Background on the Author

In 2007 the founder and president of the Copier Buyer Guide™, Al Kietzmann (LinkedIn Profile) personally had enough of the high pressure sales tactics, quotas, charades and the intellectual dishonesty game he was required to participate in!

Shortly after leaving the copier industry he entered the regulated industry of financial planning. An industry requiring finger prints, background checks and a lengthy interview process just to get a job! Additionally, selling financial services products involves suitability sales laws governed by numerous state and federal regulatory and government authorities!

The copier industry has none of that! It is an unregulated industry. No licensing or suitability requirements. No truth in lending documents or grace periods. So, here begins our story and passion for you the copier buyer by providing a very unique concept – Copier Buyer Guide™

Copier spend is exponential. Managing assets can be very costly.

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2017 Wisconsin whistleblower legislation testimony in front of DATCP's Consumer Protection committee.

Whistleblower Testimony

Whistleblower was what one of Wisconsin’s legislators called Al during his testimony in front of their Consumer Protection committee a few years ago while at the State Capitol. He took it as a badge of honor! No hard feelings there. Wisconsin Assembly Bill 684

So please allow us a few minutes to explain why you, the copier buyer should care about details or at least why we hope you do…we find it’s more than people realize.

Ever wonder why you don’t need a sales rep when you buy a desktop copier/printer that scans and faxes but you do when it is a floor standing one? We will answer that question and provide you the necessary assistance in finding the best and most affordable copier laser printer!

Online research data appears to be intentionally limiting. It’s our experience and training that firmly believes the seller does not want you to know what they know – but we do!

Leasing or financing a copier through the selling dealer channel routinely is not as transparent as one would hope. A plethora of information critical to making informed decisions is not freely or fully disclosed to the buyer. These omissions are often discovered hidden in a monthly payment. Some questions are answered but we feel not enough questions are asked.

This topic may feel so dinosaur~ish and a strange topic these days. We get it – it does but it’s this complacency that causes the copier buyer to over spend and waste a lot of money in today’s market!

We consider copier leasing the illusion of simplicity. Fundamentally the seller believes if your payment fit the budget over the last term why not in the future? The sales rep has no incentive to save you significant amounts of money. They are trained to collect as much of your information prior to providing their pricing or proposal. That’s the reason for all those calls over the years!

FYI : Omissions abound! They even have a saying…”there’s margin in the mystery”. How do you feel about that?

Brass Tax

If you are a small business, medium to large sized organization or even a non-profit and you have a $100 – $500 monthly office equipment lease payment per device and are printing unknown volumes of who knows what you likely have an additional $100+/month in maintenance costs. This equates to roughly a $5,000 – $30,000 price tag for a fancy laser printer and $6,000+ for service, supplies and repairs.

The size and speed of the copier often plays a role in the principal of the equipment while the support and repairs for same is a complex set of mathematical equations resulting in a confusing cost per each 8½” x 11” piece of paper that exists the device.

  • As cars have odometers, most printers have meter counters. TIP: Knowing your usage or print volume is at the root of empowerment.

So, in the example above you will likely have rates, residuals or formulas built in to the monthly payment all of which the seller is not required to tell you about.

  • Also, if you are unaware of how troubleshooting works and repairs (preventative maintenance for example) are left up to the terms of your contract you will not likely know of a very important cost control option – duty cycles.

When you sign the lease you can factor high interest charges and will have contractually obligated your organization’s budget to $1,000s and even $10s of thousands of unnecessary wasteful spend! We find interest rates range from 9% – 22%!

  • Worse yet there is interest on labor and toner when service is bundled with the equipment in one payment. Where else do we finance labor? Toner is NEVER free! Be very aware of this selling strategy!

If your contract is non-cancellable and/or irrevocable (most if not all are) you’re likely going to owe more money at end of term while the vendor controls the contract. This may be 10%+ or more of the original loan to cover these residuals owed at end of term. If you are unaware of this critical component it’ll likely be buried in your next contract and monthly payment!

Experience suggest the above example far exceeds $30,000 for one (1) copier/printer! In fact one of our clients, a for-profit small business owner, a sole proprietor was obligated to $38,000 for one (1) copier! A non-profit client had a copier obligation for one (1) copier that was $66,000+! Knowing how this game is played is critical to controlling your print budget.

I told you there’s a lot and this is just the beginning. But don’t worry if you leave all this math up to the sales rep all the above will likely be hidden in your next monthly payment.

You guessed it the seller almost always knows more than the buyer! (i.e. asymmetric information- Google)

Final Thoughts

In closing, the copier sales rep is much more equipped to sell you a copier than you as a buyer are to purchase one.

We believe the copier buyer simply wants a transparent process resulting in the best copier/printer for a fair and reasonable price – now and in the future!

We know the questions buyers should be asking the vendors and want you to know them as well! Let our knowledge become yours! – “We ask 40+ very unique, timely and important questions of the vendor and believe you should to as well!”

To schedule a call please feel to use our calendly or email us