6 Factors That Affect Copier Price


6 Factors That Affect Copier Price

Printer and copier pricing can vary based on multiple factors. In some cases, a $150 home printer may be the best option. However, for others in industries with high print volumes, a higher-end printer or copier may be more appropriate. With an outright purchase, a black and white copier is typically between $3,000 – $4,000, while a standard color copier starts at $6,000. In this article, we will walk through the factors to consider when purchasing a copier. What is necessary? Which features are “nice to have”? What can you go without? While copier price may not be a precise science, this will give your team a good assessment of where to begin. Let’s dig in.


Print Volume
Service Frequency
Paper Size and Quality
Color vs Black & White
Finishing Options


Factors that affect the cost of a copier or printer, low-cost vs higher-cost

1. Print Volume

If you are buying a new copier, it is important to consider how many copies your company prints each month. A low-volume, slower speed, and less expensive piece of equipment will be appropriate if your output is low enough or if it’s for individual use rather than office-wide. If you will be using the machine for multiple users or consolidating smaller pieces of equipment, you will want to consider a higher-speed multi-function copier to avoid print overage charges or excessive wear and tear on the equipment. Either way, it’s very important to get a precise monthly volume count to ensure that any service agreement that you enter into is accurate and that you are only paying for the volume that you are using.

2. Service Frequency

One of the primary financial considerations when purchasing a new printer is whether frequent service will be needed. In your office, will printer downtime significantly impact business? Or can you go days (or potentially weeks) without a printer? Managed Print Service (MPS) is a great way to ensure that your machine is always up-to-date, secure, and quickly serviced. Some of the primary benefits of MPS include:

  1. Longevity of the Machine
  2. Quick Response from Service Technicians
  3. A 1-Stop Shop with a Service Contract to Fit Your Specific Needs
  4. Cost Savings by Keeping Staff Accountable for Paper Usage, Toner, and Accessories
  5. Removal of Old Equipment
Related Article: How to Dispose of Old Printer Equipment

3. Paper Size and Quality

Standard paper sizes for printers consist of US Letter (8.5 x 11) and Legal (8.5 x 14). While the larger-scale paper is typically used by Construction, Engineering, and Architectural offices, many other industries may also have a need for printing on 11 x 17 or larger sizes. When evaluating the need for 11 x 17 and beyond, keep an eye on what documents truly need to be printed on a large scale and which can be printed using the “fit to size” feature on US Letter or Legal. The removal of inessential features could provide significant cost savings for the team. Make sure you discuss the use of oversized or non-traditional paper stocks with your sales representative since each copier has specific capabilities.

Does paper quality make a difference in operating a business? The simple answer is probably yes. Poor quality paper is more susceptible to humidity, which can adversely affect your copier. It also contains a higher amount of paper dust, which will cause paper jams, a reduction in image quality, and machine parts to wear out at a faster rate. In addition, there is a correct way to load the paper into your machine. Since all paper is cut from a roll, it will already have a slight bend to it, so the paper manufacturer marks the packaging to load the paper into the tray the correct way. Following this simple procedure which will reduce issues with paper jams. Ensuring the copier of choice can handle high-quality paper is typically worth the minimal added cost of the machine.

4. Color vs Black & White

Black and White printers and copiers take significantly less toner due to the simplicity of the single black cartridge. The economic advantages are clear with an average cost of a black and white page being $0.008.


Color (CMYK) printing typically requires four separate cartridges: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. A color copy of the same quality as the above black and white page has an average cost of $0.10 to $0.15 per page, potentially doubling your spending. Keep in mind, when purchasing toner there are higher-end, mid-range, and lower-end options that can affect the cost per page slightly.

Although black and white printers may be the affordably priced option, many companies require color printing regularly for charts, graphs, proposals, marketing materials, and more. If this is the case for your company as well, continue reading below to see if the quantity of output justifies the increased printer or copier price.

Related Article: Black and White vs Color Printer: Which is Best for Your Business?

5. Speed

Tight deadline and the printer is taking forever? We have all been there. Faster is almost always better, but is it necessary for your business?   How fast is “fast enough”? Copier price increases as speed increases, which is measured in pages per minute (ppm). These ppm measurements are split into 6 Segments:

  • Segment 1 – 15 to 22 ppm
  • Segments 2 to 4 – 20 to 50 ppm
  • Segment 5 – 70 to 90 ppm
  • Segment 6 – 90 ppm +

For the average business office, Segments 2 to 4 are more than sufficient for day-to-day printing needs on letter and legal-size paper. For large-scale offices, Segment 5 may be something to consider, but Segment 4 may still be able to handle the needs of the business. Printing operations with a healthy copier budget should consider segment 6 printers. Keep in mind increased paper size can decrease ppm speed.

6. Finishing Options

Printer finishing options can be as simple as stapling and hole punching large volume projects or as intricate as laminating, die-cutting, embossing, or even foiling projects, all of which can impact the printer or copier price. Some features come standard with certain copiers, but there may also be an add-on, such as a finisher, which is an additional fee. While the majority of businesses do not need intricate add-ons, many frequently utilize features such as stapling or hole punching on a large volume scale. In case this rings true for your company, you will want these features on your next machine. If, however, you don’t need these features but think they would be nice to have, you should discuss your options and weigh the benefits versus the costs before deciding.


Want a customized solution based on your needs? Not quite sure where to go from here? Let the experts at Ford Office Technologies give you a hand at 1-800-633-3673 or by emailing info@fordtech.com

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