Copiers

How to Buy the Right Copier

These days’ saving a buck is even more important than ever. Although purchasing a new copier might not be the place to skimp. Doing a little research can save you money and help you choose a copier that will last you much longer. This article will help buyers to choose the right copier for the right application.

Definitions
Business class copiers-Not sold in office club stores. Sold by knowledgeable and reputable dealers. Designed for higher volumes and dependability.

Office club copiers & personal copiers -Sold in office club stores i.e. Office Depot, Office Max and Costco… For personal and low volume customers.

●Cost of Equipment
The cost of a copier can be quite expensive. Just shopping for price and buying one on cost alone can be misleading and can end up being more expensive in the long run. This is especially true if you make thousands of copies per month. You could be paying three times the amount of the price of the copier in toner and supply costs. It doesn’t matter If you are buying one for a business or for personal use. The first thing you should do is research the cost per copy.

●Volume and Cost per Copy
When purchasing a copier you must first research your monthly copy volume. This is the first step in choosing which copier is right for you. One easy way to determine this is to think of how many reams of paper you use per month. Each ream is 500 sheets. Just multiply that by the amount of reams that you use and you have a fairly accurate assessment of your “copies per month.” The reason you must know this is because it helps you determine you’re “cost per copy.” This is how much it will cost you every time you press the copy button. Now, you take the price of the toner and divide that into the estimated yield and you have your cost per copy. Example: The toner cost is $100.00 and the yield is 10,000 copies. Your cost per copy is .01 cents per copy. Office club type copier supplies are almost always more expensive than a business class type copier.

●Service and Repair, Service contracts
Most copier service companies, (not affiliated with office clubs) will not provide you an onsite service contract on an office club copier. This is because they don’t sell them. Office club stores will normally offer extended warranties but coverage may not be complete. For example they might not cover the toner or they won’t cover on-site service. I have had customers call me and tell me that they had to ship the machine off to have it repaired and that they didn’t even get the same machine back afterward. They received a replacement machine.
Many times a business class copier service contract that covers parts, service, and toner and supplies (everything except paper) is less expensive then the toner costs on a personal copier.

●Automatic Document Feeder and Feed Systems
Document Feeders
An automatic document feeder is the feeder that automatically feeds your original documents one at a time so you don’t have to stand there and lift the lid each time you have a stack of originals to be copied. Not all document feeders are created equally. There are many different mechanisms that feed, separate and eject the originals on all of the makes and models of copiers. Business type copiers have much better mechanisms than personal copiers. When you are in business and you make lots of copies and sets of copies it is frustrating when you can not count on this feature to work dependably.
The most common problems are multi-feeding and jamming. Multi-feeding is when the feeder pulls in more than one at a time. Most of the time the copier will not let you know this happened. It will not show a jam and you may not realize it did this until you are in the middle of your very important meeting and you have some missing pages. Paper jamming is another problem where it doesn’t pull the paper through correctly and jams. This is also very frustrating.

Feed Systems

Feed systems are the rollers and mechanisms that pull in your copy paper to make copies. Paper jams are the most frustrating thing that a person can have with a copier. Office club type copiers have inferior systems that feed the paper in and as you make larger copier runs the dependability is much less than a business type copier. I am speaking of my experience of over twenty years in the industry with copiers on both document feeders and feed systems but there are exceptions and some personal copiers work just fine.

●Quality and Longevity
Quality of the copies being made has really improved over the years especially since the digital evolution. There really is not much difference in copy quality. I have seen personal copiers that have just as good resolution and copy quality as a very expensive business copier. But, when it comes to the quality of manufacturing, sturdiness and just plain quality of the equipment you can see a big difference.
Business type copiers are built to last. It really depends on your copy volume as to how long each machine will last. Business copiers are built to last the monthly duty cycles that the manufacturer has designated. Though sometimes I feel that they over estimate these amounts. There are applications where a personal copier will need to be replaced in only one year next to a business type copier that will last seven to ten years, really!

Conclusion
Buying a copier can be expensive, but buying the wrong copier can be a waste of money. By doing your research ahead of time you can save money and use your copier for many years with few problems. Finding a dependable company to service your machine is just as important as buying the right machine.

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