Is a Cheap Printer Worth It?

 When you are in the market for a new printing device, there are many things to consider before making a purchase decision. There are many options out there for different types of printers with various quality, speeds and functions. It is important to know what you are signing you and your employees up for when purchasing office equipment.

Some of the main things that would-be purchasers typically consider first are cost, quality, function and speed. While these features are indeed important, there are a few other considerations that are often overlooked. Many times, if low cost is a high priority for the new equipment, the following elements can be ignored in order to secure that important low initial cost.

 The cost of consumables like ink, toner and electricity invariably increases when you focus on the cheaper models of office equipment. It has been shown time and time again, that printers that cost less up front, will end up costing more in total cost of ownership through the machine's normal life because of its less efficient use of ink, toner and electricity. While you may think you are saving money with a cheaper printer, you may be costing yourself money in the long run.

Another major factor often overlooked when price is the number one influencer is the fact that cheaper printers and office equipment often require more maintenance, troubleshooting and are more prone to breakdowns. It is certainly true with office equipment as it is with anything else, you get what you pay for. If you skimp and opt for the inexpensive printer up front, be aware you may be making up for that in maintenance and troubleshooting costs.

The final and perhaps most significant thing you give up by purchasing cheap office equipment is opportunity cost. Since the printer operates more slowly, is more prone to breaking down and generally requiring more maintenance, you will lose out on operable time. Sometimes, this opportunity cost is negligible, while other times it may cost a client if they receive poor quality documents printed three days late due to equipment failure.

These are all things to keep in mind when considering any office equipment purchase. Think of the total cost of ownership and what it could mean for your business overall. The upfront expense of the machines may be more than the cheap version, but it often is beneficial to at least look at the middle quality machines.