Although ubiquitous in companies around the world, photocopiers are not one and the same. They may fulfill more or less the same task, yet it is important to assess your needs and get proper information to find a model which will match your expectations and at the same time be simple enough to operate. Besides, when you intend to buy a photocopier, it’s also crucial to consider other options such as renting or leasing, to make sure you get the best service at the right price.
What to look for when buying a photocopier?
Most modern photocopiers are nowadays preferably referred to as multi-function printers (MFPs), as they’re able to carry out a wide range of tasks. There are so many different levels of sophistication that taking certain key notions into account is vital to improve your business efficiency when you buy a photocopier.
Ink-jet or laser?
Choosing laser or ink-jet technology depends on your volume requirements. When the price per page is an important consideration, laser machines are at the high end of the price range but are still the optimal option as they are well-adapted to large volumes of copies. When low volume colour documents are required, ink-jet MFPs are the best choice, even if the ink they use is more expensive than toner for laser printers.
Print quality and speed
Speed is generally the most important feature for many businesses. Typically, mid-range machines will provide speeds of between 25 and 50 pages per minute for A4 paper. For companies which need mostly black and white copies, some models are faster in that mode than in colour. Print quality, or resolution, is also an important issue. Most machines offer resolution in the 600-1200 dpi range, which is perfect for internal use or simple flyers and user manuals. For high quality brochures and marketing material, you may need to buy a photocopier able to reach 2400 dpi.
Manufacturers have taken steps to make their products as user-friendly as possible, and even offer on-site training sessions and hotlines. Network capabilities are essential in most modern offices, to integrate your MFP in the company’s infrastructure. Paper capacity must be carefully considered when you buy a photocopier. Needing to refill the paper tray too often may have an adverse effect on your workflow. High-capacity or multiple paper trays for different paper weights or types will ensure your printer is always ready. Likewise, a variety of finishing tools such as staplers or document folders.
Assessing your needs to pinpoint your budget is of paramount importance, as prices range from £100 to more than £17,000. However, there’s more than just the capital cost to consider, as on the long run the price per page, depending on your printing volume, will represent most of your expenses.
Buying online, renting and leasing
According to your needs and the volume of documents you need to process, permanent purchase may not be the best option. Second hand machines or buying online may also be interesting ways to save money.
Buying a photocopier online
When you want to buy a photocopier, going online is always a good idea, to compare prices, understand the various models’ specificities and benefit from cheaper prices thanks to cheaper overheads. You’ll easily find retailers specializing in monochrome, multifunction or colour photocopiers for instance. You will also be able to negotiate good service rates.
Renting and leasing
Lease purchase or rental will allow you to spread the cost of your photocopier over several monthly fees, while guaranteeing your peace of mind as servicing and maintenance are often included in rental or lease contracts. That way, you’ll pay the best price for all your copying needs.