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  • Writer's pictureNeil Feller

Are there any hidden costs of owning or leasing a copier or printer?

One of the main factors influencing your decision to buy a new copier or printer is likely the cost. But does a lower payment always mean it’s the cheapest?

Did you notice a few charges on the first invoice you didn’t expect? People often refer to these as hidden fees. We are going to discuss several fees that tend to catch people off guard so that there are no surprises.

Commonly Overlooked Fees

1. Monthly Maintenance Fee and Cost Per Print Rate Changes

On the anniversary date of your contract each year, you'll notice a small increase in the rates. While each vendor may increase rates differently, this is usually no more than 10%. This is due to wear and tear on parts and the amount of labor cost increasing due to inflation. Additionally, if you have your copier for long enough parts become harder to find.

If you prefer, you can opt for the price to be “fixed” at the start of your contract. This will keep your monthly maintenance and cost per print rates the same price for the term of the contract, but the starting cost will be higher. We typically don’t recommend this option. Start with the lower payment and understand that you’ll see a small rise in the rate over the years.

2. Lease Documentation & Insurance Fee

The lease documentation fee is a one-time administrative charge from the leasing company and can range between $65 and $125.

Another fee that is required when leasing a copier, is insurance. The insurance fee covers natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. The cost of the insurance fee depends on your machine. These costs can range between $5 to $15 per machine per month. To avoid this fee, you can provide your copier vendor with proof of insurance from your current business policy holder with the leasing company listed as a loss payee to avoid being double charged. Dealers don’t always make their customers aware of this up front.

3. Property Taxes

While you may be a property tax-exempt business, the leasing company financing your office equipment is not tax-exempt, so that fee gets passed along to the end-user. How much this fee costs can fluctuate depending on the leasing vendor you use and the county you live in. For your convenience, Digital Office Equipment can include the property tax fee in your monthly lease payment.

It should be noted that leasing companies which provide low interest rates tend to make this up in administrative fees charged with the collection for property tax. This fee is imposed fee for handling and disbursing property taxes to the county your machine is located. In some cases, we have seen clients being billed double the actual accessed value.

4. Shipping Fee for Supplies and Parts

Digital Office Equipment is one of the few vendors that does not charge a shipping fee for supplies included in your monthly maintenance contract. However, we see other vendors charge $15 - $20 for shipping toner and other supplies that are included in the maintenance contract. This can add up to several hundreds of dollars per year depending upon your equipment and volume.

5. Returning your Copier at End of Lease

At the end of your lease, you are responsible for the cost of shipping the machine back. The freight cost for this can be between $175 to $225 per machine. If you upgrade your lease with Digital Office Equipment there is no charge for this service. We will pick it up, crate it, insure it and ship it back to the leasing company free of charge. The only item we’ll need from you is a return authorization from your current leasing company for shipping instructions. It can save your organization a large expense.

6. Training

Initial training, when your machine gets installed, is typically included. If you hire new employees and want additional training, there could be fees for this service. However, with Digital Office Equipment we do not charge for additional training. We look at our clients as partners. If everyone is trained properly, it eliminates this frustration within your company.

7. Maintenance (if you did not purchase a maintenance plan)

Without a maintenance plan, you will be responsible for the costs of any parts that need replacing. As the years go on, like any piece of machinery, the copier/printer will need more maintenance. Therefore, we recommend the maintenance plan, so you’re not stuck spending hundreds of dollars for repairs for one issue.

8. Overage Cost

In any maintenance plan there is usually a base cost which includes a certain number of prints and then an overage cost for prints run over the allotment. If your contract includes too many prints, then you are paying for prints that you did not use. If your contract does not include enough prints, then you can be spending more in overages.

At Digital Office Equipment, we provide our clients a discount for prints included in the base rate and we conduct quarterly business reviews to ensure the base rate is appropriately set for our clients.

9. Not Canceling your Contract on Time

Most companies will automatically extend your lease and/or service contract by several months to a year if you do not cancel on time. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your contract. We want you to be aware of this common issue that can arise. At Digital Office Equipment, it’s only a month, which in turn provides enough time to work out an upgrade or other details for you.

10. Upgrades

This one is entirely up to you, but at some point, you may want to upgrade your equipment. However, depending on where you’re at in your lease, it might not make financial sense. This is something to keep in mind for the future. At Digital Office Equipment, we conduct Quarterly Business Reviews with our clients. This ensures everyone is kept informed on several topics including when an upgrade would make sense.

The costs we discussed above are often referred to as hidden costs. It can lead to some understandable frustrations when you receive your bill and see charges you were not aware of. Hopefully, this article eliminates your fear of hidden costs. Digital Office Equipment is dedicated to making sure you know exactly what to budget for when buying or leasing a new copier/printer.

Please contact us at 912.489.6964

Neil Feller, Director of Recruiting & Major Account Development

Digital Office Equipment 912.489.6964 x 1009

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