How to Choose the Best Dealer for Leasing a Copier
When you’re ready to lease new office copiers, printers or multi-function devices, many decisions await you. You want a positive leasing experience from the moment you say, “yes,” through financing, installation, billing, regular use, maintenance and the end of your lease.
After you research equipment options online, you’ll want to get in contact with a copier dealer. From there, a sales representative will work with you to understand your financial and business directives, and then propose options accordingly.
You may have several options from multiple manufacturers to consider: Which make and model will best fit your cost and usage needs? Will it need to scan, fax, staple or fold?
A sales representative with a tenured leasing team behind them can help point you to the best suited models to meet your desired specifications. They can also help you take advantage of any eligible lease promotions or rebates currently available.
If you’re in the market to lease a copier, it’s likely that you’re evaluating potential companies to work with, so we’ve compiled a list of advisable criteria to consider in this search.
First, let’s define the key players in a copier lease:
- Client: This is likely you, and you’re the star of the show. The client, also known as Lessee, makes decisions and works closely with a dealer partner when leasing equipment for their business or organization.
- Dealer: This is a company like Loffler that sells and leases office equipment (copiers, printers, multi-function devices, large format printers or production printers) to clients. The dealer (also known as Supplier) also offers service, supply and various technology integration options for clients.
- Manufacturer: This is a company that produces and distributes the equipment you’re looking to lease and ships that equipment to a dealer. Examples of manufacturers Loffler works with are Canon, Konica Minolta, Xerox, Lexmark and HP.
- Leasing Partner: This is the third-party company (also known as Lessor) that finances equipment on lease and often invoices clients on behalf of the dealer. Dealers work with the leasing partner to customize leasing options and identify any available promotions or cost discounts for their client.
Flexible Leasing Options
We recommend finding a dealer that can work with your organization’s unique needs in finding a solution that fits. The company should be able to structure leases to fit your needs with lease terms (the length of the lease), purchase options (Fair Market Value or $1 Out) and payments. Flexible financing options allow the individual needs of your organization to be met.
Examples of flexible financing the right dealer can find to fit your needs:
- Step leases for anticipated changes in your business
- Special leases for clients with seasonal business or with budgetary constraints
- Invoicing consolidation and payment customization
- An ability to create a lease structure that best fits your financial and business objectives (both Operating and Capital lease options)
- Creative refinance options
- Mid-term upgrade options available to meet changing business or technology needs, with no early termination fees
Aim to lease equipment through a dealer that has multiple longstanding finance partnerships with leasing companies. Multiple leasing partnerships will increase the options that the dealer can offer you.
These options give you access to the best available lease promotions, various manufacturer programs and more flexible lease terms. Done right, the dealer and leasing partner relationship is built and maintained over many years, to the client’s benefit.
Your dealer should have multiple leasing partners for you to choose from, and they should always look for the partnership that will best suit their client’s needs.
Working with a dealer who can offer several different product lines can also help increase your leasing options because certain manufacturers come with convenient leasing partners and can offer their best available pricing.
Traditional methods of financing may not include soft costs such as copier installation and shipping. In some cases, copier maintenance costs could also be included. We recommend bundling maintenance costs with your lease in order to consolidate billing to one invoice per month. This allows you to write one monthly check for all your equipment and maintenance costs.
Service and Support Statistics
Where does the dealer rank when it comes to servicing machines? Experience goes a long way with service technicians, so you will want to work with a dealer that employs highly tenured service technicians. You should be confident that when an issue arises, your organization can be back up and running quickly.
- Are the technicians and trainers certified experts on the products and services they offer?
- What are the average service response times, and can they provide you with their customer satisfaction statistics?
- Do they charge for additional training?
Responsive, Local Point of Contact
You want to partner with a company who knows who you are, understands your business and is willing to work through any questions and concerns you may have. It can be frustrating when your only point of contact is an automated service system so look for a company that will provide live personnel to answer and resolve any financing, billing or service question that may arise. Financing office equipment can be a complicated process, especially if you haven’t done it before. You should feel comfortable calling your local dealer to ask questions.
Tenured Leasing Team
You want to trust the expertise of the leasing professionals you’re working with. It helps to lease equipment with a partner who has a full-time experienced leasing team on staff capable of understanding any issue or concern and finding timely resolutions when needed.
End of Lease Options That Meet Your Needs
Although the length of a copier lease can vary, it is common for lease terms to be 36, 48 or 60 months. That’s a three- to five-year commitment to your office copiers, and you want a dealer partner who remains in tune with you for the full term.
When your lease ends, you have options, whether that means upgrading to new technology, extending the term of the current equipment or purchasing the equipment at Fair Market Value.
Your copier dealer should value a long-term business partnership with you rather than a one-time transaction, so at the end of the lease term, you have a seamless transition from your existing contract to a new one, and are able to benefit from new available technologies.
Behind the scenes, Loffler has multiple leasing partners and offers equipment from multiple manufacturers. Long-term business partnerships are our goal, which we accomplish by exceeding expectations throughout the lease term, from the day you contact us for a quote, through the length of our relationship.
As always, we encourage you to talk with your internal accounting and professional tax adviser regarding your specific information.
* The information in this blog should not be considered rendering of advice. The information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, legal, or financial advice from a professional.
Neil Lee is Loffler's Chief Financial Officer and on the Executive Team. For the past 15 years he has been an integral part of determining strategy and direction for the company and is a key factor in developing and providing the award-winning technology and managed services Loffler consistently delivers.