When it comes to leasing a multifunction copier or a couple of dozen of them at the same time, it’s probably going to be one of those situations where you do it once and you’re set for the next three to five years. In a way, it’s very similar to leasing or buying a car and just like a car you need to make monthly payments. It’s a financial commitment you made to your dealer and the leasing company to pay for the equipment. It’s actually a common practice between most business to lease a copier for the long-term due to low monthly payments and a lot more flexibility. That being said, you need to make sure that you are not getting stuck with a copier that has additional features you will never use. Once everything has been said and done, your lease term should be fair and beneficial to you, and your dealer should be helping you find the “right” product for your company needs. Here are a few tips and suggestions to know up-front so that you can have a beneficial relationship with your copier dealer.
The Right Copier With The Right Copier Lease
While most businesses want to look at how much their monthly payment will be, you need to focus on finding a copier machine that will meet all of your needs. It just doesn’t make sense for you to purchase a fully equipped copier machine when you only want it to print, copy, and scan. As an example, if you plan on doing a more than 99 percent of your printing in black-and-white printing for in-house purposes, does it make sense to purchase a color copy machine for that 1 percent? Once you have an idea of what you want in your copier, you then move on to finding out more about the lease. Trust us when we tell you that it’s much easier to upgrade than to downgrade your machine.
You Can Negotiate your Copier Lease Agreement
There is an industry-standard for everything and a copier lease is no different. However, there will be times when you might need to customize your terms to meet certain company needs. From reducing your monthly print counts to possibly reducing your cost of toner delivery, you want to make sure that the terms meet your business needs. The last thing you want is to be stuck with is paying for additional copies you won’t use or paying for additional feature or service that you will never take full advantage of.
A Copier Lease Is Not A Copier Rental
It’s a common practice to sign a legal piece of document, called a lease, in order to get an apartment or purchase a house but when it comes to leasing office equipment, the agreement doesn’t translate to a rental contract. Rental contracts should be seen as more of a short-term and month-to-month agreement. Copier lease agreements are more similar to car leases as where you are locked in for a few years paying a monthly amount.
Your Final Contract Is Legally Binding
Entering into a copier lease agreement means that you are now obligated, by law, to pay a monthly rate for a specific length of time. You can’t enter into an agreement for five years only to back out two months later. Knowing upfront what you’re agreeing to and how long your planning to lease the machine for is crucial so that no one can say there was a miscommunication.
Get What You Need Not What You Want
It’s easy to get excited and even get carried away with some add-ons or features that you won’t ever use. Take some time to analyze your company and ask yourself if having that additional feature will help grow your business during that specific time. Upgrading is much easier than trying to downgrade. Furthermore, additional features and accessories to your copier machine means that monthly payments go up, which can sometimes lead to overpaying for what you actually need.
What Happens At The End Of The Lease?
The end-of-lease terms are significantly different between a copier lease and a purchase. Here are a few key questions to ask your dealer and possibly even yourself:
- Fair Market Value or the Dollar buyout – It’s usually written in your final agreement that you have the option of purchasing the copier at the end of your lease through a dollar buy-out. While a dollar might sound like a steal, think long and hard about this because this means your monthly payments will have added up to more than the cost of the machine.
- Sending your machine back – Look at your final agreement to find out whether you will be responsible for shipping the machine back yourself or if a local dealer will come and pick it up for you. Additionally, your lease agreement needs to specify exactly who will be paying for the packaging and shipping costs.
- Closing your copier lease – The most common steps you will have to take will be to notify the leasing company in writing that you are looking to end your contract. Make sure that you are on top of this because if you forget to notify them, your lease can roll into a monthly agreement or even renew for one or two more years.
Read And Ask Questions
Finally, make sure that if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your provider. Make sure that you read your contract thoroughly and ask questions whenever you don’t understand something. Look we’ve all gotten used to skimming through the terms and conditions whenever we download an app, but this is not one of those times where you can just sign your contract blindly. Leasing contracts are more complex and can negatively impact your day-to-day operations if you pick the wrong one.
Come talk to one of our professionals at Compare Business Systems for some solid advice and any additional questions you might have about leasing a copier machine. Our team of experts will work with you to make sure you are happy with the costs and terms not just on your first day, but for the life of the office equipment.