How Much Do Copiers Cost?

May 18, 2016

How Much Do Copiers Cost?

May 18, 2016

Cost of copiersBefore you buy anything, the question of price always pops up. For businesses purchasing office equipment like an all-in-one printer/copier (more commonly just called a copier), it’s likely one of the first things that you want to know is how much copiers are going to cost you.

It’s like asking how much a car is going to cost: it really depends on a number of factors and not all of them are readily apparent.

6 things that determine the cost of a copier

Lease vs. buy: Should you lease or buy a copier? This usually boils down to your current and projected financial picture. If you want to classify the copier as a capital expense and write it down as a depreciating asset on your taxes, you want to purchase the copier. If you’re more interested in fitting a copier into your operating budget and writing it off as a deductible expense, then you want to go with a lease.

Inkjet, laser or digital? 4-cylinder, 6 cylinder or V8? The type of machine you get will be a factor in the cost, now and in the future. Inkjet copiers are often cheaper upfront than their laser counterparts, but their ink is more expensive than the toner required by laser copiers. Digital is another option and one that is great to boost productivity, which can be a money saver that you don’t necessarily see.

Size matters. High volume machines can be an unnecessary energy drain. Every time the copier comes out of sleep mode, it has to power up – and that can take a lot of juice. However, in high volume print areas, these machines are better because they print and copy faster than small machines, and typically draw less power than running several smaller machines would.

Features. If you’ve seen one copier, you haven’t seen them all. From each manufacturer you’ll get a variety of features and options and these all work to shape the cost. One key feature that a lot of companies automatically get, but often don’t use, is the capability to print 11x17. These copiers tend to cost up to 200% more and take up more space than their 8.5x11-only counterparts.

New or used. A used copier is going to cost less than a new one – that’s easy to deduce. However, if you’ve ever bought a used car, you likely understand the inherent risks of purchasing used copiers – it doesn’t come with a guarantee and you don’t know how much it is going to cost you in maintenance and repairs.

Post purchase. Your copier will require supplies and maintenance. Ink, toner, paper, parts, service and so forth. It will raise your energy bills. Some copiers are going to go through more ink, some are going to be more conservative. You can also consider using print management software to control some of these supply costs and help you keep maintenance costs low.  

The bottom line is this: stop focusing on the upfront costs of the printer. You need to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO) to make a financially-savvy decision. Shop different manufacturers and models to find the one that gives you the most for your dollar. You should be able to lean on a knowledgeable copier expert to compare different models.


Don’t shop for a copier alone. Milner’s copier experts can help you select from a pool of the top manufacturers to find the copier that gives you everything you need at a price you can afford.Contact us for a free consultation.

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