3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Copier or Printer Online

Sometimes, the convenience of ordering online can ultimately cost more.

At some point, your business will need to purchase, replace, or upgrade a multifunction printer (MFP) or copier. It can be tempting to find a model online, punch in a card number, and be done with it. However, this can cause headaches that cost you time and money down the line.

Here some of the biggest reasons to avoid buying office equipment online.

  1. Online Printer Purchases Can Lead to Unexpected Shipping Issues

High-volume MFPs designed to support a busy workplace are not small shipments. Not only does online purchasing increase the potential damage to your hardware during shipment or delivery, but it also leaves the door open for some unpleasant surprises on delivery day.

Depending on the carrier or postal company, your delivery may require a docking station or specific configuration to move your new device inside. If you have multiple deliveries or sites, you can compound these issues with problems from inventory stocking, delays, or unexpectedly high delivery fees.

Working with a local supplier or manufacturer can help you avoid a treacherous trip from the curb with a 500-lb machine (or worse, having to return it because it won’t fit through your door). A local partner will work with you to ensure a smooth delivery and setup that meets the physical and logistical needs of your business.

2. Online Copier Purchases Don’t Include Setup or Install

When buying office equipment online, you don’t always have the opportunity to book a technician to install the device. User setup for a printer on a large network is complex – and it may be a significant burden on your IT department to support a complete install.

Further, if you have a managed print service or are implementing a new system on top of your print fleet, installing it alone without a technician can be a hazardous decision affecting implementation, print data, user authentication, and security.

Depending on your existing print fleet, shopping online can also lead to compatibility issues. You may find that your new device either is incompatible with your existing print network, or requires additional setup that you will need to outsource.

Doing a DIY installation can have lasting effects beyond day one as well. If, at some point during setup and configuration your hardware doesn’t work, your online purchase is probably not going to include the ongoing support that a local manufacturer would.

Further, installing a printer on your own network, especially a complex MFD, can have serious consequences for your business. Did you know that a single printer can create risk for your entire network? Installing a printer onto your own network without proper security measures could be catastrophic for your business’ security.

3. A Refurbished Printer or Copier is Not “Good as New”

Some refurbished hardware is a great deal, and can represent a smart business purchase. Printers are not one of those items. Unless a printer or copier is officially re-certified by the manufacturer, it can have issues like:

  • Internal ink or toner buildup
  • High print-count (similar to a high mileage on a car’s odometer)
  • Expired warranty

If you buy these items online, you likely won’t have the opportunity to inspect the interior of the machine for telltale signs that could lower performance quality and shorten the device’s lifespan. Remember, it’s probably less expensive to buy a new device once than multiple used devices within the same time-frame.

For business printers, the manufacturer’s warranty can save huge amounts of time and money. In fact, some businesses use the end of a printer or copier warranty as the activation point for starting the replacement process. This is due to expensive and challenging parts repair and replacement, as well as labor for third-party techs to address the issue.

Failing parts isn’t the only reason an expired manufacturer’s warranty spells trouble for businesses. Technology advances quickly – and a refurbished copier or printer is likely behind the curve. Old equipment not only fails more often, but replacement parts are harder to find. This is especially true for copiers, which can have a lifespan of only two or three years with heavy use.

The solution to issues of making copier and printer purchases online is to source a manufacturer or authorized seller locally. With a local partner, your business can enjoy benefits such as on-site installation and setup, ongoing support and service, and the advantages of a brand new or an officially re-certified device including a longer lifespan and new warranties.