My friends in the Accounting industry have been asking all about these refurbished copiers. In light of all the uncertainty, when it comes to buying a copier...
Are refurbished copiers really worth all the hype?
How would one know if they were getting a good one that won't break as soon as I get it back to the office?
Are refurbished copiers environmentally safe?
And most importantly, are refurbished copiers (or even a refurbished copier lease) REALLY the answer for businesses looking to save cash in the midst of a pandemic?
There are pros and cons.
I knew just the woman to ask: Copy Tech Service Manager Extraordinaire, Maureen Scotch.
In this Q&A, Maureen gives us the 411 on Refurbished Copiers. Consider her sage wisdom if you're looking to save money on office equipment, or when approaching any office copier leasing company...
WHAT IS A REFURBISHED COPIER?
Let's take it from the top, Maureen. Isn't "refurbished" just another way of saying "used"? Aren't they basically the same thing?
-- Well, not exactly. In fact, there are a several key differences between a "quality refurbished copier" and a "used" machine you should keep in mind when shopping around...
|REFURBISHED COPIERS||USED COPIERS|
|COST VS. NEW||Up to 70% off MSRP available.||Unpredictable due to hidden costs.|
|INSPECTED FOR DAMAGE BY A PRO||YES||Sold As-Is|
|REPAIRED & PARTS REPLACED BY A TRAINED INDUSTRY TECHNICIAN||YES||"As-Is" means "As-Is".|
|WARRANTY / SERVICE CONTRACT||YES||NO|
|% OF LIFE LEFT||90% or more||UNKNOWN|
|GOOD IDEA?||Yes, From a Trusted Source.||Rarely.|
Just because a copier is "used" does not mean it's been refurbished! When considering copiers new vs used for your small business, the most reputable companies who refurbish follow a process for ensuring that your "used" refurbished copiers are fully reconditioned.
THE RECONDITIONING PROCESS...
What are some questions business owners can ask to know for sure that they are getting a quality refurbished multipurpose machine? Regardless of whether this is a copy machine lease or purchase.
-- I'm glad you asked! For example, here are a few questions that professional technicians and service managers should be able to answer with a resounding YES... or answer with detail.
We call these the "Copy Tech Ten". They cover areas we believe are essential for ensuring each of our refurbished multipurpose machines are in excellent shape. For example...
- Do you have Quality Control Checklist your company standardizes around for every machine you sell/ lease?
- How do you assess what a machine needs to be fully-reconditioned?
- Can you briefly describe each part of the process, and what is included?
- What is the typical meter reading or usage of the copiers you refurbish when you get them in? [If less than 200k clicks for a Ricoh C4503 or C4504, for example, you're in good shape for a refurbished machine.]
- Do your machines get disassembled, with all the doors/ rollers/etc removed and thoroughly cleaned? Are the units vacuumed inside and out?
- Copiers have long memories. Are your copiers' hard drives cleared, reformatted and reconfigured with the standard settings?
- Do you test your machines prior to them leaving your shop? Moreover, what kinds of tests let you know things are working properly?
- Explain your process for Network Setup, and all that is included before the machine is delivered?
- Will your technicians deliver my machine to my home or office? How will it be transported and set up to protect my investment?
- Can I expect to get friendly, prompt and accurate tech support if I run into any issues?
A poorly refurbished copier purchase can actually cost you more money, and can even compromise the future of a company as a result if it does not function properly. Refurbished copiers can absolutely help business leaders save cash. Therefore, it is important to know what is included in the reconditioning process before you put down any money. Especially if you're going to be making monthly payments!
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Alright, well then, let's get to it. For businesses dealing with cut backs on capital and human resources -- obviously there's been some shifting due to our national health crisis -- what makes going with quality refurbished copiers a good idea at this point? Can print-heavy businesses actually benefit?
-- With so much uncertainty these days, it’s smarter to reconsider your essential business costs. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, average small to mid-sized businesses tended to spend between $45 - $92 USD per employee, per month on just office supplies.
Law firms, CPAs and others highly reliant on printed documents, however, could spend up to $1,000 per month per employee! We didn’t blink. Everyone just assumed the revenue would keep coming.
Now days, you have to be more selective. You have to take time to understand your upfront costs, whether you want to purchase the equipment or choose to lease. Copiers and printers, document management services, and any leased equipment all have contracts and lease terms you must take into consideration.
>> REALITY CHECK: When you buy a new copy machine, you are absorbing the majority of the depreciation in the first year.
It’s time to pull out those service contracts – business owners can do better. Overall, refurbished copiers are much more affordable than their new counterparts.
Here are some ideas:
- If you're coming up on the end of your lease, that's great news! Don't renew without getting a quote on leasing (or buying) a refurbished one. Oftentimes business owners can get the exact same (or very similar) model/ brand, for a substantially less lease payment.
- Get proactive about your situation. Business owners who simply wait on a call from their equipment dealer to give them a better deal are dreaming. Instead, browse for a refurbished copier that is JUST as functional, at a fraction of the price.
- When looking at your service contract, seek to reduce your click-charge rate. For example, at $0.02 - $0.05 per black and white copy, you know that there is a lot of room for negotiation!
- Business owners who worry about cash flow may find it more appealing to purchase outright from a quality refurbishing company. While leasing might have been appealing in 2017, a lot has changed. Credit scores have taken hits. PPP loans have stagnated.
It could be more cost-effective in the long run to buy (at 50-70% off MSRP).
There’s a budgeting truth that DFW’s most persevering Law firms, Accounting firms and Educational institutions keenly obey: bargain before you buy. (And if at all possible, try before you buy too. Check out Your Performance Fit to see how you can demo a machine - FREE).
WHAT'S SO GREEN ABOUT REFURBISHED MACHINES?
I've heard that buying a refurbished machine is actually better for the environment. Would you explain that?
-- First you have to understand that every year, the world sends THOUSANDS of copy machines to landfills. And most of the components don't compose over time. So by investing in a quality refurbished machine, you'd support companies that help the environment. You'd be recycling.
And the best part is, you're not giving up quality when you buy (or lease) from a trusted source. Hint, hint.
SOURCE FROM A COMPANY YOU TRUST: THE COPY TECH DIFFERENCE
Copy Tech Systems, Inc's specialty is the sale and service of lease return copiers. We handle only very low copy count refurbished copiers (and new ones) in excellent condition. As a result, in these times of reduced budgets and increased need for operational efficiency, many of our customers realize significant savings by choosing this lower cost, high value option.
Since 1986, Copy Tech has been the trusted source for gently used Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Canon copiers in DFW. Most importantly, Copy Tech ONLY sells used machines that are certified to perform properly and fully guaranteed—just like the new machines we sell. Our 34 year legacy of #ExcellentService at an #AffordablePrice makes us your first choice for purchasing (or leasing) great copiers in DFW.
#Thanks for trusting us with your business, whether you choose to lease vs buy your copier!
(See? I told you Maureen would be helpful.)
Written by Chris Scowden
Chris Scowden is the husband to a wonderful wife, Michelle. Together they have 3 daughters, ages 13, 10, and 9. The Scowdens live in Prosper, TX and have been part of the Dallas community for over 20 years. Chris leads Copy Tech with over 25 years of Executive Leadership and Business Transformation experience. He is passionate about small business and believes it is the lifeblood of our country.
We are living through unprecedented times with a lot of uncertainty and fear in the world. Copy Tech supports your business in every way that we can. If you are navigating through the transition of working from home, let us know. We have partnered with Ring Central and our equipment suppliers to create solutions for working remotely. Contact Sales@CopyTechSys.com for more info.