One of the most important things to determine when considering a business color copy system is the length of term you’re going to need the machine. Historically, most business copiers are leased on either a 36 month lease term or a 60 month lease term. In both cases, these lease terms would be strictly non-cancellable and you’d want to be sure that your business will have need of color copy system for at least as long as the lease term selected. In many cases, there is a shorter term need for the use of a commercial color copy system; situations such as large construction projects with administrative job trailers or , temporary office projects such as Fire Districts, Environmental Clean Up Offices or Community Support offices responding to a natural disaster. In these cases and others, there can be extremely heavy volumes of printing, copying and scanning but the period of time needed may be just a a few months or a year. In these cases, traditional copy leases are rarely the best fit. It likely makes more sense to find a local copier dealer that can provide internally financed, monthly rental programs that can be set up on a month to month basis.
The clear upside to a month to month rental for shorter term projects is that you are not committed to maintaining a copier lease payment beyond the time you have an active use for the color copy system. On leases, not only are the payments non-cancellable, but additionally, the company leasing the copy system is required to maintain the copier at the same location listed on the lease or else pay expensive copy re-location fees to move to a different, insured location with the copier provider’s serviceable geographic area. In short, it’s very cumbersome, expensive and un-necessarily expensive to maintain a copier lease agreement after a temporary office closes and the lessee moves on to another part of the country. The solution to this is a short term, month to month lease agreement.
The challenge with short term rentals is there are not a lot of copier companies to choose from that offer short term rental programs. Depending on the geographic area of the project, there may only be a half dozen or a dozen companies that provide copiers and local copier support. Out of these companies, there may be only a few that offer short term rentals and only a percentage of those companies that have the strong service reputation you’re looking for. Ideally, when looking for a short term, month to month copier rental you’ll want to find a company that can provide satisfactory response to the 6 questions and concerns of importance when shopping for a short term copier rental provider.
- Research Local Reviews: Local reviews illustrating outstanding copier service and fast service response times
- Age, history and condition of rental unit; I strongly encourage short term rental shoppers to confirm the quality of the equipment included in the rental. In most cases, the equipment provided on a short term rental will not be a brand new machine. That said, not all “pre-owned” or “used” copiers are alike. Many companies only offer, tired, used copiers that have been traded in after a long, laborious life in someone else’s office. This may be a problem if you’re renting a copier for a high volume operation where reliability and productivity are at a premium.
- Affordable Monthly Rental Payment with adequate Print and Copy Allowance: Make sure you negotiate a reasonable, fixed monthly pricing for the use of the machine and a reasonable copy-print allowance included in the base monthly rental payment. Monthly copier rental agreements are far from regulated and the terms, conditions and pricing can vary dramatically from one dealer to another.
- Rates for excess prints and copies: Make sure you negotiate a reasonable per page rate for any color or black copies or prints made in excess of the monthly copy-print allowance. Often, you might find a lower base monthly rental fee but the added costs of lower copy-print allowances coupled with higher per page rates for excess prints can be a heavy financial burden.
- Delivery and Setup Price and Terms: It’s important to confirm fast, dependable delivery and set up including loading print drivers, setting up scan to locations and providing training for those using the product.
- End of Rental Terms and Costs: I’d encourage companies to make sure that both the prices, terms and what’s included in the delivery are all clearly outlined in the rental agreement. Lastly, it’s important that the cost to terminate the agreement and to have the copier picked up are clearly outlined.
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