"Thank you for calling Copy Tech. Maureen speaking…?”

Maureen’s mellow mezzo voice floated pleasantly through the copy shop office. It was a sweltering June afternoon in North Texas. But it was far from a lazy day at 2330 Jett Street, where Copy Tech Systems, Inc. has built it’s 34 year legacy of excellent service in the refurbished copiers market.

Like countless afternoons before, Maureen (Service Manager Extraordinaire since 1999) was fielding calls right and left on behalf of Copy Tech. Some callers had service needs, others asked sales-related questions. For instance:

Refurbished Copiers FAQ's

  • A CPA firm with a service contract needed instruction to get a meter reading on their Canon machine.
  • A law practice wanted to renew a lease on a Ricoh MP C4504.
  • An anxious real estate broker called. She was panicked that in the midst of pandemic pandemonium, she may have used the wrong cleaner on their machines? (She hadn’t – but Maureen still gave her a great resource on how to clean your copy machine to ease her mind).

None of these escaped Maureen's quick-witted charm and broad industry knowledge. Well, I had questions, too.

My friends in the Accounting industry had asked about these refurbished copiers. In light of all the uncertainty...

  • Were refurbished machines 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... Is it REALLY that simple for businesses looking to save cash in the midst of a pandemic?

I knew just the woman to ask...

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 machine" and a "used" machine you should keep in mind when shopping around...

COST VS. NEW Up to 70% off MSRP available. Unpredictable due to hidden costs.
% 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! The most reputable companies who refurbish have a process for ensuring that your "used" copier is 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?

-- I'm glad you asked! 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...

  1. Do you have Quality Control Checklist your company standardizes around for every machine you sell/ lease?
  2. How do you assess what a machine needs to be fully-reconditioned?
  3. Can you briefly describe each part of the process, and what is included?
  4. 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.]
  5. Do your machines get disassembled, with all the doors/ rollers/etc removed and thoroughly cleaned? Are the units vacuumed inside and out?
  6. Copiers have long memories. Are your copiers' hard drives cleared, reformatted and reconfigured with the standard settings?
  7. Do you test your machines prior to them leaving your shop? What kinds of tests let you know things are working properly?
  8. Explain your process for Network Setup, and all that is included before the machine is delivered?
  9. Will your technicians deliver my machine to my home or office? How will it be transported and set up to protect my investment?
  10. 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. But it is important to know what is included in the reconditioning process before you put down any 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 a quality refurbished copy machine 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.

>> 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 machine that is JUST as functional, at a fraction of the price.
  3. 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!
  4. 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, THOUSANDS of copy machines are sent to our landfills. And most of the components don't compose over time. So by investing in a quality refurbished machine, you'd be supporting companies that help the environment - it's 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 units in excellent condition.  As a result, in these times of reduced budgets and increased need for operational efficiency, many of our customers are realizing significant savings by choosing this lower cost, high value option.

Since 1986, Copy Tech has been the trusted source for gently used copiers in DFW. 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 #Affordable Price makes us your first choice for purchasing (or leasing) great copiers in DFW.

#Thanks for trusting us with your business!

(See? I told you Maureen would be helpful.)

Chris Scowden

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.