Our guide helps businesses manoeuvre the contract landscape. We break down what you should be looking out for and common questions asked by customers looking to sign a photocopier rental contract.
A lot office managers are generally looking to cut costs where possible, especially if budget allocation is tight. Instead of investing in a photocopier that costs a lot of money that has a whole host of functions, it sometimes a wiser financial decision to rent a photocopier. At this point you you will want to consider what you require and what clauses mean in the contract.
Step 1: Know What You Are Looking For Out Of The Photocopier Rental Lease Contract/Deal.
before you take on the fairly large task of researching into the photocopier you are looking for, it’s a good idea to map out exactly what you want from a new rental contract. Some businesses have been using a specific brands for years (even decades!) and may look to stay loyal to them (Xerox being close enough to the ‘gold standard’).
Your requirements will vary between your businesses and other peoples so it’s important that the functionality is in-line with what your office needs on a regular basis. One of the crucial parts to consider once you have decided on which model/functionality is to decide what length of contract you are looking to commit to, these vary largely, the most common being 24/36 months. Generally, the longer the contract, the more cost-effective it can be.
Once you’ve done your research and whittled down your options (maybe keep a list), it’s time to contact different suppliers to see what they can offer. Shopping around is absolutely critical, finding a slightly cheaper contract (even on a monthly basis) could save you hundreds or even thousands in the long run. Ensure that you are dealing with suppliers who are trusted and have a reputation before entering into a photocopier rental contract.
Photocopier Rental Contracts – Common Questions
We get a ton of questions from our customers when we compare the photocopier market from them. The number one complaint we get is hidden fees, which can take a bite our of your capital at unexpected times. We recommend reading over the contract a few times to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into, it’s imperative that small print is read! Some of the more specific questions include:
Do you have a preferred brand/supplier: You may already have a supplier who can provide you with the photocopier rental contract and you may be looking around to see if you can get something cheaper. You may also have a preference for a specific brand, this is not uncommon, as a lot of business owners have used their photocopiers for years. If you know which model you are after, it’s best to request a quote from multiple suppliers and specifically state this. It may also be a good idea to ask if there are newer models from the same range, be weary of any older models that have been deprecated/discontinued.
Brand new photocopiers vs used photocopiers: One of the most important questions when looking for a contract. Used photocopiers are usually significantly cheaper, if you can find one which is in great condition, it’s always worth having a look. Check your contract for which one is stated.
What happens at the end of the contract term?: Some photocopier contracts come with an in-built option to finance the photocopier and the option of buying out the piece of equipment entirely for you to own. The most common contract denotes that photocopiers must be returned to the supplier at the end.
Is there a contract clause whereby you can upgrade before the end of the agreed period? Almost like how mobile phone carriers give away early upgrades these days, some of the contract hire photocopiers may come with a clause that allows you to get a new piece of equipment without the hassle of terminating early (if you do decide you need something else).
Servicing of Equipment You Are Hiring: This is where a lot of people get stung on pricing. Ensure that there are no nasty surprises by knowing if you have maintenance or servicing as part of the contract. A photocopier needs to be maintained periodically, especially if you are doing high volume printing. You do not want to be left with the frustration of having to call up multiple companies if it breaks down totally either.
Auto-renewal: Is your contract set to renew automatically just before the contract ends? Much like a phone contract, some suppliers have a clause whereby the term gets renewed for the same period again automatically. One to watch our for in your photocopier rental contract.
Notice period & Termination: In the scenario where you no longer require the photocopier, how flexible is are the clauses? Do you have a notice period which you need to abide to? Are there early termination fees? Always check for these.
Finally Signing Your Photocopier Rental Agreement
With any contractual agreement, the detail is often where the most important parts lie. Every cost needs to be costed into the entire contract, if this means you need to personally whip up an excel document to outline costs and see a full breakdown – then go ahead. The last thing you want is to be shocked by an unexpected charge in the middle of the contractual agreement.
One of the factors which photocopiers buyers usually want to know is whether or not they are able to upgrade before the end of the leasing period. Nearer the end of the period, your business may grow meaning you require a larger photocopier, or one which can handle more paper. In this scenario you want to ensure that there are not extra charges, from the outset, if you do decide to upgrade. If it’s not already in your leasing agreement, you may want to clarify this with your potential supplier or even ask them to add in a clause (which you should be able to negotiate).
Once you have done all your due diligence and negotiated a contract which fits your business needs, you can have peace of mind knowing the exact cost and what your contract allows you to do.