buy a copier online

If you need a copier and want to keep your costs down, it’s tempting to consider buying a copier online. After all, vendors like Amazon and Walmart are known for having the cheapest prices. So how can you go wrong?

Here’s what you’re forgetting about: service. If you plan to buy a copier online and worry about service when it breaks, you’re going to wind up spending more in the long run.

What you get when you buy a copier online

The same or similar model you can get from a dealer. Some manufacturers create models especially for online retailers to sell. Those models are often the same as the models you can buy from an authorized dealer (just with different model numbers). That’s why it’s so hard to compare apples to apples.

Rock bottom price (maybe). It’s tough to beat the prices of giant online retailers. However, authorized dealers can get closer than you might expect. And here’s what many overlook when they think about buying a copier online: the purchase price is only part of the total cost of ownership for a copier or MFP. When you buy a copier online, getting that cheap purchase price can mean paying much more in operating costs later on.

Keep reading to learn more.

6 things you DON’T get when you buy a copier online

1. Reduced up-front cost with leasing

When you buy a copier online, you have to pay for the whole thing at once. When you work with a dealer, you can lease your copier and pay over time.

Learn more: Rent, Buy or Lease Your Copier? How to Decide

2. Help with model selection

With so many copier and MFP (multifunction printer) models available, it can be very challenging to find the right one for your needs. Here are just a few of the questions you need to consider to make a smart decision:

  • Do you need to print color (if so, how much color)?
  • Do you want document scanning and faxing capabilities?
  • How much printing will you do each month?
  • How important is print speed?
  • Do you need special paper types or sizes?
  • How about duplex printing?
  • Do you want to print from mobile devices?
  • Do want to control access to the printer and monitor print usage?
  • Could your employees save time by programming custom hot buttons on the copier for their repetitive tasks?

It’s downright confusing to figure out what’s right for you by reading online product descriptions and reviews. When you work with an expert copier dealer, they can explain why you might benefit from having certain features and point you in the right direction based on your needs. For example, duplex printing cuts your paper cost in half. And, if you print a lot of color, choosing a machine with large-capacity ink or toner can save time and money.

3. Installation and set up

Buying a desktop printer online is one thing, but buying a copier online can leave you struggling to figure out how to set it up properly.

Because you’re not a copier service expert, that’s going to take you some time… time that you could put to better use running your business. Here’s another way to think about that: how much money could you be making with the time you spend setting up and configuring the copier? Or, how much are you paying an employee to do it? Now add that to the purchase price. Are you still saving money by buying a copier online?

Security is another important consideration. Do you know how to properly secure a shared printer on the network? You’d be surprised at how many businesses do it wrong. That’s why network printers are a common entry point for hackers to access your network.

Learn more: Printer Security: The Weak Link That Could Take Down Your Network

Also, how will you figure out how to use all the features of your new copier, and train your staff? When you buy a copier from an authorized dealer, you get help desk support and training along with expert installation.

4. Managed printing

The ongoing cost of printing – including ink, toner, paper, replacement parts, and service – can be as high as 2 cents for b&w and 15 cents for color per printed page. Saving a few dollars on the purchase price can mean sacrificing the chance to save thousands on operating expenses over the life of the machine.

A reputable copier dealer can help you take control of your printing to save money:

  • Doing away with expensive desktop printers and consolidating printing with a more cost-effective MFP.
  • Using cloud-based managed print software to set up printing controls and rules that reduce waste so you pay less.

You’ll be amazed at how much even a small business can save. Take a look at this case study to read more about how managed print works.

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5. Service contract

Copiers and multifunction printers are designed to last 5 years or so. But that doesn’t mean you can expect to go 5 years without needing service. Parts wear out and need to be replaced. Sometimes repairs or adjustments need to be made. When you buy a copier online, who will you get to take care of this maintenance? The online retail giant will not be able to help you.

It’s also important to know that waiting for something to break is not the smartest way to take care of your copier. It’s not smart for the lifespan of the equipment, or for the productivity of your employees.

When your copier is not regularly cleaned of paper dust and toner residue, it can eventually affect the operation of the parts. When you get a service contract from an authorized dealer, service experts will proactively clean and tune up the machine, replacing parts near the end of their lifespan BEFORE they cause a breakdown that impacts your business.

Also, when you have a service contract and a relationship with a dealer you trust, you get fast response time and get back up and running quickly. That won’t happen when you have a breakdown and have to hunt for someone to fix it.

In fact, some copier brands, including Canon, can be monitored remotely by your authorized dealer. That means they can see when your machine shows an error code and show up to fix it even before you know there is a problem! In some cases, your dealer can even diagnose and fix certain problems remotely (without a service call).

6. Automatic supplies replenishment

Speaking of remote monitoring, that feature can be used to make sure you never have to order toner for your copier. How is that possible? Your authorized dealer provides you with one extra set of toner cartridges to keep on the shelf. When your machine runs low on toner, and you replace it with your extra set, the machine sends an alert to the dealer. They automatically ship you a replacement cartridge to keep on the shelf.

Learn more: Canon Copier Supplies: Never Run Out Again

When you buy a copier online from one of the retail giants, you can schedule automatic shipments of toner, but you have to guess when you’re going to need them. And, you might not need them all at the same time. That leads to a closet full of extra toner that eventually gets thrown away when you replace the machine. Supply costs are also additional, whereas with a dealer they are bundled in with the service contract.

Did you already buy a copier online? How to get service

If you already bought a copier online, what can you do now to get service? You may still be able to get a service contract (including automatic supplies replenishment) from a reputable dealer.

Read these articles to learn more about choosing the right contract and the right supplier:

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Copier Service Contract

Copier Service in NYC: What Response Time Should You Expect?

How to Tell The Best Copier Service Providers From the Worst

If you’re in the New York City metro area and have purchased Canon, Samsung, or HP equipment, you’re in luck. Superior Office Systems provides quality service you can count on. Contact ustoday to get started!

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