Buying Office Copiers

How to Buy a Copier for Your Small Business

Buying an office copier? Whether you are purchasing a new office copier or buying a refurbished copier, this article provides some great tips on buying office copiers.

Tired of running to the copy shop every time you need to make a few copies? Has your old machine reached the point that it makes more noises than copies? If so, then maybe it's time to consider purchasing a new office copier for your business.

Buying Copiers

If you haven't shopped for a copier lately, you will be amazed by the number of options that are now available. In the past, office copiers usually only did what they do best - make copies. However, modern office copiers have been transformed into multifunction document handling systems.

Before you shop for an office copier, you'll need to consider the kinds of functions your copier will be required to perform. Some small business owners are tempted to believe that they can take a go-it-alone approach to assessing their copying needs only to discover they missed the mark after the copier has been purchased and installed. A much better approach is to seek the input of your office staff - the people who will be using the equipment - before you buy.

Some of the office copier features you and your staff will want to think about are discussed below.

Color Copier or Black & White Copier?

The decision to purchase a color copier or a black and white one is largely an economical one. Color copiers are significantly more expensive than their black and white counterparts both in purchase price and in cost per copy. However, if your business regularly outsources large amounts of color copying for sales brochures, promotional literature, or other business projects, then you may actually save money by purchasing a color that is capable of printing in full color. On the other hand, if your color copying needs are minimal, the decision to purchase a color machine is really one of convenience more than economy.

Copy Volume

Copy volume is measured in c.p.m., or copies per minute. This may not seem like a very important feature on an office copier, but the difference between a high c.p.m. rate and a low one can make a noticeable impact on your bottom line. How? In a word - efficiency.

Think about how much time your employees will waste standing in front of a copier that only produces a few copies per minute. You may have gotten a deal on the copier, but you'll pay for it in lost time. Even more, slow copiers are annoying, and irritated employees are always less productive than happy ones.

Duplexing, Collating, and Paper Handling

Some other features that need to be considered are whether or not it is able to print duplex, collate, and handle a variety of papers.

Duplexing is the ability to print on both sides of a single piece of paper. You can do this by running the copy through twice, or you can purchase a machine that will do the work for you.

Collation involves the arrangement of copies as they are produced, and is most important for multiple-page copies.

Paper handling ability is a major consideration in a copier. Depending on your needs, you will want to make sure your copier is capable of handling a variety of paper weights, transparencies, and possibly even multiple paper supply trays.

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We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

  • John Davidsson posted on 2/8/2009
    John Davidsson
    These are great suggestions. Knowing what you want (and what your business needs) is crucial, but having a reliable and trustworthy Account Rep is invaluable. Chances are good that your business will inevitably work with an Account Representative from a local vendor (Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, etc.) Since I am in the copier/printer/multi-function machine industry myself I would highly recommend asking an Account Representative for reference letters. Personally I have over two dozen and I think this adds a great deal of credibility to my suggestions: I can PROVE how I have been able to save my customers' time and money.

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