Each business is different and as such, your printing needs will and always should vary greatly from one industry to the next. That being said, there are some basic things that everyone should consider before making that big copier purchase or signing your name to a lease agreement. Let’s jump right in! How Fast & how much? The first thing you need to consider is how much paper you think you’ll be printing and how fast you need the machine to print it. Your average copier spits out around 40-80 pages per minute, which should give you a solid idea of some sort of median range. We also recommend that you proceed with some caution here. Manufacturing literature always tends to overstate the amount of workload a machine can handle, so make sure that when you buy, you buy a little bit OVER what your need would be. In fact, a great, totally unbiased site to compare these speed and volume can be found here at buyerslab.com. There, you’ll find lots of unbiased information on copiers. While sure, it’ll cost a you a little more money in the short-term, it’ll end up saving you lots down the road once wear and tear begins to accumulate. Color: yes or no? Color is really great, but unless you really need it, it can be a massive drain on your budget. We advise planning out your color projects specifically for a coming year. Sometimes people use them for big projects or presentations and in their heads, think the need is glaring and overbuy. Just do the simple math in your head” “How many color prints and copies do you do per year times what you pay per copy/print at a local print shop versus what you would pay them to do in house on you own copier? So again – we love color and if you have the need – definitely make the investment. But make sure you have the need first. Accessories: What to buy and what not to buy Try and stay focused on the core functions of what you need your copier to do day-to-day when making decisions about accessories. Do you need to fax? How much paper do you need your tray to hold? Do you need extra drawers? Double sided? What kind of finishing options are there and what ones can you add? List out the ‘must have’s’ and the ‘wants’ and go from there. Lease or purchase? We’ve written pretty extensively about both options in the past, but this is a hugely important question that can’t be asked enough. While it can make a lot of sense to buy a copier for some companies, you should know that most companies opt to lease. The sweet spot is around 2 years and with good reason. Technology is always moving forward, always changing and most importantly to you – finding new ways for you to get more work done for less. The same applies to copy machines. The two-year lease also makes sense from the standpoint of wear and tear. After two years is – generally speaking – when you begin to see copiers wear down. The two-year lease almost always protects against that. If you’re thinking about buying a copier, then it’s wise to do a little future planning. Will this copier be able to handle the workload and volume you’ll need in the future? Is it going to be relevant technology in five years? Do you have the means to purchase a machine that you’ll need to grow into? Again – there’s much more to be said, but those are the kinds of things you need to think about when making an actual purchase.