If you take a moment to do a quick Internet search for an office copier, you'll quickly see that the options in copier sales are endless. There are a number of vendors and retailers that sell or lease photocopiers for office use. The only way to make a smart investment is to do your homework in advance by researching competitive copier prices on the market.
Options in sourcing an office photocopier
Before you set out to gather vendor quotes, keep in mind that there are three basic options available in acquiring a copier for your office:
For a business with available funds, buying makes the most financial sense as you will own the equipment outright and will pay less in the long run compared to a lease or rental.
For a business on a limited budget, leasing to own will allow you to finance a copier over the long-term in lower monthly payments. A lease will also provide a business with the opportunity to upgrade a copier to newer technologies without having to sell and purchase a new machine.
Last but not least, a business that only needs a copier for a temporary job can rent the equipment. Renting can be used in lieu of a lease when a short-term copy job is required, such as a commercial copier to mass-produce employee documents in a small office.
5 questions to ask yourself before signing a copier contract
Now that you understand the basics of copier purchase, lease, and rental, you can prepare for upcoming meetings or calls with sales reps by asking yourself a few helpful questions:
- What is my budget? An office copier may cost several hundred or thousand dollars, depending upon volume, speed, and features. Set a basic budget in advance to stay within your means; allow for some flexibility if extra features or upgrades are needed.
- What features am I looking for? Most small businesses prefer multi-function copiers with all-in-one features to print, scan, and fax within one machine. While this type of machine may benefit a small business, it’s not ideal for large copy jobs in commercial offices. Other business industries may require sorting and finishing features for high-volume copy jobs that include reloading, stapling, collating, or saddle stitching to create booklets.
- What is your copy volume? Choosing the right size copier for your monthly copy volume will save you money as a bottom line. Take the time to assess your copy records over the past year to determine a monthly average that can be used as an estimate for your desired copy volume. A business with a larger copy volume will likely require a faster speed in a floor standing model, with max speeds up to 60 CPM at 200,000 copies a month.
- What paper size do you use? Today’s copy equipment can easily accommodate multiple paper sizes; a copier may work with a large capacity bin that holds more than 1000 sheets, using an A4R tray to accommodate A3 original documents and A4 photocopies.
- Do you make color copies? As demand for color copiers has increased, prices have dropped, making color copiers feasible for most companies. A company that frequently makes color copies, such as a graphic design firm, will need more advanced features in color copying. Businesses with a low color copy volume may do better by outsourcing color copy jobs instead of buying or leasing a color photocopier.
Establishing your copier requirements in advance will help you to make a smart decision in a copier purchase, lease, or rental. To get the best price for the equipment, make sure to review all additional contract features before signing on the dotted line.