An entrepreneur without the luxury of a big budget to start with? Or, are you working for an events company that need copy services on site? Copier rental is probably your answer.
Renting or leasing copier machines provides the flexibility to upgrade or replace their machines with lower upfront costs. It’s also a smart way to avoid obsolescence with technology evolving so quickly these days.
Buying vs renting a copier: Which makes more sense?
A copier machine is an essential item in offices, along with phones, printers and projectors. Unlike the other items, it is common for copiers to be rented instead of purchased because of its high cost.
A high-end copier machine that does colour printing with high speed can easily cost you at least $10,000.
Taking on a copier loan to purchase one may further burden your finances with the copier’s loan interest. If you’re working with a tight budget or if you’re unsure of the time period you would need a copier, it’s best to go with a versatile plan that allows you to change your mind without the sunken cost.
Renting a copier is also great for short term event needs like trade shows, conventions, concerts, seminars, meetings and so on. Some schools or organisations engage copier rental services during their peak period needs, for example when conducting surveys or for printing large amounts of training materials or examination papers. Temporary offices like showrooms, showflats, constructions sites or pop-up offices also need copier rental on an ad-hoc basis.
Furthermore, under the Singapore government’s Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme, companies can either claim 400% tax deductions or allowances (up to $600,000) or opt for a 40% cash payout (up to $100,000) for spendings on PIC qualifying activities to boost productivity. Acquisition and leasing of copiers are qualified activities under this scheme and no prior approval is needed. Buying 2nd hand copiers is eligible under this scheme too.
Copier rental companies in Singapore
A simple search online will bring you a myriad of choices for copier rental companies in Singapore. The sheer number of companies that provide this service is almost overwhelming.
Most of them offer a similar price range and products and the difference is in the line-up of copiers available for rental. Some offer only copiers from one brand like Fuji Xerox, while others offer a wider range of brands. Another thing to look out for is the service respond time. Companies should typically be able to respond to a problem within 4 hours or less.
The below factors will affect the cost of your copier rental. You would need to consider the printing volume and the number of people using the machine when asking these questions.
Duration of rental: The longer you rent the machine, the lower your cost per month. For most, the minimum duration contract is 1 year, although renting for 6 months is negotiable too.
Colour or black-and-white: Does it have to print in colour?
Extra features: Does it need to have multifunctional, meaning you can print, scan and fax on it as well? Does it need to be high speed?
Model: Do you want a newer model or is an old model sufficient?
For example, leasing a basic black-and-white copier for 6 years will cost you only about $30 a month, while renting a colour copier (with medium volume printing capacity) for 1 year will cost you about $100 and above per month. You can also start with an older, more basic model and upgrade as your business needs increases.
Since there are so many variables that are largely dependent on the type of business and purpose of the machine, most companies will need to talk with you directly either over the phone or face-to-face to quote.
What’s included in the copier rental cost?
Like renting a car, the long-term contract comes with a full after-sales service agreement where free servicing, toners, copier consumables, spare parts replacement and copier maintenance is provided.
When you rent short-term (from 1 day to a month), prices are higher but onsite technicians and help will be provided for you onsite. There are also customisable options like early set-up, late teardown and weekend or public holidays set-up available for your event needs. Some companies like Archer Copier even supports overseas deployment of machines and technicians.
Fuji Xerox vs Canon vs other copier brands: Which copier brand should you choose?
Fuji Xerox was the inventor of plain paper copier in the 1960s and remained the market leader until the 1970s, when Canon came along and became the main competitor to Fuji Xerox. Both brands are amongst the top of the market and in terms of product quality, both provide top of the line machines.
However, since Fuji Xerox remains to be more focused on being a copy and print company, while Canon is known as an imaging company (offering products like cameras, sensors, medical imaging machines),
Canon does bring a bit more to the table. If you were just looking for a simple copy and print solution for your organisation or event, especially if it’s just a black and white copier, this difference wouldn’t matter to you.
Since Fuji Xerox is still a strong brand, prices will be a bit more premium as compared to other brands like Dell, HP, Ricoh and Konica Minolta.
Ultimately, it depends on your priority as there are many factors at play when choosing a copier ranging from printing speed, paper capacity to ease of use and security features if you are printing confidential documents. Most companies’ lease contract will come with a full servicing agreement which is extremely important to ensure you get help whenever you need. If your printing expectations are not high, most of the machines can more or less do what you need, so what makes the key difference is the after-sales service.
What if you want to terminate the copier lease early?
Most of the copier leases required a minimum duration contract of 1 year.
If you change your mind and need to return the copier early, you will need to pay the balance lease rental which is the number of months left till the end of the signed contract.
Say you have signed on a copier lease for a year and decide to return it after 3 months, you will still have to pay back 9 months of monthly lease charges. This is generally the rule across most of the copier rental companies. So, be sure of your business plan before signing on any contract!
Can you buy a copier instead or renting?
In case you are looking to buy a copier rather than rent one, you have the option of buying a new or a refurbished machine. For refurbished machines, you may be able to find one from as low as $1000+, depending on the brand and your requirements. For new machines, a lower-end, colour-printing model with a reasonable printing speed will probably cost you around $7,000 and up. Buying the machines from the companies will still ensure you full after-sales servicing which include all the major things you will need like toners, spare parts, maintenance and so on.
However, do note that with buying a copier, you will need to pay a monthly copy charge depending on how much you print. The meter on your machine will show the figure. This copy charge differs with each company but it’s generally around 1 cent for each black and white print and 15 cents for each colour print.
In any case, it’s probably more advisable to purchase from a company that will ensure the condition of the machine and provide after-sales servicing, especially if it’s a refurbished machine. There are also second hand machines for sale on sites like Alibaba.com or Gumtree.sg which are very cheap, but you will not have the same assurance and will have to fork out extra to engage a copier service provider.
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