7 Things to Know About Your Copier Lease

     

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Looking to lease a copier?

We understand that, for many of you, leasing a copier or set of office equipment is a once in a while thing. We think of it like buying a car, you can lease or own, but either way you have to pay. It’s a commitment. It can be a sizable financial commitment over time and, because contracts are almost always three to five years, you may have inherited a lease contract and are wondering “why did my predecessor do this?”

Here are some nuggets of advice on what to know about copier leases from our folks who deal with your contracts. We’re here to help, but understanding a few things up-front will keep our relationship a good one.

It’s a contract

Your copier leasing contract is a legally binding document that entails a legal obligation for the length of the contract. You can’t sign a 5 year contract and then change your mind after two months. We’ve made equipment purchases and allocated resources based on the contract to serve you over its lifespan.

A lease is not a rental

While you may sign a lease to rent an apartment or house, when it comes to leasing office equipment or leasing copiers, the contract is not the same as a rental contract. A rental contract is short-term and month-to-month (or other period of time).

Understand and read it

Contracts are complicated documents and full of terminology that can be unfamiliar to anyone who doesn’t negotiate or sign a lot of contracts. Even if you do, every contract is different. THERE ARE NO DUMB QUESTIONS! It’s better – for both of us – for you to ask questions about everything you have any doubt or curiosity about before you sign rather than sign and then think, “Oh, wait, about that . . . . “

Don’t overbuy

While not as exciting as buying a car, you can get carried away with the additional features on copiers as you look at the higher-end models. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it because you “think” you “might.” It’s much easier to upgrade than it is to downgrade. When you overbuy is when you overpay and payments exceed what you actually need. While the Lexus might be nice, sometimes you just need the Kia.

Understand your averages

We can help with this, but whether you enter into a lease or purchase agreement with us or someone else, be sure you determine your average print and copy volumes. Average is the key word. All companies will have peak times when they do more of each than normal – don’t make the too-common mistake of basing your leasing agreement on your highest two month period of volume.

Review the renewal clause

Our contracts have an automatic renewal clause. Find the contract and add a reminder to your calendar to review the contract BEFORE the deadline for the renewal passes. Think it over internally if the contract is still meeting your needs – if so, great! If not, give us a call – we’ll be happy to go over the end of contract details, which could be moving to a different leasing agreement, extending the contract for a month or three, or even purchasing the equipment and moving to a maintenance-only contract (or none at all).

what_to_know_about_copier_leasesAsk questions

Finally, and I can’t emphasize this enough – if in doubt about anything in the contract, ask before you sign! Read the contract and be sure you understand it before you sign. We’ve all gotten too familiar with clicking the checkbox for agreeing to terms of use for our online apps and software. Your leasing contract is more complicated than that – and more important to the smooth operation of your business.

You need to work with your copier lease provider to be sure that you buy or lease a copier that is right for your needs. Coming in understanding these issues will keep you from paying too much with someone less interested in a long-term partnership and more interested in making a quick buck off of your ignorance.

We are proud of our sales team and they do a great job of working with our customers to ensure that they don’t overbuy. However, the responsibility is still yours to understand what you’re getting into.

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About The Author

Dave Quint, president and CEO of Advanced Systems Inc. and past president of BTA Mid-America. Dave has worked with copiers, MFPs, scanners, and document workflow software since joining Advanced Systems as a sales associate in 1989. His favorite part of the job -- “there is no greater joy than to see the positive impact these solutions have in our client’s businesses.’ You press print, we take care of the rest. Contact us for more information >>