Buying a photocopier
Buying a photocopier is a large investment that will pay off within a few short years. Your photocopier is a crucial part of your information network that connects your enterprise. It must be able to do everything you need it to do now, as well as in years to come.
Below are a series of buying tips whichphotocopier? has put together that will help save you time and money if you decide to buy a photocopier.
Assess your present and future needs
What you need to do first is get a good snap shot of how many pages your photocopier will copy and print on average a month. You can calculate this easily by:
- Checking receipts from print shops
- Looking at your current photocopier’s meter and small printers’ volumes
- Examining the quantity of copies, prints, scans and faxes sent from the network (often found from network management utilities).
- Reviewing your paper consumption
It may be tempting to underestimate your output to keep costs down, but it’s important to buy a quality, durable photocopier that can grow with your business. If you plan to use your copier as a network printer, then we suggest you increase your monthly figure by 30% to 50%. Also add at least 15% to your total output to account for future growth. It's better to pay for more capacity than risk damaging and overworking an essential piece of office equipment.
Evaluate the pros and cons of a service contract
If you buy your photocopier outright, you have total responsibility for its maintenance and repair. Since photocopiers manufactured today are more reliable than they used to be, the cost of having a contract in place is an expense that may not be necessary for your business. Things to bear in mind when making this decision are:
- What does the contract cover? - ‘parts’ often have different definitions from contract to contract
- Are costs for parts and labour capped?
- Is the cost of consumables (other than paper and staples) included?
- Will a replacement photocopier be provided if yours requires significant repair?
- Do you know a local technician whom you could call on instead if a problem arises with your photocopier?
- Understand future pricing of your contract - any increases should be less than 8% per annum
Total cost of ownership
Before you purchase a photocopier, it’s important to understand the total cost of ownership over the photocopier’s planned lifecycle. This can be calculated by taking the purchase price, adding any service agreements plus the cost of consumables (such as paper, toner and staples), minus any other savings factors. This will give you a true reflection of the total cost to your business. Buying a photocopier outright may seem like the best option at first, however it's always a good idea to think about whether this makes the best use of your working capital. Leasing a photocopier may be more cost-effective in the long run.
Advantages of buying a photocopier
If you buy a photocopier outright, the benefits for your business will include:
- Fully owning an asset
- No tie in to long-term agreements that may be difficult to end
- Claiming capital allowances for tax purposes
- Paying less overall than a lease agreement
Disadvantages of buying a photocopier
- Cashflow may be affected as you will need to pay the full cost up front
- You can’t spread the cost to coincide with money coming into your business
- you can’t deduct the cost of rental from your taxable income
- You may need to use a loan or overdraft to fund the purchase - sometimes early loan repayments can be demanded or overdrafts withdrawn
- If you are a small business, you may not get the same price as a bigger business
- The value of your photocopier will depreciate over time and be worth less than you paid for it
- If your photocopier breaks down, you are entirely responsible for the maintenance and repair, which can be expensive.