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Posts Tagged ‘copier buying guide’

Should You Include Copier Maintenance Plan Costs into Your Copier Lease? Updated

copier : young worker using a copy machine

Back in March of 2014 I wrote a post titled, Should You Include Copier Maintenance Plan Costs in Your Copier Lease?.

At the time I was very against including copier maintenance plan costs (also referred to as a copier service plan) into the lease of the copier.

I noted that in many cases the reason the copier buyer does this is for the convenience of having to write only one check while some copier companies may be motivated by the fact that they can get interest and fees on the maintenance plan costs whereas if the maintenance plan is billed separately they don’t.

Please note that I said “some” copier companies may be motivated by interest and fees on the service plan. I don’t want to paint the whole industry with a broad brush. That really wouldn’t be fair.

While I still feel that it’s generally a bad idea to add the service cost to the lease I have discovered a new way to go about this.

A way that you can combine the lease and the service agreement together without paying ANY interest or fees of any kind on the service. The best of both worlds.

It’s called a pass-through. The reason it’s called a pass-through is that the leasing company will accept their monthly payment from the business who leased the copier and then  pass the copier service/copier maintenance agreement portion of the payment back to the local copier company who sold the machine and performs the service/maintenance on the machine.

This is done without you the customer paying any fees whatsoever to the leasing company for passing the payment to the local copier company.

This can be a little confusing so I’ll sum up the whole process for you.

When you lease your new copier you purchase a service agreement on the copier.

A copier service agreement covers toner, repairs (including parts and labor) and preventative maintenance. All you have to do is buy paper. Everything else is covered.

When is comes to billing some copier companies will add the service/maintenance costs to the lease. The problem with this is that you are paying interest and fees on the service plan.

It doesn’t have to happen this way because the copier company who sold you the copier and will service the copier can bill you separately for the copier service agreement.

In other words you pay the leasing company their payment for the copier and write a separate check to the local copier company for the service plan on the copier because they will be performing the service on your copier.

Many copier buyers love the convenience of making only one payment but don’t want to pay interest and fees on the service plan if they don’t have to.

This is where the pass-through comes in.

The leasing company sends the customer one monthly bill which includes the copier and the service agreement and then passes the service plan portion of the payment back to the local copier company.

The copier buyer is happy because they only had to cut one check.

It’s a great service that provides the best of both worlds for the copier buyer.

I now offer this single payment service to my customers here at my copier company in Baltimore so if you are in Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia or Delaware and would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for honest copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you with the names of some trusted companies.

As always feel free to ask me any copier buying question and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

 

 

 

 

 

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How Much Does It Cost To Lease A Copier?

“How much does it cost to lease a copier?” It’s one of those questions I get all the time and it seems like a simple question but it’s not.

The reason it’s not that simple is because just like when you buy a new car there are many different makes and models and additional options and accessories to choose from.

Things that effect the copier price are:

  • the speed of the copier
  • whether it’s a color copier or a black only copier
  • additional copier accessories like a stapling, sorting finisher, a booklet making finisher, faxing capabilities, additional paper drawers

Once you decide the copier speed, whether it’s a color or black copier and the accessories you’ll need to decide the length of the copier lease in terms of months/years.

99% of my customers have either a 36 month (3 year) or 60 month (5 year) lease however I do have a few with 48 month leases.

Obviously the term you choose is up to you. A 60 month lease will give you a lower monthly copier lease payment but you will pay more interest and fees on the copier than if you chose a shorter lease term.

Once you have chosen the copier speed, color, accessories and lease term your all set to make an educated, well informed decision about which copier you want.

So by now your probably saying, “that’s great Ed but when are you going to tell me how much it costs to lease a copier?’.

Well, here you go.

Most copier leases range anywhere from $50.00 per month all the way up to $500.00 or  per month for 1 standard office copier. This excludes light production and production machines that are over 85 pages per minute.

A good rule of thumb for me is that the lease should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $22.00-$30.00 per month, per one thousand dollars of the total cost of the copier.

For example if your new copier is $10,000.00 it should cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $200.00-$300.00 per month.

The reason I have given a range here is that the monthly copier lease investment depends on the length of the lease.

So the payment on a 36 month lease will be higher than the payment on a 60 month lease.

A 60 month lease is less because you are stretching the cost of the copier out over more months than a 36 month lease.

Keep in mind that the lease payment is based on the total dollar value of the copier you’ve selected.

Also keep in mind that the numbers I just gave you are for the copier only.

These number do not include the copier maintenance contract / copier service contract.

I hope this is helpful.

As always thanks for stopping by today and feel free to send me your questions or comments. You can use the form below or send me an email to ed@edworthington.com.

If you’d like to receive of free copy of my Copier Buying Guide titled, The Ultimate Copier Buying Guide, How to Get the Best Deal on a New Copier.

This Copier Buying Guide will give you The  Inside Information You Need to Make Sure You’re Not Getting Ripped Off and You’re Getting the Right Copier for Your Business. Just ask for the Ultimate Copier Buying Guide in the form below or in your email.

Equipment Leasing 101

Whenever I come across resources that I think can help you make the best decisions for your business when it comes to leasing a copier, buying a copier or renting a copier I try to pass them along.

So in the spirit of education here is a document called Equipment Leasing 101 produced by a company called Direct Capital.

Keep in mind that Direct Capital is in the business of leasing equipment so you’ll want to be discerning with this information; however, there is certainly good information in the document.

I hope this helps.

As always, feel free to contact me via the form below or by email with any questions.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ed Worthington – ed@edworthington.com

equipment-leasing-101

What Happens at the End of a Copier Lease? If You Don’t Know, You’ll Pay Too Much

In my day to day work one of the most frequently asked questions I get about copiers is, “what happens at the end of the lease?”.

I have covered this in a previous post on the general topic of leases but I thought it might be good to dedicate a specific post to the topic.

What happens at the end of a copier lease depends on what type of lease it is, fair market value or dollar out/ buck out lease.

At the end of a fair market value lease the leasing company will decide what they believe the fair market value of your copier is based on the original sale price.

If you would like to keep the copier you just pay the leasing company that amount of money and it’s yours.

If you don’t want to pay what the leasing company is asking than you let the leasing company know that and they will send you return instructions via fax or email.

The return instructions will let you know how to ship the copy machine and where to ship copy machine to get it back to them.

The “where” is self explanatory but the how requires you pay special attention to what the leasing company is asking you to do.

For example, how they want the copier packed and how much and what type of shipping  insurance they require you to put on the copier.

Also they will let you know by what date they expect you to have the machine at their location.

Doing exactly as the leasing company has asked is very important.

I have a customer in Westminster, Maryland who recently bought a copier from me.

When he decided to purchase his next copier from me his current vendor told him they would come get the copier and ship it back to the leasing company at no charge.

RED FLAG!! Why would they do that at their cost for a customer who has just decided to go with another copier company.

I instructed my customer to be sure he asks his former vendor for proof of insurance on the shipping as well as proof that they had shipped it.

Unfortunately my new customer didn’t follow my advice and somehow the copier never made it back to the leasing company. Well guess who’s liable for the $2,000 value of that copier. My customer is.

To further complicate the matter his former vendor had just been purchased by another copier company in Baltimore and when he called them they referred him to the new copier company saying that the new company has all of their customer records.

Well when he contacted the new copier company in Baltimore they had no record whatsoever of this customer.

The moral of the story is at the end of a fair market value lease if you decide not to keep the copy machine be sure to control the process of shipping that machine back and do exactly as the leasing company has asked or you can end up like my new customer who now owes the leasing company $2,000 and he no recourse.

Now let’s move on to dollar buyout or sometimes referred to buck-out leases.

This type of lease is simple. At the end of the lease you pay the leasing company one dollar and the copier is yours to keep. Thus the name dollar out copier lease or buck out copier lease.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to contact me using the form below or by email. ed@edworthington.com.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun day.

Copier Service Contracts- What You Really Need to Know- Part 1

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

When it comes to copier service contracts there are some things you really should be aware of so you’re not caught off guard after you sign a contract. One of the most important is that most copier service contracts have a built-in minimum amount of copies/prints per month and charge overage charges if you go over that minimum.

When a copier company comes out to meet with you to give you a quote many times they will ask you how many copies/prints you are doing per month now. The reason they ask this question is because when they prepare a quote for you they’re going to quote you a price for the machine (cash or lease price) and they’re also going to quote you on a service contract for that machine.

Just to be clear the terminology may vary depending on what part of the country you are in but typically the contract will be called a service or maintenance contract/agreement.

The quoted price usually includes toner, repairs (parts & labor), preventative maintenance, and any consumables. Basically everything except your paper and staples.

In case you’re not aware a copier service agreement usually consists of 2 components. A monthly minimum number of copies at a set price and then a per copy/print price for “overages”. For example your agreement many be for 10,000 black copies/prints per month for $100.00 (1 cent per copy/print) and then any “overages” will be billed at an increased rate say, 1.5 cents per copy/print.

I’ve never really understood the overage thing and it truly baffles me. In what other business does a company penalize you for buying more of their product? In other words in the above example as part of your monthly “minimum” 10,000 copies you are billed at 1 cent each but magically after the 10,000 copies/prints per month the price goes up to 1.5 cents. Why? I really can’t tell you. Does it cost the copier company any more for the toner at the 10,001st copy than the 10,000th copy. I think we know the answer to that.

On top of this mystery there is another mystery I can’t seem to solve about my industry. If you do less than the “minimum” number of copies/prints per month (again 10,000 in our example) than you are still charged for the 10,000. Why? Again, no clue.

I would agree that in some cases where a business or professional practice does a very low volume per month/year there does need to be an annual dollar minimum. At my copier company in Baltimore, Maryland we have a minimum of $300.00 per year for the service agreement. I think this is very reasonable due to the fact that the service agreement covers repairs and toner. In other words if your copier goes down and we have to send a technician to your location and you bill less than $300.00  for an entire year than you can see how the company can easily start losing money. When your copier goes down they/we have to pay the technician, gas, parts, ect. Again keep in mind that the $300.00 minimum includes toner.

So in summary if you go over your “minimum” monthly copies/prints the cost per copy goes up and if you go below your minimum you still would be charged for the 10,000 copies/prints. Sounds like a lose/lose proposition for the customer to me.

Here at Action Business Systems I write my service agreements very differently. For example, I have a company interested in a new copier in Towson, Maryland. The way I quoted their agreement is the way I quote them all.

First, we agree on a per copy/print cost. In this case we were at $.007 (less than one penny) per copy. This amount varies depending on the type of copier you buy due to the toner efficiency of each machine.

Then, once the copier is delivered we wait until their first month is over and bill them for the exact amount of copies they did in that month. Then we do the same for every month thereafter. There is no lose/lose situation with minimums and overages. This is the most fair way to bill a customer for their copies/prints.

So in the example of the Towson, Maryland customer above if they do 20,000 copies/prints per month we just multiply that by .007 for a total of $140.00 for that month and we send them an invoice for that amount. Simple and fair.

You may have trouble finding a copier dealer in your area willing to do business this way but if you insist on it you may just get it.

If you’re business or professional practice is located in Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia area I would be happy to give you a simple and fair quote on a new copier and copier service agreement. Just shoot me a call or email. In the month of December 2012 we are giving away a free Toshiba Laptop, Toshiba Thrive Tablet or Toshiba flat screen TV with every new copier purchased or leased. Contact me, Ed Worthington at 443-570-0414   ed@edworthington.com or just fill out the form below.