Four tips to help you lease a copier Featured

10:04am EDT July 22, 2002
Some years, experts urge business owners to buy their copiers. Other times, they say it's better to lease. Now, we're in one of those leasing-is-best times.

"We go through these cycles," says Dick Nowak, a recruiter and trainer for OBM of Northeast Ohio. "The tax people determine whether people should buy or lease. These days, tax benefits are derived from leasing.

"This is a monthly-payment society," Nowak continues. "Almost everything we do in our life is paid by the month-your mortgage, your car payment. So why not your copier too?"

When you're shopping for that next copier, here are a few things you should remember:

  • Plan to upgrade your copier within three years. That's one of the benefits of leasing. "When we own something, we tend to hang on to it way too long," Nowak says. But businesses generally increase their copier volume 10 to 15 percent a year. Every year, copiers add capacity and new features to help your office run more smoothly.

  • Base your decision on service. Ever since Xerox was forced to sell three of its patents in the 1970s, all brands of copiers generally offer the same features and quality.

    Check your prospective vendor's track record for service. The vendor should service your copiers even when there's not a problem. You shouldn't just see your technician when there's a problem.

    "People fly in aircraft every day that are 20 to 30 years old," Nowak says. "That's because there's a commitment to service. When copiers become problems, what it really means is someone hasn't been servicing their equipment."

  • Don't skimp on a bare-bones copier. It can cost your business more if employees waste time waiting in line for a slow machine.

  • Stay away from multifunctional copiers, such as ones that also print, fax or scan. "We're used to having separate machines for separate things and there's a reason for that," Nowak says. Machines are generally more efficient when they have a dedicated purpose.
  • And if your machine fails, you've got real problems if it runs your whole office. "Multifunctional machines are OK for small, home offices, but not for other businesses."