How Can I Know if I am Getting Ripped Off?

Many people who are out there doing research are trying to do two things.  1) Looking for actual product information and 2) Making sure they are doing due diligence to assure they are not getting ripped off.

This post is designed to help you with #2.  Certainly there are Product Reviews and our sister site, The Laser Printer Center, which can help you get product information.

Here are some basics you can use…

If you include equipment, supplies and maintenance…  paying $.02 or less combined per print is AWESOME.  Paying $.03 is fairly average and $.04 or more is too much.  How can you determine this is you already have a contract?  Take your payments, say $380 a month for 15,000 included prints and you’s be able to see this example would be $.0253 per print.  This would be in the “Good” range.  Shoot for being under $.03 WITH THE EQUIPMENT INCLUDED or better!

What are some other ways to get ripped off?

If you don’t do tabloid paper (11 X 17), not to be confused with Legal paper (8.5 X 14)…  you should not spend more than $5,000 on a copier or $150 a month on a 3 year FMV lease (equipment only).  There are excellent options in the $2,500 range.  Sales reps who tell you nothing under $5,000 will work for your 3,000 pages a month are more concerned about their commissions than your needs.

Cost per Print:

$.01 or better is excellent.

$.02 or worse is bad.

$.013 is about average for most customers for the cost of supplies and maintenance.  (equipment is seperate.)


40 Pages or higher for B&W is good.

Less than 40 pages a minute can be suitable for low volume applications.

Higher than 60 pages a minute is a bit of an overkill for customers doing less than 20,000 pages a month.

Color Copiers (This is VERY important)

Cost per print for Letter/Legal — Great is $.06 or less, Average is $.08, $.10 or more should only happen in 1 of 2 cases…  super high end color (graphic designers, for instance on tabloid paper) or very low volume (500 pages per month or less).

Cost per Print for tabloid prints — $.11 or less would be a good number to shoot for.

There are plenty of more copier tips I could give, but if I did that, you might not want to give me a call to give you a quote on your next copier purchase.