Are you in the market for a new office copier? If so, are you wondering if you should buy a copier outright? Or are you considering leasing options on this valuable and often expensive piece of office equipment? 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.
Pros of Leasing Your Copier
- The ability to upgrade allows for more flexibility when your business grows and your copier no longer fits your needs.
- Initial upfront costs are less expensive. Which means you can keep more money in your business when first starting out.
- Equipment stays up-to-date and can be exchanged if old equipment needs upgrading. Plus, it has the added benefit of no additional out of pocket expenses.
- Many companies have the option to buy out your device at the end of your lease, often at reasonable market value.
- Add more features to your copier that you may have not been able to afford if you purchased the copier outright. Such as the copier doubling as a printer, scanner and fax machine that allows you to email and scan multiple documents.
- Service contracts and maintenance are built it. If there are ever any issues with the copier you can place a call for easy upkeep and repairs.
- Leasing has the added tax benefit of being an expense whereas if you were to purchase the copier outright, it would be a depreciable asset.
Cons of Leasing Your Copier
- The cost of ownership will be more expensive in the long run if you were to lease rather than buy the equipment outright.
- Leasing periods are locked in. Most companies require a minimum period of 3 years, which can be concerning if you don’t plan on needing the equipment for that long.
- The equipment belongs to the leasing company. This means you cannot sell the equipment to recoup any cost and you run the risk of being stuck with the equipment after your lease runs out.
- Leasing terms may not be in your best interest. Make sure you choose a reputable company with flexible agreements and good service otherwise you may be stuck in a lease that only causes you frustration.
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 to lease, over time, the total cost may actually be higher than buying. 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 and what your options will be at lease expiry. 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.
How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Copier
Determining the price of a lease depends on the vendor supplying the copier and which type of copier you are looking for. There are more factors to consider, such as upgrades, repairs and maintenance. Here are a few sample prices:
- Small copier starting prices are around $50 – $100 per month.
- High-volume copiers can be leased between $200 – $400 per month.
- High-end copiers range between $800 – $1,000 per month.
You can read more about the costs of different types of MFP’s HERE.
Leasing equipment instead of buying has distinct tax advantages. When leasing, the payments are considered to be a pre-tax business expense which means each time you make a payment, you can deduct the entire payment. However, when you purchase the equipment you can only deduct the machine’s depreciation value. Usually, that would be 40% of the buying price in the first year, followed by 25% in the remaining years.
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.
Here at Office Interiors if we were to lease to a customer, they would have the option to make payments monthly or quarterly. They would then select how long the lease payments would last for, usually from 36 months to 66 months. The exact size of those payments would then depend on the overall price of the device being sold.
Unfortunately, there is no exact price we can give you because there are so many variables involved with leasing equipment. However, if you are looking to purchase a copier for your office it is important to decide whether you want to spend a large sum upfront or make smaller monthly payments for an extended period of time.
The choice is yours and if you need more help navigating the world of leasing, you can contact one of our leasing specialists at Office Interiors and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Digital Content Specialist