When buying a used copier to save money you want to get as close to new as you can in order to take advantage of print and scan drivers as new operating systems come out from Microsoft and Apple. There’s also new apps for mobile printing and wireless.

So how do you do that and what should you look for. The most important criteria is the meter reading. Similar to a car; the meter tells you how much more life you can expect. For example, most copiers are built to go to a million. Larger copiers are built to go to two or three million and beyond. When in doubt make sure you get a maintenance agreement with your purchase or lease of a refurbished copier.

Another thing to consider is fatigue. Even though a copier is built to go to a million it is getting worn out at 500,000 (except for certain models). It’s like a car; most cars will go to 200,000 but service calls start to mount after 100,000 (some exceptions of course). So the lower the meter the better. I try to buy used copiers for resale that are under 300K. Again, larger copiers are an exception. With them, under a million is good. The other thing I do when buying from wholesalers is to pay a premium for the lowest metered copiers available of certain models.

That leads to my final point. Pick a used copier model that was a winner when it was new. The vendor can show you reliability awards from “Buyers Lab” or “Bertl” to back that up. Or you can google awards online and see what you can come up with on your own.

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