Why You Shouldn’t Buy Retail Laser Printers & MFPs for Your Business

Posted by Gary Skalyo on Tue, Nov 02, 2010

Sustainable Laser PrintersEvery day I receive emails from Web Discounters as well as advertisements from Office Superstores offering me incredible deals on Network Laser Printers, Color Laser Printers and Multifunction Printers (MFPs); for less than I pay for a good pair of wingtips.

The features that are offered in these devices are seemingly very impressive.  They seem to be fast, high resolution printers with functions that I thought were only available from Printers and MFPs that cost much more.  When you consider vendors like Hewlett Packard, LexMark, Xerox, etc. are in the arena; you ask yourself, "What the heck, how could you go wrong?"

These low-end Printers and MFPs are what is termed as “Retail Laser Printers”, to distinguish them from “Commercial Laser Printers”.  A lot of things can “go wrong” if you actually use these printers on a daily basis.  Retail Laser Printers do have a place in the home office, perhaps even your child's room.  Even then it can become expensive over time.

I often see businesses of all sizes purchasing these disposable printers only to discard them after 6 to 8 months of duty.  There is no return on investment (ROI) for a business using low end printers.

The Pro and Cons of Retail Laser Printers:

Pro: They are very inexpensive to purchase.

Cons:  They are very expensive to use and/or own.  This is because the toner, on a per-page basis is extremely high.  This and other factors make the devices Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) very high.

Another reason is because inexpensive printers are not Sustainable Printers, they are disposable.  Sure, they come with a 1 year warranty but you will probably burn it out before that; if the cost of doing so doesn’t hit you before then.  If you do need to get warranty service it will cost you up to an hour of your life on the phone, trying to get reasonable service for a product that is under warranty.

Of course, there are productivity problems in your workgroup while the printer is off being repaired.  Low end lasers do not come with onsite warranties.

Additionally, because they are discarded after a short period of time and are not cost effectively repairable or maintainable; they become another chunk of plastic to dispose of. A huge environmental problem.

“Why Should I buy Commercial Laser Printers and MFPs for my Business”?

Commercial Laser Printers are Sustainable Printers. This means that you can count on having them in productive use for at least 36 months. The better HP LaserJet Printers are, the more often it will be in service for many years, and beyond this.

Sure, they cost a few dollars more on the front end; but the cost-per-page (CPP) is commonly much lower and over time the TCO is even more low.  Generally, you will have much more uptime and better productivity. This means you can focus on your business, not your printer warranty.

If you are interested in Sustainable Printers, we suggest working with a VAR or printer company to get the right printer(s) for your business.

Here at QLS, we like Hewlett Packard LaserJet Printers and MFPs. What have you been using?

Which Equipment are suitable for my needs?

Topics: Managed Print Services, Imaging Industry, Sustainable Laser Printers