Buy or Lease? The Pros and Cons of Buying or Leasing Office Equipment

Technology

To buy or lease a copier?

Choosing the right office equipment is a big decision. There are so many brands, technologies, and features to choose from.

Once you have settled on the product that best fits your needs, there is still one major decision left to make: should you buy or lease your office equipment?

The question is one that seems to come up time and time again when there is a major business decision to be made. You may have also considered the pros and cons of buying and leasing your office space.

Since not all companies are the same there is no single right answer.

It’s impossible to say that buying is always right or leasing is always right. However, there are some important questions to ask yourself before coming to a final decision about whether buying vs leasing a copier is best for your business.

Should You Buy Office Equipment?

First, let’s consider the benefits and drawbacks of buying office equipment. This equipment will be an important part of your operation so it’s important to make the right decision for your particular organization.

One of the main benefits of buying is ownership. Once you have paid for the equipment, you are the owner of that equipment and that means the decisions are completely up to you. If you want to make customizations or changes to the equipment then you can make that call.

By owning the equipment, you are free to sell it whenever you want. This allows you to recoup some of the original cost which you can put toward new, upgraded office equipment. Purchasing costs can often also be claimed on your taxes but you should consult an accountant to see if the tax benefit will be worth it for your business.

Of course, there are some reasons that buying your office equipment may not be the right decision.

The upfront cost of buying is higher. Leasing allows you to spread out smaller payments over time which may be more budget or cash flow friendly for companies with slim budgets. There are often financing options for businesses that choose to buy but the interest costs may not be something your business is willing to take on.

Standard maintenance is something that should be always be considered over and above the original purchase cost.  A manufacturer’s warranty may cover faulty parts but they may also require you to take the device to a regional facility or even send the equipment back for those repairs. 

There are many moving parts in a copier or printer and they will require regular servicing and maintenance beyond the occasional replacement of a broken part.  Will you pay for this servicing on a time and materials basis or will you purchase a service contract?  Many buyers choose the predictability of a service contract, but in either case, this is a cost you should budget for.

Finally, if technology changes and renders your equipment severely outdated, you may be stuck with equipment that cannot be resold or repurposed. This isn’t likely to happen quickly but should be a consideration if you plan to keep your equipment for a number of years.

Should You Lease Office Equipment?

Choosing to lease office equipment has its own advantages and drawbacks for your business.

One of the main reasons to consider leasing is the upfront cost, or rather, lack thereof. Instead of having to put down a large lump sum you can spread out payments over several years. If managing cash flow is a concern for your business, this may be the best solution to get new equipment without having to make major changes in the budget.

The lower payments of leasing may open up more options for higher end equipment that is simply unaffordable when paying the entire cost up front. If you want the newest technology working for you then leasing could be the best way to achieve that within your budget.

Finally, the equipment belongs to the leasing company. Depending on how you look at things, this could also be a disadvantage. You cannot sell the equipment to recoup costs but you also don’t run the risk of being stuck with equipment after the lease term.

If you plan on regularly upgrading your device then leasing will be the right solution for you. Dealers are often willing to help you roll your lease over into a new contract for a new device before your existing term is finished.

Lease agreements typically require the purchase of a regular maintenance service contract for the device.  Often, the dealer will help you save a few dollars by bundling this into the total price of the copier or printer.  The peace of mind and billing predictability of a service contract is valuable for almost any organization.

With all of those benefits in mind, it’s time to look at the cons of choosing to lease your office equipment.

While your monthly payments may be less when choosing leasing, over time, the total cost is actually higher than buying in many cases. Plus, at the end of the agreement, there is no property left.

You also need to be careful about the lease terms you agree to. Choose a reputable company with flexible agreements and a record of good service otherwise you may be stuck in a lease that only serves to frustrate you.

Find Your Perfect Solution

Over the past 26 years we have helped countless customers purchase their device outright and even more acquire a lease for theirs; there simply is no single right answer.  Whether you should buy or lease your device depends on the needs and requirements of your individual organization.

Fortunately, we have extensive experience helping our customers select the option that best reflects the cash flow, usage, features and timeline of their situation.  Contact us today for help examining the available options and determining what works for your business.

Cory Porteous
Marketing Manager
Office Interiors

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