There can be little doubt that a modern multifunction printer (MFP) is a versatile workhorse that simplifies your business life and enables both digital and paper communication. So, an office printer lease may be the right answer for your business.
Deciding how to obtain one is a complex puzzle, and no two answers are ever identical for any two businesses. Choosing between printers for rent, outright purchase, or a long-term printer lease has a lot of variables. Only you can decide if printer leasing is the right option for you.
Exactly how do you make the decision?
While it might not seem too difficult on the surface – choose a brand, set up a contract, install the equipment – the truth is that there are multiple decisions you need to think about before you ever reach out to a print service provider like CSBS.
We have discussed the various reasons why digital printer rentals are so popular, why buying your multifunction printer is right for some businesses, and why leasing a multifunction printer from a trusted resource like CSBS offers the best combination of economic sense, support and service, as well as flexibility in terms, for most businesses.
However, this flexibility comes with complexity.
The lease agreement for a digital print device is one of the most complex agreements your business will ever sign, and while leasing is usually the best option for most concerns, you owe it to your business to be familiar with some of the unique terms and conditions.
These terms, while unique to copier leasing – are not “gotchas.”
They evolved to provide the lessee (that’s you) with the flexibility to craft an agreement that suits your specific business needs. But to give you the most options, you need to be aware of them.
$1 Buyout Option
Think about how you plan on using the digital print device in the future.
- Will you work it hard for the duration of the lease then upgrade?
- Will you decide it’s better to keep it once the lease is done, use it without cost as long as possible?
- How much value will be left in the device once the lease has come to a close?
- Is it worth higher monthly rates to own it at the end?
- Maintenance determines ultimate value, are you willing to invest in it?
- Would you rather lower payments with an option to buy at fair market value?
- Does it make more sense to roll the lease into a newer upgrade before it ends?
Most but not all copier leases are structured to auto-renew at the end unless upgraded.
Most of the time, this is a good thing and allows you to just keep working, or roll the device into a lease on a newer generation model MFP, keeping the relationship with your printing resource going, and your business humming along.
Of course, your choice may be to end the lease at the close of the terms. There is a very small window of opportunity to do so. Missing this opportunity means the only recourse then is to buy out the term which can be expensive.
Make sure you discuss this point with the lessor, find out exactly when your window of opportunity is, then go home and set a Google alert to remind yourself when it approaches.
More often than not, since the digital print device still legally belongs to the lessor, you may be required to carry separate, additional insurance on the device, especially if you work in a flood zone.
There is also insurance involved when shipping the device, see below.
When you acquire a digital copier or MFP, delivery and installation are usually included. However, at the other end of the lease, you might find yourself responsible for return shipping costs, freight costs (which are different), shipping insurance, and other charges, like taxes, or loading charges.
While this may be the last point alphabetically, it is probably the most important. Deal with a vendor that is happy to explain each and every one of these important points and how it reflects your choices for your business. Some important things to consider when choosing a dealership:
- Transparency, the willingness to ensure every detail is clear
- Attention to Detail
- High Standards, awards or careful protocols
- Plenty of models in stock, at different price points, ready for delivery
- Customer Service
- In-house support technicians, knowledgeable staff
- Testimonials, Long term customers, Reputation
Naturally, you want the most bang for your buck.
Being able to negotiate terms like insurance, or potential end-of-term value, consumables, shipping, training, service, and more means that you have control over the entire lease, so make sure that all your questions are answered.
The lessor wants to cultivate a long-term relationship, so be sure they are meeting your specific business needs.
Here are some tips you may find useful:
- Do an assessment of your print/copier/scanner needs before shopping for a digital print device, MFP, or copier, so you don’t feel pressured to get more machines than you need, or less, which can be worse.
- Pay attention to the payment schedule – when it is due – depending on the terms, they could vary from 10-30 days net.
- Before you begin, check your own insurance for terms and limits, be armed with that data when negotiating insurance terms in your printer lease.
- Determine what toner and other consumables will cost up front, as that price will hold for the length of the lease.
- Definitely ask about the shipping terms and options, find out who is responsible for packing, contracting, and shipping, how much it costs, is insurance required, etc.
- If your lease includes click-charges, (usually managed service contracts) understand how that breaks down, oversize prints can often be considered more than one click, depending on the size of the imager. CMYK is four clicks.
- Check out your dealership; awards, citations, reputation, etc. are excellent indicators of the level of professionalism.
- Many dealerships offer managed print services to cover fleets of machines, or DaaS (Device as a Service) Agreements, which are full buffet, full print services a la carte. If this appeals to you, talk to your dealer to see what is possible.
- Rebates are plentiful. Manufacturers offer them through dealerships, so be certain to ask about any current promotions.
- A Lease Buyout adds whatever costs remain on an existing lease to the new lease of the new device going forward, so when you make a change is as important as the change you choose to make.
With the number of decisions required to help your business thrive, finding the right partner to help you accomplish your print needs is both complex and strategically important. Buy, rent or lease, you will have questions, we will have the answers.
There are many reasons most businesses choose printer leasing over renting or buying.
Your reasons will be yours, unique to your business.
Let CSBS help you find the right fit.