Buying Your Own Copier?
Does This sound
Familiar ? ...
So you're getting tired
of running down to your local copy shop. You get in your car and drive down
to make a few copies, pay your 5˘ to 10˘ per copy then drive back to your
office only to realize that you still need more copies made. What an
inconvenience of time lost running back and forth.
With shopping the local
copier dealers, you are shocked to learn that a new copier can cost from
$2,000 to $25,000. Your next stop is the local office supply or superstore
which offer the smaller PC grade type of machine starting at about $400 up
to about $2,000.
Buying a Photocopier Machine
There are four primary
considerations when buying a copier; 1) is how many copies you will be
producing monthly, 2) what features you require, 3) space and machine size
requirements, and 4) how soon you will outgrow the machine.
considerations are, the reliability of the machine, cost per copy, and how
many copies the consumable parts yield and their replacement cost.
Which Brand is Best?
With our experience
(over eight years) working on all makes & models from AB Dick to Xerox we
have found that... "The Golden Rule is there called and generally the
factories that make the best Photography equipment make the best . *Canon
*Sharp *Ricoh and *Minolta."
Photocopier Machine Grades
There are three basic
grades or classes of photocopy machines. The first grade of copier is the PC
(Personal Copier) grade that are often sold in office supply and department
stores. The second and generally most preferable grade of machine is the
standard Business Grade machine. Next there is the Commercial ReproGraphic
Grade machine that is primarily designed for high volume users who produce
50,000 to 100,000 copies monthly.
The PC Grade
Most PC grade machines
are sold by your local office superstore. They are designed to produce a
maximum of 500 to 1,500 copies monthly. In buying the PC Grade Machine ; The
convenience of a new small PC grade copier may soon be over shadowed by the
lack of features, capacity, high cost per copy, and lack of available
Pluses and minuses of
the PC copier.
The pluses are 1)
“instant warm-up” that means when you turn the machine on it is ready to
make a copy within one minute, 2) operator replaceable drum / copy
cartridges, and 3) low purchase price. Now lets get to the minuses, 1) slow
only 5-10 copies per minute (CPM), 2) high cost per copy aprox. 7˘, 3) lack
of available features and paper sizes, and 4) lack of on-site service.
In event of any repairs
needed, most of these machines are not on-site serviceable and are shipped
off to "Repair Depots" resulting in a loss of your copier (possibly for
several weeks) during the repair period. However we would like to note that
PC grade machines in general enjoy an excellent record for reliability and
* A note
about how copy cost / toner yield is figured :
Cost per copy / toner yield is figured on a percentage of how much toner
is applied to a letter size copy. If all the toner applied to your letter
sized copy is condensed down to a solid block / field it would equal a
percentage of the size of the copy. Thus this "toner field" is the quotient
in which cost per copy / stated yield is based upon.
In regards to PC type
machines, the "stated yield" or copy cost is generally based upon a 5% field
per letter sized copy. If the stated yield of the Drum Cartridge says 2,000
copies, average yield will be more like 1,200. Reason being, most documents
copied run an average of 8%-15% field. And with copying any graphics you can
easily be upto a 25% to 50% field. These machines even for low volume users
can rapidly become cost prohibitive to operate.
Grade Copier :
The standard Business
Grade Machine for most users is the best choice. This is the most common
grade of machine. Features and machine size will vary, they can range from a
simple desktop model to a large stand alone machine. Business grade machines
are generally recognized by a low cost per copy and the availability of
"Full System" options. Average cost per copy is 1˘ (includes paper & toner).
Common features are
R/E, ADF, and sorter. These machines are designed to produce from 1 up to
50,000 copies monthly. New purchase prices can range from $2,000 to $15,000.
A Business Grade machine will give you years and hundreds of thousands of
copies worth of service. This grade of machine truly represents the best
Grade Copier :
The commercial grade
copier will generally include many of the full system features and produce
50 plus copies per
minute. Differences that separate this type of machine verses the business
grade machine are 1) monthly copy volume, 2) lower maintenance (generally
required only every 100,000 copies) with service costing no more than
business grade copiers, and 3) low cost per copy.
The minus to this type
of machine is the slightly larger size over business grade. New purchase
prices can range from $25,000 to $40,000. However good used or recondition
machines can be purchased for the price of a business grade machine. With
low maintenance cost and low cost per copy, machines like this can become
R/E : Reduction
& Enlargement, some machines may also have a zoom lens in which the image
size can be altered in 1% increments.
DF, ADF, RADF :
Document Feeders automatically load the original(s) to be copied onto the
copyboard glass. The Document Feeder feeds only a single original at a time.
The Auto Document Feeder will feed a stack of 20 to 50 originals
automatically to the copyboard glass for copying. The Reversing Automatic
Feeder has basically
the same function as the ADF except it has the ability to handle two sided
originals. This feature will recirculate and flip over the originals
allowing it to copy the second/back side of the original.
SORTER : This
collating feature will allow you to make multiple copies of multiple
originals, e.g., the ability to make books and manuscripts. The number of
sorter bins/trays vary between 10 to 40, the most common a 20 bin sorter.
Misc. Features :
Some of the other features may include Duplexing (automatic two sided
copying), Image Editing, special Book Copying Mode, and multiple colors.
Purchasing a pre-owned
copier will help you avoid that immediate 40-60% drop in resale value which
happens the moment you take delivery of that brand new photocopier. With
thousands of well maintained copiers coming "Off Lease" and or being
repossessed monthly purchasing a pre-owned copier maybe your best choice.
Lots of great equipment available at a fraction of the new cost.
There are three basic
sources in which to buy a pre-owned copier from. One is the franchised
dealer, another is from a private party, and the third is from a Independent
Photocopier Sales & Service Company who maybe your best and wisest choice.
They generally offer Fully Serviced or Re-Conditioned Copy Machines at a
fraction of the cost of new equipment and generally include a 30-90 Day
An Independent Dealer
will generally offer better prices on copy machines, service, and supplies.
Most of these independent dealers buy their machines from Wholesalers and
Leasing Companies and then fully service or recondition them before resale.
These "Independents" generally select only machines for resale that are in
above average condition and are known not to have been produced with factory
It is recommended that
when buying a pre-owned copier you always get a warranty. Some sellers may
offer you a lower “as-is / no warranty” price, its your decision do you like
gambling? Obtaining a 30 day / 3,000 copy warranty allows a sufficient
period for evaluation of machine condition.