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Q: Photocopiers -- buy or rent for a small business ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Photocopiers -- buy or rent for a small business
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: acurry17-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 12 Oct 2006 13:55 PDT
Expires: 11 Nov 2006 12:55 PST
Question ID: 773009
I run a small (but growing!) business that provides plant and flower
services to companies, and I'm suddenly confused about photocopying.
We use copiers moderately heavily (copies of bills and delivery
orders, plus printing price sheets and flyers in house); my old copier
died, and now I hear that lots of businesses rent copiers instead of
buying them. Is this a good idea, and how does it work (do you pay for
supplies? per-copy?). How can I figure out whether I'd just be better
off buying a new copier from Sam's Club or Office Depot?
Subject: Re: Photocopiers -- buy or rent for a small business
Answered By: maniac-ga on 12 Oct 2006 16:30 PDT
Hello Acurry17,

Yes - many companies (both large and small) use copier rental
companies instead of purchasing copiers. A few references I found
indicate that "many" should be "most" - primarily to avoid capital
costs and improve flexibility. In some of the larger companies (or the
government), the rental company also operates the machines.

How these companies determined what to do in most cases, was to use a
"Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO) analysis to determine which method to

Here is a good summary of TCO analysis at Monash University
with several factors to be considered. Note this guide assumes the
"per copy" costs of a rental exclude paper (but include toner,
repairs, etc) - this may vary based on your specific rental or usage
agreement. This reference also distinguishes between flat rate (e.g.,
monthly - though may be limited in copies per month) fees compared to
"per click" fees.

Here are factors being considered by the University of Delaware (a
copier at an office or using the central serivces):

If you want to consider environmental factors, here are references
that are specific to copiers:

Some specific TCO calculators:

A canadian company selling new / previously owned copiers:

A research company in the UK that looks at printers, copiers, and other devices:
This reference brings up several other factors to consider (what type
of device to use) - the "free" calculator appears limited - but may
give you enough to analyze your specific situation.

I found several references to $22 shareware titled "ClickPrice Calculator".
this appears to have some capabilities to determine the best option in
your situation.

You asked what is included in a rental (or lease) - the factors seem
to vary by specific company but this reference
includes a good list of items that may / may not be considered. This
site also includes links to get quotes from vendors in your area
[registration required].

Another reference related to what is included or not in your copier agreement is at
(scroll near the bottom)

Other factors you may want to consider include:
 - your specific cash flow situation
 - replacement policies (for a larger or smaller copier as your needs change)
 - your other copiers and usage pattern (can you use your existing
copiers to "back up" the new ones for surge - so can avoid expensive
emergency repair costs)

If some part of the answer is unclear or you need additional
information for some aspect of the question - please make a
clarification request. I would be glad to help further.

Good luck with your business.

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