Buyers Guide to Copiers: 6 useful things to know.

Buyers Guide to Copiers: 6 useful things to know.


Upgrading or purchasing equipment can be an expensive task, especially when at the end of the sales process you end up with an ‘under or over-spec’d’ machine for your needs. Given the speed at which technology rapidly changes, it can often be overwhelming just trying to keep up, especially when it’s been several years since you have had to consider what the market has to offer. To help out, and to ensure you are making the right decision, we have put together 6 key points for you to consider when buying or leasing a new copier.


1. Volume

It can be hard to determine, but first finding out how much you are likely to print each month plays a big part in which device best suits your needs. It’s obvious, the more people using the copier, the more printing it will do. However, small offices can also do substantial volumes of work.

Each device has its ideal range and maximum print volume. Putting tens of thousands of prints through a small home based machine will ultimately do more damage to the machine than if the same volume was being done through a copier more suited, and vice a versa. If you are printing too low a volume through a high-end machine, it can also do unnecessary harm to the machine. Copiers and even Printers are designed with a set volume in mind, so finding your ‘sweet spot’ should be to first on your list.

If you need assistance with finding out your monthly print volumes, GBM has specialist tools to help. Contact us…

2. Speed

How fast does that piece of paper spit out of the machine? We call this the pages per minute or ppm for short. A machine’s ppm can range anywhere from 20 pages per minute right up to 90 pages per minute. After determining your monthly print volume, you will then need to ask yourself or even your staff, “how quickly do I need to produce this print job?”. A machine’s volume plays a hand in determining how fast of an output you require. You don’t want to be waiting any longer than you need for a large print job.

3. Chroma – B&W or Colour

There is market research to show that printing colour invoices can increase payment response by up to 30%. That’s not to say that everyone should have a colour machine. However, with modern technology, we can default all printing to black and white, and enable colour printing when you desire. So now you’re probably asking, “why purchase a B&W machine?”. Well, it’s a well-known fact that colour toners/inks cost significantly more than black, and if the end users’ printing cannot be controlled, as mentioned earlier, a black and white device may suit. There are many other ways to control end users’ printing, through follow-me print or department code systems. To find out more have a chat with one of friendly team members. Contact us…

4. Configuration & Extra Features

Yes, copiers can staple, punch small holes in paper and even fold. It’s quite funny just how amazed some people are when upgrading their device, when they find out they no longer have to manually do all this stuff. The ultimate question here is whether all the ‘mod-cons’ are necessary. The aim is to understand the main functions of your business. Do you need to print A3, or is A4 enough? Do you need to print larger than A3? Do you print on envelopes or labels? Do you require fax?

As with everything the more features you require the greater the cost, so understanding the necessities for your work environment will determine a great deal, as not having essential features, or having all features can cost you more in the long run.

Simple questions to ask… “Can I reduce time with this added feature?” How much time is spent undertaking manual printing tasks? How many stapled documents do we produce a month?

These types of questions help determine the configuration needed for your new device. Once you have determined your configuration and extra features, finally ask yourself… do I have the room to fit the device…?

5. Copy / Running Costs

Often when purchasing or leasing a new copier, a supplier will typically offer a service agreement or contract where you pay per copy produced by the machine. This Cost Per Copy (CPC) or Cost Per Print (CPP) typically covers replacement toners, parts, labour and travel to keep the machine operating at an optimum level. It is suggested to check the suppliers’ contract terms and conditions before signing any agreement. The cost per copy rate will vary based on the type of copier, age of the device, size and who the supplier is. A rule of thumb is the larger the device, typically results in a lower running cost, this heavily applies to ink jet devices. However, as mentioned the machine needs to be outputting the ideal volume.

Contracts will often mention CPC increases. That is the supplier has the right to increase CPC over time. It’s with everything, the older something is, the more expensive it is to keep it going, take a car for example. It is strongly suggested to check the fine print as it should mention how an increase to the CPC will come about. Whether it be in line with CPI or a result of increased manufacturing costs. If a contract does not state if and when an increase will take place, ask the question, because it can stop the surprise of excessively high bills down the track.

A service agreement can be opted out of, but as mentioned it is suggested to ask all the appropriate questions about the T’s and C’s. Although a Cost per Copy should form part of the decision-making process, it is always suggested to investigate and ask the question about service response times and back-up support, which is our next point…

6. Back-up Service & Reputation

As mentioned above, read the fine print, but you can go a few steps further… Suppliers will often use the running cost (CPC) as a selling point. However, how cost effective is it paying for a service contract when the backup service is not meeting your organisational needs?

Do your research. Have a look at the suppliers’ presence in the local market. Do they have a website, and use appropriate social media streams? Find out who the supplier already services, how do they stack up? You could even go as far phoning those businesses.

Asking the appropriate question can save you and your business a substantial amount of time and money

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