase of the equipment. Don't be surprised if the leasing company takes their sweet time in providing you with this information. This is the reason why it is a good idea to prepare ahead of time and have the information available before you meet with the copier representative.

4. Promise yourself that you will get at least three proposals from different vendors before you make a decision on a choice. I promise that it is well worth your time to meet with three copier reps because it will allow you to make the best type of an informed decision for your situation. Besides, as you well know, it is a wise business practice to always take a good look at the competition.

5. Find out which companies sell copiers directly in your market. A copier manufacturer distributes their products by selling through their own sales team or by selling the product to a dealer and then the dealer markets to the business consumer. Admittedly, I'm biased in favor of buying directly from either the manufacturer or a very reputable individual.  

We specialize in providing Affordable copier repair and sales of like new Digital Color and black and white copiers. 

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