Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Copier buying questions’

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

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Copier Buying Tip- Keep the Future in Mind

November 13, 2013 Leave a comment

The purpose of this blog is to pretty straightforward. To save you time, money and pain when buying a copier for your business. professional practice or church. Whenever I see what seems like a buying mistake made by a business I try to bring it to you in hopes that you won’t repeat others mistakes.

Recently I was working with a customer in Baltimore who bought a copier from my company about 4 years. The customer bought the copier from someone else in the company so I was not the person who originally sold the customer this copier.

When I sat down with the customer and began to ask him some questions to get familiar with his business he expressed his dissatisfaction that the copier he has currently wasn’t keeping up with the needs of his business. He had recently began to experience some service issues with the copier and felt he had actually been “undersold” when he purchased the copier.

In other words he felt that the previous representative from my company that he worked with didn’t sell him a machine that was made for the high volumes he was printing and copying.

Upon further review of his account I realized that the original service agreement he signed 4 years ago was for 20,000 copies/prints per month and they were now doing over 80,000 per month.

I asked him if the company has grown over the last 4-5 years and he expressed that the growth has been significant. I explained to him that based on my research his volumes had increased significantly over that last 4+ years and that when he originally purchased the copier he himself felt that 20,000 copies/prints per month was sufficient.

It really wasn’t the previous salesperson’s fault. She thought she was doing the right thing at the time. The only mistake she may have made was to neglect to ask the customer about their growth expectations. At that point if the customer was anticipating rapid growth maybe higher volume model could have been recommended.

I quickly remedied the issue by recommending that the customer purchase either 2- 65 page per minute copiers or one 135 page per minute copier. Having 2- 65 page per minute copiers has some advantages over 1- 135 page per minute copier like the ability to have 2 people sending faxes at once.

In the end this customer opted for one copier but the moral of the story is when buying a new copier keep in mind that if you anticipate company growth you may want to go one or 2 models up from what you current needs warrant.

If you don’t, you may end up having service issues when the copier is being used more than the manufacturer recommends for that model.

Also keep in mind that manufacturers tend to exaggerate the number of monthly copies/prints their machines can reasonably handle without having service issues. Sometimes I get a good laugh when I read manufacturers brochures. I have no idea why they put such unrealistic numbers on these spec sheets but I find all manufacturers do it.

The other option is to keep in mind that you may have to expand your copier budget to purchase a second machine while you still have an active lease on the first one.

If you choose the two copier option keep in mind that you don’t want to wait until your first copier is having a lot of service issues to add the second one. By that time the first one may be burnt out and have to be replaced well before the lease ends. This would defeat the purpose of the strategy.

So the copier buying tip today is to keep future needs in mind when purchasing a new copier for your business.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have any questions  or comments please feel free to fill out the form below.

Have fun!

Read more…

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.

Which Copier Should I Buy?

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Which copier should I buy?

It’s a question I get from my customers as well as my friends who are in the business world.

The many different vendors,copy machines, accessories and service plans can make your head spin.

I’m here to help.

Take a look at my Copier Comparison Guide. It will help you compare different vendor proposals in order to get the best deal for your business.

Perhaps most importantly it will empower you by teaching you the questions you should be asking each vendor in order to get the best deal.

When a prospective vendor hears you ask these types of questions they’ll know that they’re dealing with someone who knows more than the average person about copiers.

This will significantly decrease the chance of them trying to get over on you.

My advice, print this guide, contact the top 3 copier companies in your area and compare.

Please call or email  me with any questions. Hope this helps.

Ed Worthington  *443-570- 0414  *ed@edworthington.com

https://www.box.net/s/txmhoehkwnghfk7mce25

How Fast Does My Copier Really Need To Be?

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the questions I get the most and probably the first question you should ask yourself when purchasing a copier is, “how fast does my copier need to be?”.

The speed of the copier you select should be based on the number of copies and prints you will do per month.

Buyer Beware! When reading the manufactures literature they tend to overinflate the number of pages per month that their copiers can handle.

So in order to help with this question I have copied the information below ( how to determine your monthly output and the maximum duty chart) from BLI’s (Buyers Laboratory) website.

BLI is an excellent source of unbiased information for anyone in the process of buying a copier or printer. At the end of this post I have included information on who Buyers Lab is and how to contact them.

How do you determine your monthly output volume?

  • Bills for your service agreement and print shop provide a good snapshot of your current usage; so does a look at your current copier’s meter.
  • Some copier companies use network management utilities that can tell you all the prints, copies, faxes and/or scans sent from the network to your copier or printer.
  • Many dealers also use devices that audit your volume. However, audit tools can sometimes miss devices such as small printers.

The chart below compares the average manufacturers maximum monthly page output vs. what Buyers Lab recommends so you don’t  send your copier to an early grave.

Manufacturers’ Maximum Monthly Duty Cycle vs. BLI’s Optimum Monthly Volume

Monochrome Average Maximum Monthly Duty Cycle BLI’s Optimum Monthly Volume
Up to 20 ppm 19,094 3,600
21 to 30 ppm 50,983 9,000
31 to 40 ppm 123,140 17,000
41 to 49 ppm 145,141 26,500
50 to 59 ppm 259,070 37,250
60 to 69 ppm 314,865 55,000
70 to 79 ppm 347,059 82,000
80 to 89 ppm 530,000 135,000
90 to 99 ppm 750,000 175,000
Color* Average Maximum Monthly Duty Cycle BLI’s Optimum Monthly Volume
16 to 25 ppm 85,879 13,500
26 to 36 ppm 113,101 15,000
37 to 46 ppm 153,278 28,000
46+ ppm 225,306 36,500

* For color models that a have a different speed for color and black modes, the speeds listed are the black speeds.

Hope this helps!

Come back next month when I’ll cover the question, “Should I lease or buy a copier?”.

If you have any copier buying questions please feel free to contact me.

If your business is located in Baltimore, Maryland,  Washington, DC or Northern Virgina and you are in the market for a new or used copier please contact me for a NO OBLIGATION, ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE quote.

Ed Worthington- Senior Account Executive

Action Business Systems-Toshiba

ed@edworthington.com

443-570-0414

Buyer Lab Info:

For over 45 years, Buyers Laboratory (BLI) has been the leading source for unbiased and reliable intelligence for the imaging industry. BLI was founded in 1961 by the late Arthur Kallet, the co-founder and 20-year head of Consumers Union, the publisher of the highly respected Consumer Reports magazine (BLI is not affiliated with Consumers Union). In February 2004, BLI was acquired by publishing industry veterans Michael Danziger and Mark Lerch, the current Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of BLI, respectively. In 2005, BLI launched its international division with offices in Hong Kong and London.

You can reach Buyer Lab on the web at http://www.buyerslab.com