Copy machines come in a wide range of prices, capabilities, and sizes. Professionals who occasionally make only a small number of, high-quality copies have different needs than small businesses that send out mailings. Basic photocopiers can do a great job and aren’t costly. On the flip side, the latest models can comfortably handle large volumes and even create newsletters and brochures.
While some features are expensive, at times it’s just a matter of asking the right questions and purchasing a model that can do what you want. That is why we have compiled our list of six questions to reflect on when shopping for a new copy machine. Answering these key questions ahead of time will help take away a lot of the unnecessary stress from the shopping process:
How Much Does the Photocopier Cost?
Cost is always a key factor when buying office equipment. Copier speed, size of copies, and whether the machine prints color are major factors. If the copy machine you want is too costly, you can consider leasing or renting a copier to reduce up-front costs.
Do I Need a Color Copy Machine?
Next, you should ask yourself if you want black and white or color prints. Black and white photocopiers are cheaper than their color counterparts and could save you a lot of money. If you make only a few or no color copies at all, a black and white copy machine will save you from shelling out cash for an unwanted feature. Then again, if you do have color copying needs, consider outsourcing these jobs. For instance, clients who perform one or two big color jobs yearly, such as an annual report, could easily delegate these tasks to a reliable document services provider.
Does the Photocopier have a Warranty?
Depending on how frequently you’ll use the photocopier, a warranty might matter a great deal to you.
The value of a warranty is dependent on what is covered and for how long. While the warranty is less important for inexpensive office equipment, expensive office machinery should have warranties covering labor and parts for at least one year.
You can also consider some outlets that offer extended warranties if the manufacturer's warranty doesn't offer enough protection.
Do I Need Managed Print?
While mechanical requirements are commonly the main point of discussion, you shouldn’t overlook software. Print management software is a powerful and efficient tool that can be utilized within industries to accomplish many goals. For instance, Governments depend on user restriction features to keep sensitive files secure.
If you’re on the hunt for advanced managed print capabilities, notify your sales representative or consultant. Doing so could save you from having to retrace your steps down the road. Even though you are not considering managed print software at this point, it is still important to bring it up. Exploring your choices when purchasing your photocopier puts you in a better position in the future should you opt to add print management.
Most importantly, ensure your vendor and copy machine can handle the software solution you want if you added a managed print service. If not, you could end up frustrated when you realize your preferred dealer doesn’t offer your preferred solution.
How Many Copies Do I Need?
This simple question will set you off on the right path when it comes to purchasing the right photocopier to meet your business's needs.
According to the best office photocopier guides on the Internet, you can use a small personal photocopying machine for a low-volume office if you are producing less than 2000 copies monthly. For larger copy needs of up to 25,000 copies monthly, a business copy machine will do. Only consider a commercial photocopier for large copy needs of up to 75,000 monthly.
How Fast Can it Copy?
Depending on the type of business you are running, the speed of your photocopier really matters. If you’re always making copies for customers and employees, then you want a copy machine that is efficient, accurate and fast to decrease the risk of paper jams.
However, if you rarely make any copies, then time might not matter as much in the potential volume and output of the photocopier you go for. For the most part, a medium paced photocopier will fit the bill; high-speed commercial copy machines are hardly ever needed for basic office settings.
Can I get Spares for My Copier?
There are some things that you’ve to get for your photocopier. Ink cartridges are one of these things, but there is an issue. After a certain amount of time, a copy machine becomes obsolete, and the company will no longer manufacture the ink cartridges. So, finding out if you can still get cartridges is crucial.
Where Can I Get Technical Support?
Copy machines are complex pieces of machinery that are sensitive to misuse. Check to ensure that customer service is available locally. At times you might need help even when changing the toner for the first time.
What Features are “Standard” and Come with the Machine Without Upgrade?
Copiers, like automobiles, have upgraded features, models and makes. You wouldn’t just purchase the first car you spotted on your way in the dealership just because you like its color, would you? Purchasing on just looks will get you nowhere.
Read through the product brochure where all of the standard and upgrade options are listed and ask questions.
Are There Any Advanced Features in a Newer Version of the Model You’re Considering that are Worth Waiting For?
Like automobiles, photocopiers get face-lifts continually. Considerable modifications in a product’s features can also be an opportunity to get a better deal, as the vendor may want to make room for the new inventory.
While buying a copier is not rocket science, you can dodge serious stress in the buying process by using these key questions to narrow down your choices. After you have answered the questions highlighted above, you will have a good criterion that you can use to choose a reasonably priced, efficient photocopier to meet your office's needs.