It’s a good idea to get a maintenance agreement when you a buy a reconditioned or used copier. That levels the playing field between new and used because any service calls are already paid for. Plus, people are in the habit of buying maintenance agreements for the office copier. You can often save up to 80% with a refurbished copier.

First, I would have toner included in the maintenance agreement; especially if you’re getting a color copier. Copier companies treat all copies and prints the same regardless of the coverage on the page. This is great for you because often you make copies and prints with a lot of toner on the page. They base their copy/print charge on 6% coverage. A lot of your stuff has higher coverage, especially color.

Another recommendation is to not set your minimum coverage too high. Many people set their monthly minimums on how things use to be. Well, businesses are scanning more and copying less. Plus, there’s certain months when the volume goes way down such as December. So it’s better for you to exceed the minimum and pay the excess copy charge.

This is really important if you include the maintenance agreement in the lease. Usually, you can’t adjust the terms until the end of the three year lease. If you’re currently doing 10,000 pages per month set the minimum at something lower. The benefit of including the maintenance/supply agreement in the lease is it locks in your rate for three years. But not always. There are different types of leases so make sure you know what kind you’re signing. Some let the vendor bump up the rate 10% per year automatically.

If the maintenance agreement is not part of the lease what are the terms? The best type of maintenance agreement is a month to month agreement where there’s no cancellation penalty. That way if you don’t like the recent rate increase or the vendor’s response time you’re free to shop around. On a one year agreement you’re out of luck. The cancellation penalties are usually not discussed at the time of the sale so you will have to bring it up with your sales rep before you buy or lease the copier.

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