Is it time to buy a copier for your Lehigh Valley, Lancaster or Reading, PA business? We also serve companies in the NJ area, namely Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset.

With so many copying products on the market these days, choosing the right one for your company is not an easy process. The answers to the following frequently asked questions about how to buy a copier for business use should make the task easier.

What Do I Really Need My Copier to Do?

A good place to start when you’re ready to buy a copier is to think about what you really need it to do. These days, copiers are available that effortlessly combine copying, scanning, printing, faxing and document-serving in one user-friendly piece of office equipment. If you perform all of these functions on a regular basis, an all-in-one multi-function printer (MFP) could be your best option.

What Features Do I Need?

Some copier companies will try to sell you a product filled with all the latest bells and whistles — whether you need them or not. Too often, this results in paying more than necessary for a copier. A better approach is to determine whether features such as color, multiple paper sizes, wireless connectivity and stringent security measures make sense for the way your business operates.

Who Will Be Using the Copier?

When you’re considering factors such as features and copying speed, think about who will actually be using the copier. If multiple departments will be using the copier on a regular basis, you’ll probably need a wider assortment of features. It’s a good idea to get input from your department heads before making your final buying decision.

How Fast Should My Copier Be?

Copying speed can vary significantly from one copier to another. Copier speed is rated in terms of pages per minute (ppm). If your copy volume is in the area of 3,000 to 5,000 per month, you can probably get by with a machine that can provide an output of 20 to 30 ppm. If your office’s volume is higher, you can buy a copier from Stratix Systems with capabilities of up to 70 ppm for color and 75 ppm for black-and-white copies.

How Much Does a Copier Cost?

The cost of a copy will depend on the model and the features it offers. You could lease a basic copier for as little as  $100 a month or even less, while a high-end copier could run in excess of $650 per month or more. If you choose to buy a copier for your Lehigh Valley, Reading or Lancaster, PA business instead of lease, your overall cost may be somewhat higher.

Should I Lease or Buy a Copier?

In many cases, it makes more sense to lease instead of buy a copier. A big disadvantage when you buy a copier is that it ties up more capital that could be put to better use in other areas of your business. With leasing, you get the benefit of relatively low fixed monthly payments that offer easier manageability. Since leases typically cover a short period, you’ll be able to upgrade to newer, more technologically advanced models with greater frequency. In general, leasing copiers gives your company more flexibility than when purchasing.

Start-up businesses not yet in the position to make a financial commitment that entering into a lease contract requires can lease one instead. Companies with extremely low copying volume (700 copies per month or less) can also benefit from buying instead of leasing.

In these instances, buying an inexpensive copier with limited features can provide the most cost-effective solution. Buying a refurbished copier is another viable options, but only if you purchase it from a reputable full-service dealer.

How Do I Choose a Dealer/Vendor?

Where you buy a copier is just as important as the product itself. Begin by only considering vendors that have partnerships in place with the most reputable copier manufacturers. Ask the vendor if it is willing to provide a free demo or even allow you to try it out for free for a short period of time. Also ask for a list of other businesses in the area the vendor currently serves and contact the owners for their assessment of the vendor’s products and services.

Speaking of services, inquire about the services that the vendor offers its customers. For instance, will the vendor provide training for your staff? Does it have a staff of field technicians who can maintain and repair your copier? Is telephone technical support available? You’ll also want to ask about the availability of customer support agreements that can be customized to your unique business requirements.

A good place to start is to ask several vendors to provide a free on-site assessment of your copying needs. This will give you a better feel for the vendor and the services it provides.