Abby's Guide to Copiers
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Buying your copier

If you have decided a relatively inexpensive desktop copier or multifunction model will suit your needs, compare prices and warranties at major electronic outlets or online stores, paying particular attention to what the warranty will and won't cover.

However, if you are opting for a more expensive copier, choosing a dealer becomes more important. You are not just buying the copier, but the consumables such as toner, fusers and drums and most likely a service contract as well. Note that you do not have to purchase either of these from the same dealer.

Narrow your choices and find the copier that will suit your needs, then choose a dealer that sells that particular model.

Most copiers are sold below MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price). In fact you can find prices 15 to 30 percent below the MSRP. So depending on the features you have added on to your copier, you can negotiate down from the list price.

Ask the dealer about his track record and ability to meet your service needs. For example, how long have you been in business? How long have your technicians been working for you and how many are there in the area to service your copier? Then ask the dealer for references for people who have bought the model you are purchasing. Call these references and ask about their experience with the dealer. How quick was he to answer a service call? Were the technicians capable and knowledgeable? Has the copier proved reliable?

This homework will either encourage you to purchase the copier you have your eye on, and who to choose to maintain and service it, or keep you from making a costly and time consuming mistake.

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