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New or used photocopiers - which is best?

A new office copier is not the cheapest item you will purchase for your business. Prices range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. For this reason many businesses will look at used or reconditioned / refurbished copiers when looking to buy a copier.

If you are on a strict budget, a used or refurbished copier is a great alternative. Properly refurbished copiers can provide reliable service for many years as long as it is properly maintained. Note the words "properly refurbished copiers": just cleaning it and making sure it still works is not exactly a “refurbishment”.  Before you make any decision, make sure to ask the dealer what exactly has been done in their refurbishing process.

Do not fall for extremely attractive deals that look too good to be true. In the copier industry, they always are. Dealers often like to sell used and refurbished copiers, as they provide almost 100% profit - they have already been paid for by the previous owner and have simply come back as a trade-in or ex-lease machine. If you’re considering buying a used copier on an ‘as-is’ basis, most likely for a very attractive looking discount and little or no warranty, it’s buyer beware - you will almost certainly regret it later when costly repairs leave the machine inoperable for long times and your initial savings eaten up by parts and service costs. But if you buy carefully and with due diligence, it is possible to get a great deal for a machine that will last you for many more years.

Used copiers should as a minimum have been thoroughly cleaned both inside and outside and have all worn parts replaced. Ideally they should also have a low meter count. Refurbished copiers may have additional parts replaced and should come with full warranty: 30, 60, or 90 days are most commonly offered. However, don't ever settle for a 30-day warranty. Make sure you get at least 90 days. Any serious dealer will offer this if you push him for this.

Because even a used business copier can still cost thousands of dollars, you should ensure your investment is protected with a maintenance agreement that covers all the parts that typically wear out during use or break, including belts, drums and fuser rollers.
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