Print Services

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Copier or Printer?

There are several factors that might influence your decision to buy or lease your office equipment. In this blog, we review the advantages and disadvantages of both buying and leasing a printer or copier so you can figure out which route is right for you.

Blog Post

8 minute read

Apr 08, 2024

When selecting your office equipment, one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself (and answer) is if you want to lease or buy your copiers, printers, and other machinery. Whether it’s better to buy or lease a copier, or any office equipment, will ultimately depend on your specific situation and needs.  

No two businesses have the exact same workflows or operations and it’s important to consider your position before jumping into a purchase or lease decision. Some of the factors that will influence your decision include things like: your operating budget, the size and volume of your average print job, and the types of print jobs for which your organization is responsible.  

Neither leasing or buying is innately the right answer, so below, we outline the advantages and disadvantages associated with both options.  

If you already know what kind of office equipment you want to purchase, or you’re just looking to restock on paper and toner, visit the Impact Store where you can outfit your office with state-of-the-art equipment, and restock on printing supplies. 

Buying vs. Leasing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Leasing a Copier or Printer

Leasing a copier or printer can be an attractive option for businesses, offering several advantages alongside some potential drawbacks.  The most significant benefit is the lower upfront cost compared to buying outright.  This frees up cash flow that can be allocated towards other important business needs.  

Additionally, leasing allows you to stay on the cutting edge of technology by providing upgrade options within the lease agreement.  This ensures you always have access to the newest models with the latest features.  

Furthermore, most leases include maintenance and repair services, eliminating the burden of troubleshooting technical issues or scheduling repairs yourself.

However, there are also some key considerations when deciding on leasing. For example, in the long run, leasing typically translates to higher overall costs due to interest charges and ongoing monthly fees compared to buying outright.  

Let's delve deeper into both the advantages and disadvantages of leasing a copier or printer to help you determine if it's the right choice for your office.

The Advantages

Leasing a copier or printer can be attractive for several reasons. First, and often most importantly for businesses with a limited cash flow, leasing typically requires a smaller upfront investment compared to buying outright.  

This can be a significant financial advantage, allowing you to spread the cost of the equipment over a longer period of time. Imagine the relief of freeing up cash flow for other important business needs, such as marketing initiatives or employee training programs.  

Leasing allows you to focus on growing your business without the burden of a hefty upfront cost for office equipment.

Another perk of leasing is that you stay on the cutting edge of technology. Lease agreements often allow you to upgrade to newer models with better features as your needs evolve. This ensures you always have access to the most efficient and up-to-date equipment, capable of handling your printing demands with optimal performance.  

Consider the boost in productivity that comes with using a state-of-the-art copier or printer. Faster printing speeds, improved paper handling capabilities, and enhanced security features can all contribute to a more efficient and streamlined workflow in your office.  

Lastly, most leases include maintenance and repair services in the monthly fee. This frees you from the burden of troubleshooting technical issues or scheduling repairs yourself. This directly results in time saved and the frustration avoided by having a dedicated service team tending to any equipment malfunctions.  

Your service team can diagnose problems remotely, dispatch technicians quickly, and get your printer back up and running in no time, minimizing downtime and disruption in your office. Finally, leasing provides a predictable monthly expense, simplifying budgeting for your office supplies.  

You'll know exactly how much to allocate each month for printing costs, making it easier to manage your overall office expenses.  This predictability allows you to forecast expenses more accurately and streamline your financial planning process.

The Disadvantages

However, leasing isn't without its drawbacks.  

In the long run, leasing will likely cost more than buying office equipment outright due to interest charges and ongoing monthly fees. The added cost of financing the equipment over time can be significant.  

Consider the potential impact on your bottom line – over the course of a long lease agreement, the total cost of leasing could be substantially higher than the upfront purchase price.

Additionally, the leased equipment remains the property of the leasing company. This means you cannot sell it or customize it freely. You're essentially borrowing the equipment for a set period, and any modifications you desire would need to be approved by the lessor.  

Lack of ownership can be a drawback if you have specific needs or preferences for your copier or printer. Leasing agreements often lock you into a contract for a set period, even if your printing needs change. This lack of flexibility could be an issue if your business experiences a sudden decrease or increase in printing volume.  

Think about all the frustrations associated with old-school cellphone contracts that lock you into a single provider for multiple years – in a similar vein, leases are more difficult to adjust when your needs experience a sudden change.  

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Copier or Printer

Owning a copier or printer offers distinct advantages and disadvantages compared to leasing.  

While upfront costs are higher, ownership brings you the freedom to customize and can save you money in the long run by eliminating monthly fees. You can also tailor owned equipment to your workflow, boosting efficiency.

However, drawbacks still exist. The high upfront cost can limit your ability to invest in other areas and advancements in technology might leave you with outdated equipment lacking the latest features. Finally, ownership means you're responsible for maintenance, repairs, and toner replacements, requiring additional time and resources from your staff.

Weighing these pros and cons will help you decide if buying a copier or printer aligns with your office's needs and budget.

The Advantages

As mentioned above, buying a copier or printer offers its own set of advantages. When you purchase a copier or printer, you become the owner, giving you the freedom to use it for as long as it functions, sell it if needed, or customize it according to your preferences.  

Ownership comes with a sense of control that leasing simply cannot offer.  

The ability to customize allows you to outfit the equipment with specific features or software that best suit your workflow.  

Perhaps you need a larger paper tray or a specific duplex printing function – owning the equipment enables you to tailor it to your exact requirements. Imagine the efficiency gains and cost savings that come from having a copier or printer that perfectly aligns with your office's printing needs.  

While there is a larger upfront cost involved in buying, you'll likely save money in the long run compared to leasing, especially if you plan to keep the equipment for several years. Over time, the initial investment pays itself off as you avoid the ongoing fees associated with leasing.  

If you plan to use the office equipment for several years, buying can be a more cost-effective option with a much higher ROI. You also have complete control over maintenance and repairs, meaning you can choose your preferred service provider or troubleshoot issues yourself.  

This flexibility can be advantageous, especially if you have a reliable technician on staff or prefer to source your own repair services. By handling repairs in-house or using a trusted third-party service provider instead of relying on the leasing company's maintenance plan, you can end up creating significant savings.

The Disadvantages

Of course, buying a copier or printer also has some disadvantages. The upfront cost can be a significant hurdle for some businesses, especially for those with limited cash flow or a tight budget. While you'll likely save money in the long run, the initial investment can be a barrier to entry.  

The strain a large upfront cost could place on your business finances could potentially delay other important investments or even impact your cash flow. This means you need to carefully consider your budget limitations before deciding to purchase a copier or printer.

Technology also advances rapidly, and owning a printer might mean missing out on the latest features and efficiencies as newer models come to market.  

While you can upgrade eventually, for an additional cost, you'll be responsible for selling or disposing of the older equipment or being stuck with an outdated printer that no longer meets your needs and possibly lacks the latest security features.  

Finally, the responsibility of troubleshooting technical issues, scheduling repairs, and managing toner or ink cartridge replacements falls on you. This can require additional time and resources from your office staff whose time is better spent on the core functions of the business.  

Leasing vs. Buying Office Equipment: Final Thoughts

The best option between leasing and buying a copier or printer depends on your specific circumstances.

Consider your office's printing volume, the types of print jobs you run regularly, and your operating budget. Understanding the specific print and copy needs of your organization will help you know whether or not it will be better to lease or buy your office equipment.  

Choosing the right equipment for your office will help you streamline processes, improve the employee experience, and enhance the quality of work that your organization produces.

Find all the office equipment and associated supplies that you could possibly need in the Impact Store! 


Print Services


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