Online copier purchase a bad ordeal for many

Internet pricing always is lower. Whether its vacuum cleaners, printers or fishing gear, I can find it online as cheap or cheaper than any superstore or other brick and mortar storefront.  However, some items are best to be purchased from a local dealer.  A laser printer for $200-$300 will arrive in a box and hopefully work without a technician. A plastic or rubber thingy just can’t be wrong, and barring a poor guess on the color, that vinyl mat from amazon will be handy.  So many things can be bought on Ebay, it is astounding that someone would open a store as their choice of businesses to start up.

Online copier purchase is a bad idea
Once you buy a copier online, you’re done.
You need local service.

Why shouldn’t I buy a copier on the internet?

Ask yourself, “can I fix it when it breaks?”.  If you aren’t a copier technician, you can’t fix it. 
If you aren’t a copier technician, here’s several reasons why a smart person like you doesn’t buy a copier online:

  1. An online copier purchase has nobody to maintain it.  You can buy from the most reputable online retailers, but they aren’t going to service your machine when it breaks.  Unless its a disposable home office model, you need a maintenance company.
  2. A local copier company is going to need to set it up and that’s not free.  If you’ve got a network of computers, need to set up scanning and have only a so called computer guy….good luck with that one.   Modern copiers are complex digital machines, unless you’re talking about one that you can carry under your arm like a loaf of bread.
  3. High tech electronics like a copier are instruments that require tuning up.  Copiers, all-in-one MFP, digital imagers, Bizhubs, eStudio and other commercial lasers require substantial service. You need a service contract in most cases.  Unless you want to use that online copier purchase as an artificial reef in your favorite fishing spot, don’t buy a copier online.
  4. A copier is only as good as the service that supports it.  Anybody that has owned a real copier will agree that the service technician is the most critical aspect of a copier.  Sadly, I’ve listened to many sad stories involving an online copier purchase that resulted in wasted money.
  5. Buying a copier locally from a service company means backup is available. Some people love to take huge risks. Don’t risk making an online copier purchase.  Taking delivery on someone else’s salvage from 300 miles away isn’t  any fun.  Don’t ever, ever make a used copier purchase online.  The only choice you will have for service is an hourly charge plus parts cost when it arrives in pieces. Even if it looks great, maintenance intense mechanical parts need regular replacement.   It’s not cheap to fix a copier.  It can be a nightmare gone bad if you buy a machine that needs a lot of maintenance.

 Ebay is a copier buyers paradise

High tech copier and multifunctional digital copiers sold on ebay appear to be a bargain at nickels on the dollar. Digicor, Inc. offers genuine savings for its Tampa area copier customers, but backs their equipment up with guaranteed service contracts and offers financing. The problem with the Ebay online copier purchase is:

  • You can’t judge the quality for yourself.  Who knows if the quality is acceptable for your professional level use.
  • Ebay is a great marketing strategy, without service provisions for maintenance intense copiers.
  • Customers can’t get service locally unless they pay their local equipment company through the nose. Dealers don’t want problem machines to service.  That means you won’t get a service agreement.
  • Buyer Beware.  Copiers wear out due to obsolescence quicker than most technology. That’s if its mechanically sound to begin with
  • old copiers have no value.  A copier today costing $15,000 new, will not likely work well in 5 years and well go for a few hundred bucs at online auction to an unsuspecting buyer.
  • Online seller may have no knowledge or be willing to share what he does know. With a digital machine, the sophistication is not something people are familiar with.  Most customers want to push the button and have the document feeder feed paper.
  • Technology changes so fast, you need to have a local dealer you can count on to give you advice even if it costs you a few bucks more than buying online.  Even if something is nearly free, its no bargain if you cant use it.

Copier shipping damages copiers purchase online

Shipping a copier is hazardous.  A small all-in-one that fits in a box for shipment is no problem. However, the commercial laser copiers purchased online and from your local dealer, weigh a lot.  A midsize 2o-45 page per minute copy print scan fax model, will usually weigh between 100 and 225 lbs. Those machines, such as a Konica Minolta Bizhub, Sharp Imager, Ricoh Aficio, Xerox WorkCentre, Kyocera, or Toshiba eStudio,  are far to large to ship UPS.  Instead, these copiers and commercial all-in-one devices ship by common carrier or specialized ltl (less than load) freight movers.  A common carrier requires all large merchandise to be placed on a pallet and shrink wrapped.  A specialized carrier such as Moving office equipment , will pad wrap the copier to the Etrack of the truck.   As a dealer, it is not as costly to repair shipping damage.  On the other hand, much of the equipment arrives with some degree of damage.  Sometimes it is minor scratches. Yet, other times plastic panels are crushed during copier shipping.  Still, there are times when the equipment appears fine on the outside, but the internal parts have been damaged.  Consequently, the equipment does not function.   What do I do now?   I have no dealer friends and there was no obvious damage to make a claim.  I have an expensive copier boat anchor.  If you are going through this in the Tampa area, contact us for resolution.



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