6 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a New Copier

new copier shopping guide

Choosing a new copier can be intimidating and dealers don’t always make the process easier. With a litany of technical terms and the overemphasis some dealers place on selling certain models, it’s no wonder that organizations dread shopping for copiers and printers.

However, choosing a new copier doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it’s actually a breeze if you know the right questions to ask. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of six questions to consider when shopping for a new machine. Answering these queries ahead of time will help remove a lot of the unnecessary stress from the shopping process.

How many copies will I make?

While obvious, the first question you should ask is how many copies you’ll be making per month. If you think your organization will have very light usage, then you can probably get by with a personal machine. If, however, you plan on making thousands of copies monthly, you’re going to need something a little more powerful. Below are some general recommendations from Office Depot based on your average number of monthly copies:

2,000: personal copier
2,000-25,000: business model
25,000-75,000: commercial copier

While these guidelines aren’t perfect, they do provide a good baseline to start the conversation.

Do I need a color copier?

Next, you should ask yourself if you really need a color copier. Black and white copiers can be significantly less expensive than their color counterparts and could save you some money. If you make little to no color copies, a black and white machine will save you from paying for an unneeded feature.

Alternatively, if you do have some color copying needs, consider whether these jobs could be outsourced. For example, customers who perform one or two big color jobs a year, like an annual report, could easily send these projects to a dedicated document services provider. Some dealers, like Metro Sales, even have their own document services division to make this option more convenient for customers.

Do I need managed print?

While technical specifications are commonly the focal point of discussion, you shouldn’t forget about software. Print management software is a powerful tool that can be used across industries to achieve a multitude of goals. For example, print management is often employed in the education sector to track usage and assign print quotas by department. Government groups, meanwhile, rely on user restriction features to keep sensitive documents secure.

Make sure to let your consultant or sales representative know if you’re looking for advanced managed print capabilities. Doing so could save you from having to backtrack down the road. While most modern commercial copiers are compatible with standard print management software, there are some limitations. PaperCut, case in point, works better with certain print languages.

Even if you aren’t considering managed print software at this point, it’s still worth bringing it up. Discussing your options when buying your copier puts you in a better position in the future should you decide to add print management. This is due to the fact that some machines are better suited for certain software solutions and not all dealers offer the same options. Make sure your copier and vendor can handle the software solution you would choose if you added a managed print service. Otherwise, you could end up disappointed when you realize your dealer doesn’t offer your preferred solution.

What graphic capabilities does my machine need?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of color printing and need precise color reproduction, then the graphic capabilities of your printer are going to play a crucial role in your decision. In this case, you should make sure you ask your vendor about maximum print resolution and color control. Production printers generally offer the greatest graphic capabilities and five-color management. Drivers can also influence quality, so ask your consultant about these as well.

How fast should my copier print?

While not important to every organization, print speed can be a major factor within certain industries. If you’re making copies for customers, for example, you’re going to want a copier that’s quick and easy to use. If, on the other hand, you’re getting a copier primarily for office use, an average speed copier will likely do the job just fine.

As always, however, the right solution depends on your individual situation. If you’d like additional help or simply want to gather more information, contact our team of knowledgeable office technology consultants. We’ll happily answer any queries and will even perform an equipment consultation at no charge!

Call us today at 612-861-4000 or contact your local copier dealer.