Printers and copiers make up an important component of most businesses, especially those that deal with content and graphic images on a regular basis. They are also inevitable for any organization that keeps physical records of all important documents. More than for a home user, for a business, there is a major decision to be made between buying and renting a printer. There are benefits in both and it really depends on your business needs and day-to-day use that decides which works better.
Why Lease When You Can Buy?
When you choose to lease a printer instead on investing in one, there are quite a few advantages.
Investment Expense: One of the biggest reasons why you’d much rather lease one is the capital investment required for one or more high-end printers. A high-end top performance printer can easily cost you over a thousand dollars and depending on the number you want, it would be multiples of thousands.
Don’t forget the other expenses you’ll have to bear including cartridge replacements, maintenance and power. Combined together, they can place a big burden on you and at least the initial cost of the printer(s) can be offset through lease and spent on other business expenses. Small and home-based businesses that do not have angel funding will find it a boon to avail essential printing equipment without breaking the wallet.
Enhanced Productivity: When you’re investing in a printer and have a budget in mind, you are more likely to buy one that fits into the budget even if it misses out on a lot of features. However, since the cost of leasing a high-end printer is just a fraction of what it’d cost you to get one, you’re more likely to obtain the best printer offering a variety of functionalities. Many printers perform a variety of tasks and come equipped with smart features that are included as a part of the lease instead of as a separate purchase.
No concern about obsoleteness: When you buy a high-end printer, it might be a great one-time investment. However, if a few months later, you find a new model that offers better features than the one you bought, you can’t help wondering if you should have waited and purchased it, instead. However, keeping the money invested in mind, you’re stuck with it for years before you can replace and get a new one. Leasing printers do away with this dependence. You can choose a printer and if you come across a better one, you can always upgrade to it, often at no extra cost. Even if there is a charge attached to it, it is minimal and won’t make a big difference considering the additional features you’ll be getting. You can be with the times without spending too much money.
Equipment Maintenance: The best thing about leasing printers is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of contacting customer support and following up for repairs. The lease agreement covers maintenance, service, parts, and supplies.
This is something you might want to check before you sign the document to get the best value for money. This is particularly useful for home business or a small organization that does not have an expert IT hardware team handy.
Additional Supplies: The best thing about most lease plans is the supplies like ink and toner cartridges for a specific number of prints included in the agreement. You will then need to buy only the cartridges that exceed the agreed terms. This way, you save money in the expenses incurred by printing supplies which can prove costly in the long run, especially if you are getting only genuine ones.
Types of Business Leases
There are two kinds of equipment leases available: operating lease and capital lease.
1. Operating lease: This is a more commonly chosen lease type. It’s also referred to as the “fair market value” lease. The reason is that they offer lower monthly payments instead of one hefty payment. It is essentially renting a printer or copier for a certain period of time within which service and maintenance and a fixed number of replaceable items can be availed. When the lease period is over, one can choose to buy the printer if its performance exceeds expectations or lease a newer model.
2. Capital lease: Less popular than an operating lease, a capital lease is also referred to as “$1 buyout” lease and involves paying in a loan-like fashion on the product instead of like a rent for its use. The rate is also higher in this case, as the equipment is being bought, albeit through monthly instalments. This is only useful for businesses that are interested in buying a printer without paying the cost upfront. This is also for organizations that are not concerned about constantly switching to new and upgraded models.
Pros and Cons of Leasing or Buying
Leasing the equipment
- A straightforward procedure involving regular payments for use of device
- Latest model can be procured without shelling out a fortune
- Agreement offers new equipment, so you’ll be using it during its best and peak performance period
- No worries about depreciation value of printer model
- Easy to upgrade to new and better model without incurring any loss
- Maintenance and service easily taken care of
- In the long run, cost of leasing will exceed cost of buying a printer
- Damage to leased equipment can often lead to additional unexpected expenses
- Lease limits use to certain amount of copies per month and exceeding limits will result in penalties
Buying a printer or copier
- As the owner, you have the freedom to use the printer as per your needs instead of going by a lease agreement
- You can sell the printer if you don’t need it or want to invest in a upgraded model
- Even though it is expensive in the short term, the long term running cost justifies the purchase especially if the printer is maintained with care
- High capital investment needed for buying one or more high-end printers
- The printer is subject to depreciation in value over time
- Disposing and replacing printers is more of a hassle than when you lease them
- Difficulty upgrading to a new and better model after investing in one
Depending on your organization’s needs and budget, you can decide which will do more justice for your business – leasing or buying a printer.