Common Buyer Mistakes: Copiers and Printers


5 Common Buyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The choice of the correct copier can make all the difference between a productive office and a dumpster fire. It can be challenging to ensure the best choice is made when it is time to buy a copier or printer, since most businesses don’t do this frequently.

Our team has found that the easiest way to approach a new client meeting is to discuss the common buyer mistakes upfront. By doing this, you are eliminating any potential business-related mistakes, worries, or regrets.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the most common buyer mistakes that in the journey to the perfect copier. Always remember that it’s not only about what you need now, but what will grow with your company in the future.


1. Lack of Applications and Features
2. Underbuying or Overbuying
3. Purchasing a Monochrome Machine When Color is Necessary
4. Misunderstanding the Service Level Agreement or Contract
5. Choosing the Wrong Copier Provider

1. Lack of Applications and Features

From cloud storage to on-the-go printing capabilities, there are a lot of applications and features to consider when choosing a copier. Jot down a quick list of all of the current frustrations your team has with your printer or copier. We recommend setting a 5-minute timer to do this with no distractions.

Got it? Good. Now, discuss these frustrations with your sales representative and determine which features could potentially solve your top frustrations. Would it be beneficial for your teachers to print directly from their phones as they are walking over to the closest printer for that last-minute hand-out? Would your sales team benefit from an integrated CRM platform to scan something directly into the right pipeline or even set up a trigger event to print when an invoice is sent? The possibilities are almost endless and the manufacturer options are getting better each day.

Deciding what is overkill and what will move the needle forward for many years to come will help to prevent buyer’s remorse. Keep in mind that most copier and printer leasing contracts span a 5-year period. As we know, a lot can change in hardware and software development in 5 years, the question is… will your machine be able to adapt to those changes or will you be stuck in the past?

2. Underbuying or Overbuying

Worried about staying on a strict budget? Or, do you want all of the features that may not be necessary? There are many ways to approach a final copier choice. Sitting down with your sales representative to walk through needs is a great first step. From there, we recommend an internal review of choices.

Purchasing a copier can, in many ways, be similar to any other large purchase in business. Before making any large purchase as a small to mid-sized business and beyond, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How will this purchase benefit the company in the long term?

  2. After evaluating the day-to-day operation, what features are “must-haves” and which are “nice to haves”?

  3. What features would save money by not having to outsource them? (This is where looking at the budget for those outsourced services comes in.)

  4. Whom are you purchasing from? Are you going into business with a reliable and trustworthy partner?

  5. What are the hidden costs?

  6. How will the purchase be paid for? What options are available?

By taking time to evaluate the purchase, it helps to create confidence in your final decision. Sometimes that means creating a pros and cons list for each optional feature. To avoid over or under spending, it is imperative to choose a service provider that is trustworthy and experienced enough to guide you in the right direction.

Related Article: Selecting a Copier Service Company: Top 6 Considerations

Avoid Preventable Mistakes, Copier Quote Graphic

3. Purchasing a Monochrome Machine When Color is Necessary

Does your team spend time creating beautiful visual reports to impress clients? Or could you survive with black and white printing? If you find the outsourcing bills piling up and your client deadlines are at the mercy of that long line at Office Depot, it may be time to consider in-house color printing.

Color is more important today than it has ever been. Whether you are trying to invoke a certain feeling from your audience with the psychology of color or simply trying to print documents with a full-color logo, the presence of color can make a huge impact. To dive into this further, visit “Black and White vs Color: Which is Right for Your Business?

4. Misunderstanding the Service Level Agreement or Contract

Let’s be honest, most of us are busy with our own work and do not want to take the time to go over a legal agreement in depth. We are here to tell you to take the time or it could cost your company thousands. Before you sign the document, make sure your sales representative has reviewed the document with you carefully and provided a clear understanding of, at least, the following points:

  • Lease Term Length

  • Service Standards, Coverage, Exclusions, and Routine Maintenance Schedules

  • Terms and Conditions

  • Early Termination: What are you liable for if you must terminate your lease early?

  • Is it a dollar out or fair market value lease?

Before putting pen to paper on any legal document, ensure that you read everything. Yes, everything. Unfortunately, many businesses have learned the hard way that there is no going back after executing a legal contract. If you find that there is legal jargon that is hard to understand, clarify the section with your sales representative. You never know what can be hidden in a “standard” agreement until it comes back to haunt you.

Related Article: Buyers Checklist: Copiers And Multi-Function Printers (MFPs)

5. Choosing the Wrong Copier Provider

One of the biggest mistakes a purchasing department can make is going with the lowest-priced option just to save money OR the highest-priced option thinking it is always going to be the best quality. Develop a clear pathway to success with the help of your sales representative to ensure that you are getting the best value for your dollar in the long haul.

You always have options when it comes to a new service level agreement and who you choose to partner with, so never feel backed into a corner when it comes to the final decision. When you purchase with a reputable vendor, like Ford Office Technologies, you will be guided through every step of the process, even after you sign the contract.

Last, but certainly not least, you should ensure that your provider has partnered with a good mix of reputable manufacturers. A vendor that offers reputable brands such as Canon, Konica Minolta, and Ricoh (Ricoh), demonstrates that they are concerned with the quality of the products provided to their clients.

Final Thoughts

Trust that with these tips in mind, your team will be well on the way to the perfect copier for your office needs. While these may only be a handful of factors to consider, we believe they’ll help you go into that initial sales meeting well-informed and ready to make a purchasing decision.


Ford Office Technologies is the area’s largest independent full-line authorized provider of the industry’s top-three manufacturers for copier, printer, and multi-function product (MFP) technology – Canon, Konica Minolta, and Lanier (Ricoh). Since opening in 1991, Ford Office Technologies has been focused on delivering the area’s best products and services available in the industry. Our family-owned and operated business is continually evolving and growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of our customers. From data management to IT services, our main goal is to ensure that our customers’ businesses run smoothly and efficiently with an established company that they can trust.

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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