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Buying an "Affordable" Cheap Printer Is Usually a Mistake

As we move into the second month of remote work, businesses are adjusting to a new way of working. Most of us cannot wait for things to open and return to normal, but, it is pretty clear that certain aspects of business will likely change forever. Remote work, including video conferencing, will become a regular way of life for many companies, if only part-time. These changes have business managers looking for technology that will make remote work possible. Employees may need laptops, video conferencing solutions, printers, scanners, and other technology so they can function.

Buying a Cheap Printer Is Usually a Mistake

For many people searching for a home office printer, their first reaction is to jump onto Amazon or a big box store's website and buy something low cost without thinking through the long term costs to both productivity and the bottom line. Replacing the functionality of your large office copier, the machine that your organization depends on for a variety of functions, with a cheap printer from big box stores, ignores the specific demands of your employees, not to mention, most customers don't think about how much it will cost to operate the unit and the expensive supplies it will require. But what is the right choice? If you've googled "printers" online, you've come across a mind-boggling number of options and sites selling printers. You may also notice that many of the least expensive printers are sold out, because too many people only assess the upfront cost of the printer, not what it will cost over the life of the machine. If you want to make an intelligent business decision, when you're looking at office printers,  you may want to consider a few things: What will the primary use of the printer be? Black and white only, or will your employee be printing color as well? What type of documents do you print most? Are they primarily for internal use, or do they get sent to your customers? Quality matters more in the latter instance. Is scanning important? If your business scans heavily, buying a small multifunction printer may or may not be wise. It may be smarter to buy a desktop scanner, and again, cheaper isn't always better. Cheap scanners may not compress documents, and you'll find your hard drive or networks filling up with massive files. What paper sizes do you print on? Some lower-end office printers can only print on the standard 8 1/2 x 11" paper. Who will set it up? If your employees are working remotely, chances are that many of them may not be too tech-savvy. Setting up drivers to print correctly may be challenging for some. If you lease or buy a commercial-grade printer, set up and installation are included. What happens when the machine breaks? Leasing a copier usually includes service, so when there's an issue help is a phone call away. No one will come to fix your home office printer, but, if you lease or buy a commercial-grade printer you will be able to find service. How much does the toner cost? If you've ever bought a cheap printer, you probably paid as much for the ink as you did for the printer, and those cheap printers eat ink. Commercial grade printers use toner, not ink, and cost far less to run than home office printers, and toner cost is a primary reason.

What to Look for in an Office Printer

If your printer will be used for the foreseeable future, it would be wise to work with an expert. A traditional retailer who sells everything from blenders to printers, won't be able to give you the advice you need. Credible companies will be able to tell you their response time average, how often they resolve the problem in the first call, and what the cost per copy of your machine will be. Your printing costs can be controlled and expected if you work with an office technology company. Purchasing a commercial grade printer will save you costs over the long haul, and there are machines small enough for a home office. You'll be happy you did the research before you buy. If you'd like advice on smaller office printers or copiers, we're here to help, so please reach out.   Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash