The Real Cost of Copier Leasing is frequently mistaken as the Dealer Quoted Lease Rate

You probably thought the lease rate on your copier was too good to be true.  Well, as it turned out, the lease payment the nice sales rep gave you was a whole lot less than what you had to pay out each month.   Shamefully, the rep left out a short list of add on costs that made your copier printer lease a lot less affordable.   This scenario is all too often played out in the copier industry.   So, I thought if you are going to be shopping for a copier lease, you might benefit from knowing the real cost of copier leasing.

This is probably a good time for a little sales tip:  Not all of us are crooks, liars and partial truth tellers, it just seems that way if you’ve dealt with some of the less than truthful ones.

10 Add On Costs that you’re not going to like when you get your copier lease billing statement:

  1. Shipping Costs –  Many dealers charge an additional fee, shown as shipping or delivery costs.  The cost range is typically $8-$12 and its shown on the face of some of the leases I have seen.  This is proclaimed to be a charge to ship out the “free” toner, included in the maintenance agreement portion of the lease.   I think of this as a dealer profit, much like the car dealers’ fees for selling you a car.   This should be disclosed before you sign the lease, not only if you discover it.
  2. Mantenance Fees – These are disclosed, by law.  However, you should listen carefully to see just what is included and for what number of pages each month, quarter or year.   Were this gets confusing is when the sales rep’s quote doesn’t mention service, but then its added to the lease as a surprise.  This is unacceptable and dishonest. Do you agree?
  3. Administration Fees or Lease Documentation Fees –  These have become fair game, just like car dealer fees.  On the other hand, the amount charged varies.  You should be told how much this fee will cost and whether it will be a one time fee or an annual one.
  4. Property Taxes on Leased Equipment –  I’m afraid there’s no way around this one.  Just know its going to be there and accept it.  Usually this is a once a year thing.
  5. Charges to collect property taxes on the equipment – This is not the property tax by the local tax jurisdiction.  What this refers to is an additional fee charged by the leasing company to collect and administer those property taxes.  How much work can there be in sending you an invoice and then turning over the property taxes?
  6. Non covered Services – Consider IT service calls and other excluded maintenance necessities.  It’s true that service calls for a router change or computer security (passwords) updates are not a part of copier maintenance.  Still, you need to recognize there may be costs for this that you will have to bear over and above the lease.
  7. Return fees – This is a biggy.  You need to pay to insure and ship back the leased copier at the end of the lease term.  That is, unless you buy it out or have a $1.00 buyout option lease.
  8. Remarketing fees – Read the lease and you will see this somewhere listed as an end of lease option or termination clause or something that sounds like the end is near.
  9. Overages – Most copier leases include some type of maintenance, whether separate or bundled with the lease.  However, you shouldn’t assume that you have an all inclusive, unlimited usage, because you won’t have.   Its customary to have a maintenance agreement that includes a minimal usage allowance.  The truth you should no is that unless you have a deep discussion and then a written agreement on an adequate usage, you may be in for large overage bills.   Color pages often cost between 6 and 8 cents per page. That’s $60 – $80.00 for every thousand over the allowance.   Often times, no color pages are allowed because of the extreme cost.
  10. Sales Tax and insurance premium – I’ve combined these two.  First, you always pay sales tax and nobody will quote that because it adds to the perceived (real) cost.  But, insurance premium is a big surprise for many people.  Nobody reads the lease, so don’t feel too terrible.   Leasing companies want their assets insured, so they put a nice little clause in every lease that requires insurance.   It will read something like this:  Lessee is required to carry adequate commercial insurance to cover the value of the leased equipment and shall at no time let that lapse or be in default.   Forced coverage will be applied if lessee does not provide proof of coverage.   You may use your commercial policy if you have contents coverage, but you will probably have to have your insurance company send them a certificate of coverage.

The Real Cost of Copier Leasing – Summary

Don’t expect to write a check for $149.00 a month, when the advertisement or sales flyer reads $149.00 per month lease.  Without a doubt, there will be more fees, service charges, start up costs and even shipping charges.  For example:  a $99.00 copier printer lease may wind up costing you $169.00 per month plus overages of another $80.00 dollars per month. It doesn’t always work out that unbalanced, but it happens frequently in copier leases.  The bigger the company you’re dealing with, the bigger the disparity between reality and what you’re told by the rep.  Why do you think big companies don’t get many google reviews and if they do, they aren’t so good?  That’s just part of it.

I won’t tell you to read the fine print, because even if you’ve read this post, you probably won’t pick apart lease terms.  Most lawyers I’ve dealt with don’t even do that, sadly.

My company, Digicor, inc. can help you to sort out your leasing options and tell you just what to expect – Its more rare than you may think to hear the whole truth about a copier lease.

Disclaimer – I don’t defend my industry for its sales and leasing tactics.  Misrepresentation exists in many industries.  Beware the used car salesman, beware the copier sales person, is my advice.

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