Copier Shopping?

Whether your opening a new business or looking to replace an old copier or printer, our tips will help you place the right equipment in the right environment.

Purchase vs. Lease
The best answer to this question is to ask your accountant, period. Leasing can provide the means to acquire equipment but it can also turn out to be a disastrous if not properly thought out. Read our Copier Leasing FAQ’s.
Projecting Your Anticipated Monthly Copy/Print Volume
This is critical to purchasing or leasing the right size equipment. We have helped numerous companies who have under estimated the amount of copies and prints that they would be producing. The most common mistake is running to the Big Box store to purchase a device “off the shelf.” If you are going to purchase “off the shelf” please see below to avoid the most common mistakes. These devices are primarily made for home office or at best, very small work groups within an organization. If you have no idea on what your monthly volume will be, we suggest talking to an experienced dealer or someone in a similar industry about their monthly volume. Short term, you can always try renting a machine to avoid long term contracts while giving you more time to analyze your needs.
Color vs. Black and White
Most of the equipment we sell or lease today is color capable. The reasons are, more in house marketing is taking place, color is being used more than in the past and smaller color capable machines can be expensive to maintain and operate. The best way to place a color capable device is to monitor usage closely. Every manufacturer today has some method of tracking, monitoring or limiting color usage by users. When properly monitored color can be an effective way of communicating to your customers, prospects and employees. Additionally, always make sure the device is defaulted to black and white for copying and printing when set up and on the network. Many devices are factory set to print in four color black, which is why you may be going through so much toner when most of what you are producing is black and white only.
Basic Must Know Needs
Are you looking to copy, print, scan and fax?
Do you need two sided copying and printing?
Will you need an automatic document feeder?
What is the largest paper size you will require?
Letter is 8/1/2 x 11, Legal is 8 1/2 x 14, and Ledger is 11 x 17 (two letter size pages side by side)
Do you want to have the ability to staple documents?
Will you require color copying and printing?
How many paper drawers excluding the manual or stack bypass will you require?
Do you know your estimated monthly copy/print volume?
Will you be purchasing a maintenance contract?
Are you looking to purchase or lease?
Purchasing a machine “Off The Shelf”
The most common mistake when purchasing a machine off the shelf is not knowing how much the device will cost you to operate. The basic formulas below will help you calculate your cost per page and your estimated monthly operating costs.
Cost of a Cartridge/Manufacturers Yield= Your cost per page for one “rated” page.
If you are considering a color device:
Cost of a Black Cartridge/Manufacturers Yield= Your cost per page for one black and white page.
Cost of a Cyan Cartridge/Manufacturers Yield= See below.
Cost of a Magenta Cartridge/Manufacturers Yield= See below.
Cost of a Yellow Cartridge/Manufacturers Yield= See below.
Your cost for one color page would be Black + Cyan + Magenta + Yellow Costs Per Page= Your Color Cost Per Page.
Black Cartridge Cost $79.00/3,000 Pages = .026 per page
Cyan Cartridge Cost $69.00/2,000 Pages = .0345 per page
Magenta Cartridge Cost $69.00/2,000 Pages = .0345 per page
Yellow Cartridge Cost $69.00/2,000 Pages = .0345 per page
Your cost for one black and white page is .026 or 2.6 cents.
Your cost for one color page is .1295 or 12.95 cents.
These costs exclude maintenance items, parts, and labor when the device requires them.
Toner yields are based upon 5% coverage or fill which is not a lot of print on the page. If you anticipate more coverage on the page you may want to consider reducing the yield by 15 or 20%. Many customers use more than 5% coverage but all manufacturers use the same 5% Buyers Laboratory page so you can compare “apples to apples”.
What will my monthly costs be to operate this unit?
Anticipated Black and White Monthly Volume x Black and White Cost Per Page
Anticipated Color Monthly Volume x Color Cost Per Page
It is not uncommon that many of these devices can end costing hundreds of dollars per month more than a more suitable device from a dealer. Even though the device from the dealer may end up costing more to purchase the operating cost may be much lower over the life of the unit.
Anticipated monthly black and white volume is 1,000 pages per month.
$300.00 off the shelf device producing 1,000 pages per month with a toner cost per page of 3.5 cents per page.
1,000 pages x .035 = $35.00 per month. Plus any additional costs related to maintenance or service.
36 Months x $35.00 = $1,260.00 over 36 months.
Total Cost of Ownership- 36 Months
$300.00 + $1,260.00 = $1,560.00
$800.00 device from a dealer.
1,000 pages x .017 = $17.00 per month and includes all toner, parts and labor.
36 Months x $17.00 = $612.00 over 36 months.
Total Cost of Ownership- 36 Months
$800.00 + $612.00 = $1,412.00
The reason the Total Cost of Ownership is lower when comparing the Dealer device is that these devices often have lower operating costs than off the shelf devices. Additionally, with the service and supplies included in the cost per page from the dealer, you have piece of mind in the event service or maintenance is required.
Properly Placed Devices Ensure Lower Costs
No matter what route you decide to go, ensure that you have done your research and followed the above steps to ensure you have a cost effective and properly placed device. The above methods are for small or start up companies as larger needs require much more analysis. We also encourage you to get competitive quotes from a dealer in your area, comparing them to the off the shelf devices. If we can assist you in the process, please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Privacy & Security

Advanced Custom Systems is committed to providing the Best in Class copiers and multi function devices with the most up to date security features. As such, we also are committed to helping customers maintain a secure network environment, particularly as it relates to the use of copier and multi function products (MFPs) – those that print, copy, fax and scan. Since all or most Copiers and MFPs, regardless of vendor, contain hard drives and software, they require security precautions. Please note that not all devices have Hard Disk Drives, we encouraged you to ask for specific security information on the device you are considering.

Precautions you can take to protect your business and information:

    • Ensure that your new device comes with Hard Drive Disk Overwrite and or Data Encryption. These features may be an option with some devices and or manufacturers.
    • If you have a Hard Disk Image Overwrite or Data Security Kit installed, always make sure you are properly utilizing and monitoring it.
    • If you are upgrading, removing or disposing of your device and it does not come with Hard Disk Overwrite, Image Overwrite, HDD Encryption, you may want to remove the hard drive from the device. This may involve a fee from your copier vendor.
    • Always change the default password and or user name on your devices internal web interface.
    • Understand the Security Functions, Features, Options and Processes of your device.
    • If you lease a device, the leasing company will require that upon return it is operational. See below, how Advanced Custom Systems may be able to assist you in doing so.
    • If you are required to follow certain federal regulations and standards, you must be aware of how you and your device can meet or exceed those standards.
  • Who is at risk? Everyone. Those that are at higher risk are the Medical, Legal, Financial, Education, Banking, Mortgage and the Auto Industries. These industries constantly collect customer information such as social security numbers, pay stubs, drivers license numbers, credit reports, bank statements and more sensitive information. Additionally, Copy and Print Centers including Public Copiers at local libraries may be at risk, if you use them frequently.

Q: What should I watch out for when shopping for a copier service plan?

A: Most companies are going to charge you additional fees that you don’t see up front. These can be shipping charges, fuel fees, loaner charges and more. Be aware that sometimes “free” is advertised but there can still be hidden charges. For example they may say “All toner is free under your service plan” but you’re charged shipping for every order, or “free loaner delivery” but there is a daily charge for actually using the machine.
Be sure to ask questions about what exactly you’ll be paying for and expect specific quantifiable answers. Advanced Custom Systems has NO shipping, fuel, or loaner charges, which is one of the many things that sets us apart from our competitors.

Leave a Reply