Home > Color Copiers, How to Buy a Copier > Do you really need a color copier?

Do you really need a color copier?

Recently I was working with a prospective client  in Owings Mills, Maryland who was purchasing a new Toshiba copier from me.

As I was asking him questions about his copying and printing needs he got a concerned look on his face. Obviously I knew something was troubling him so I asked what was on his mind.

He said “Ed, do I need a color copier?”. This certainly wasn’t the first time a client or prospective client has asked me this question. As a matter of fact, I get the color copier question all the time. I think it’s a reflection of the tough economy were in here in America. People want to be very sure that the extra expense of a color copier over a black copier is worth it to their business or professional practice.

One of the first questions I ask in this situation is “how are you handling color copies and prints now?”. Typically my small business/small practice clients are doing one of two things: 1) they outsource their color printing to Staples, Office Depot or a local printer or 2) they print them out on a desktop color printer.

Once I have established what they are doing now my next questions is “how many color copies or prints are you doing per month and year?” Many times my customers don’t really know their true volume so we have to do a little investigative work.

One helpful strategy is listing out on a piece of paper all the different types of color copies and prints they do throughout a year and then listing beside each project the approximate number they do for that project per month and year.

I think it’s important to look at this annually because many times there are printing projects that are only done once or twice a year and the customer tends to forget about those projects if we are only thinking in a monthly context.

In the case of this customer once we listed out all of his annual color printing needs he only did about 500 color prints per year. I consider this a very low color volume.

I advised him that this didn’t justify purchasing a color machine and he should continue to send those jobs out to a printer.

I did also find out that he was sending his jobs mostly to Office Depot. OUCH!! can you say expensive.  I advised him to find a locally owned print shop or go online where in either case the prices would be significantly less than Office Depot or Staples.

In the situation of a company doing thousands of color copies and prints per month I would recommend considering a color copier.

It comes down to doing the math. How many color prints and copies do you do per year times what you pay per copy/print at a local print shop versus what you would pay to do them in house on your own color copier.

Once you know these numbers you have to consider the added cost of a color copier versus a black copier. Your purchase price or lease payment will surely be higher for a color copier than a standard black copier but in many cases it’s worth it.

Another consideration is the time involved in calling a printer, driving there to drop off artwork if necessary and then driving back to the printer to pick up the job. As we all know during the business day Monday-Friday our time is money and I feel this is a legitimate consideration when deciding to buy a color copier or a black copier.

When it comes to local printers I have seen color copies/prints done in the range of 15 to 35 cents each. This is just my experience and your local printer may do them for less.

With a Toshiba copier (which is the brand I sell) you can make a color copy or print for anywhere from 5-10 cents each. Where you would fall in this range depends on what size color copier we are speaking of.

I hope this helps. Please contact me with any copier/printer related questions or to get a competitive quote. I’m always happy to help. You can call me, email me or fill out the easy form below. Thanks for stopping by!

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