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Is the Cheapest Copier Really the Cheapest Copier? Skip to main content

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Is the Cheapest Copier Really the Cheapest Copier?

Tue Feb 21, 2017 | Lasers Resource


You need a new copier.  The question is, which one do you buy?  The cheapest copier? There are many different brands, sizes and price tags.  Do you need one big copier for all to share, or would you be better off with each employee having a personal desktop all-in-one?  There are a lot of questions and factors to consider before you can be comfortable with which copier to choose.

Copier deal | Buying a new copier | cheapest copier | deals on printers and copiers | Lasers Resource | Grand Rapids MI


Purchasing Costs

Let’s propose a hypothetical situation where a billing department of four employees need a new copier.  You have two choices –one large copier for the whole department to share or personal desktop all-in-ones for each of the 4 users in the department. 

- Large copier - $10,000
- Desktop copiers - $1,000 each

Right off the bat, the desktop copiers are the better option, right?  A $4,000 price tag (for all 4 users) is better for the budget than a $10,000 device.  I wish it were that simple; sadly, that is not the case.  Once the copiers are in, they must be supplied and maintained.

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Supply Costs

For our example, let’s say

Large copier toner - $150 with a yield of 10,000 pages
- Desktop copiers toner - $75 with a yield of 3,000 pages

So, to print 10,000 pages on each type of device would cost:

- Large copier - $150.00 in supplies
- Desktop copiers - $250.00 in supplies

The overall cost can be affected a lot by this.  What if the billing department prints, on average, 10,000 pages a month and you will use your device for 5 years? The billing department will print 600,000 pages over that time. The actual cost of the copier (monthly cost for 10,000 pages for 60 months) now becomes

- Large copier 5-year cost becomes $19,000.00
- Desktop copiers 5-year cost becomes $19,000.00

Suddenly their overall costs are equal.  Well, if they even out, why not go with the desktop option and give everyone a personal copier? There is another important factor to consider – maintenance. 

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Maintenance Costs

As much as we wish all printers and copiers wouldn’t break from time to time, they seem to anyway.  Either a part actually breaks or a long life consumable expires and causes the machine to cease operating or give poor quality.  Fusers are a great example of this.  A fuser is a part that melts the toner onto your paper and they only last a certain number of pages, depending on the model of printer or copier.  For this example, let’s say that:

- Larger copier fuser yield is 250,000 pages and costs $250.
- Desktop copier fuser yield is 50,000 pages and costs $150.

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We now must factor in the cost of the fuser over the 5 years, as it will have to be replaced multiple times, depending on the device.

- Large copier replacing fuser over 5 years - $600
- Desktop copiers replacing fuser over 5 years - $1,800

Overall 5-year cost now becomes

- Large copier $19,600.
- Desktop copiers $20,800.

The fuser is just one part of many that needs replacing over time and that can randomly cause issues.  The cost of maintaining multiple devices can be shocking. If all the copiers are used equally, all four of the same part may need to be replaced at the same time.


Copier deal | Buying a new copier | cheapest copier | deals on printers and copiers | Lasers Resource | Grand Rapids MI

One thing that I haven’t taken into account in this post is a backup device.  It is a smart move to have a secondary or back up device in both of these situations.  With a single large copier, if it is broken, the whole department cannot print.  If a desktop device breaks down, then that user would have to ask another to use their copier. A medium-sized backup device is a smart decision to prevent departmental pain, and it can also serve as another scanner when there is a line for the copier. Talk with a managed print services partner to learn more.

Please reach out to Lasers Resource with any questions you have after reading this article.  If you’re interested in learning about managed print services download our eBook below.

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