Box Stores vs The Best Copier Dealership Near Me | Which is better?

Are you using a box store copier for your business? While it might seem like a budget-friendly solution, there are hidden ways it could end up costing you more money than you realize. Let’s dive into the potential pitfalls you should be aware of:

Box Stores vs The Best Copier Dealership Near Me

Higher Initial Costs:

Those seemingly affordable box store copiers might not be such a steal after all. Cheaper models often come with trade-offs like missing features or lower durability, leading to more frequent replacements that can strain your budget. It might seem counterintuitive, but there are reasons behind this approach:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Manufacturers want to offer affordable solutions, so they cut costs by using cheaper components and simplifying the design. This can lead to missing features and reduced durability.

  • Mass Production and Simplification: Box store copiers are produced in large quantities. Simplifying the design helps keep manufacturing costs down and allows for a lower price point.

  • Entry-Level Market: These copiers are targeted at users with basic needs. They might not require advanced features and prioritize cost savings over long-term reliability.

  • Market Competition: The copier market is competitive. Manufacturers offer products at various price points to capture different customer segments, appealing to those looking for budget options.

  • Differentiation Strategy: Manufacturers provide a range of products with varying features and prices to address diverse customer needs and preferences.

  • Replacement and Upgrading: Some box store copiers aren’t designed to last as long. This can encourage more frequent replacements or upgrades, generating consistent sales.

  • Aftermarket and Consumables: Manufacturers profit from selling consumables specific to their copier models. Cheaper copiers might attract customers willing to accept higher ongoing consumable costs.

  • Retailer Partnerships: Box store copiers are often sold through large retail chains. Retailers might influence copier specifications to meet pricing and shelf-space requirements.

  • Remember that not all box store copiers lack quality or features. Some strike a balance between affordability and functionality, catering to basic user needs. When choosing a copier, understanding your requirements and conducting research can help you make an informed decision.
  • Compromised Quality and Reliability:

Cheaper copiers might be prone to breakdowns, causing unexpected downtime and increasing maintenance expenses. Moreover, poor print quality could mean redoing tasks, wasting both time and resources.  Box store copiers often use cheaper components to keep costs down. These components might not be as durable or reliable as the ones used in higher-end business copiers, and as a result, box store copiers could experience more frequent breakdowns and require more maintenance.

  • Design and Engineering:

Copiers from dedicated dealerships are designed and engineered with a focus on performance and longevity. They undergo rigorous testing and quality control processes to ensure they can handle heavy usage and provide consistent results over time. Box store copiers might not undergo the same level of scrutiny.  Business copiers from dealerships are built to withstand the demands of a professional environment. They are constructed with sturdier materials and more attention to detail. Box store copiers typically have a more lightweight and less robust construction, making them prone to wear and tear.

  • Advanced Features:

Business copiers often come with advanced features that enhance productivity and efficiency, such as automated document handling, duplex printing, and advanced security options. Box store copiers might lack these features, limiting their capabilities and overall usefulness.

  • Service and Support:

When it comes to support, dealerships that specialize in office equipment typically offer comprehensive copier service and support packages. This includes regular maintenance, prompt repairs, and access to technical experts. Box store copiers have limited support options, leading to longer downtime in case of issues. Business copiers are designed with a longer lifespan in mind. They are built to handle high-volume printing and copying for an extended period. Box store copiers have a shorter lifespan due to their lower build quality and design.

  • Customization:

Dealerships work closely with your businesses to understand their unique needs and offer tailored solutions. This means they (the good ones!) can provide guidance on choosing the right copier for specific requirements and then work with you to curate the perfect devices to optimize your business workflow. Box store copiers offer a more generalized solution that generally are not aligned perfectly with your business needs, because they are intended to be temporary or short-term solutions.

  • Total Cost of Ownership:

While box store copiers might have a lower upfront cost, their total cost of ownership can be higher due to frequent breakdowns, higher maintenance costs, and the need for earlier replacement.


Consumable Complications:

Some box store copiers require specialized and pricey toner cartridges and consumables. These costs can add up over time and catch you off guard.  And this can really be where the hidden savings of a copier dealership can change your bottom line.  A good dealership offers managed print services, but a great dealership has a Managed Print Specialist who can walk through your print environment with you to determine which devices are performing as needed, which are being used the most or not at all, and then put your printers on a managed plan to take the day-to-day management off the plate of your team.  This means your team can spend their time doing business instead of fixing printers.

Lack of Advanced Features: While budget copiers might seem adequate, they often lack essential features that can boost your productivity, like automatic document handling, double-sided printing, and network scanning capabilities.

You may need more advanced handling; these are the most common add-ons to business printers.

  1. Automatic Document Feeder (ADF): ADFs make it easy to scan and copy multiple pages without manually placing each one on the scanner. This is especially useful for handling larger sets of documents.
  2. Duplex Printing and Scanning: You’ll appreciate the automatic double-sided printing and scanning capabilities, which help save on paper and reduce costs.
  3. Network Connectivity: Business copiers often come with built-in network connectivity, allowing you to print and scan directly from your computers, mobile devices, and even cloud storage platforms.
  4. Wireless Printing: With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can enjoy the convenience of wireless printing from your laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
  5. Mobile Printing: Make use of features like AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and dedicated mobile apps to print directly from your mobile devices.
  6. Advanced Finishing Options: Some copiers offer finishing options like stapling, hole punching, and booklet creation, adding a professional touch to your documents.
  7. Advanced Paper Handling: These copiers can handle a variety of paper sizes, weights, and types, reducing the need for manual adjustments on your end.
  8. Document Management and Workflow Solutions: If staying organized is a priority, you’ll appreciate the integrated software solutions for managing documents, workflows, and archiving.
  9. Secure Printing: Security is paramount, and secure print features require you to authenticate yourself before printing, ensuring your sensitive documents remain confidential.
  10. User Authentication and Access Control: You can restrict access to specific functions or features using user authentication mechanisms like PIN codes or ID cards, bolstering security.
  11. Follow-Me Printing: This handy feature allows you to release your print jobs from any compatible printer within the network, adding a touch of flexibility to your printing process.
  12. Cloud Integration: Connect your copier to cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, allowing for direct printing and scanning to and from your cloud accounts.
  • Remote Management and Monitoring: With remote management tools, IT administrators can keep an eye on devices, update firmware, and troubleshoot issues from afar.
  • Energy Efficiency: Modern copiers often come with energy-saving modes and sensors that automatically power down the device when not in use, helping reduce energy consumption.
  • Advanced Security Features: Data security is a priority, and these copiers offer encrypted hard drives, data overwrite capabilities, and secure boot options.
  • Color Management: For accurate color reproduction in marketing materials and presentations, high-quality copiers come with advanced color management tools.
  • Integration with Business Software: Some copiers can integrate with business software applications like ERP systems or document management platforms, streamlining your workflows.
  • Scan-to-Email and Scan-to-Folder: These features make scanning and sending documents directly to email recipients or network folders a breeze.
  • Fax Integration: Though less common now, some business copiers still offer fax capabilities and integration with digital fax services.

Elevated Maintenance Costs:

The low-cost copier you picked up might not include comprehensive service contracts or warranties. If issues arise, repair costs could quickly eat into your budget. Established brands typically offer better service and support. When you partner with a dealership, make sure that they offer professional technicians that are certified on your device.  Knowledge and experience matter in this space, and the right technician can save you thousands by recommending the right parts or even that you should consider upgrading your device to save money.

Inefficient Energy Usage:

Cheaper copiers might not be as energy-efficient, resulting in higher electricity bills over time. These hidden costs can put a dent in your budget without you even realizing it.  Take for example, Epson printers that use Heat-Free Technology, reducing the overall footprint of a business.  Not all Epson devices are available to box stores, meaning your selection is reduced.

Shortened Lifespan:

Cheaper copiers tend to have a shorter lifespan, meaning you’ll need to replace them sooner than expected. This frequent replacement cycle can become a financial drain.

Compatibility Concerns:

Budget copiers might not play well with your existing IT setup. This can lead to unexpected IT support costs and troubleshooting efforts. Best to set up your copiers and printers with IT support that takes your existing networking into mind.

Sneaky Additional Fees:

Watch out for those seemingly irresistible deals that come with hidden fees like installation charges, setup costs, and delivery expenses. These unexpected charges can quickly inflate your overall spending.

Scaling Limitations:

As your business grows, your copier needs might increase. However, a budget copier might not be up to the task, pushing you to upgrade sooner than anticipated.

Insufficient Support and Training:

Cheaper copiers often lack proper training and technical support, which can lead to operational inefficiencies and costly user errors.

Missed Savings Opportunities:

Premium copiers offer features that save you money in the long run, such as energy efficiency, streamlined workflows, and smart paper usage. A box store copier could miss out on these advantages, costing you in the end.

To avoid falling into these money-draining traps, take a close look at your business needs, research reputable copier brands, and think about the long-term benefits of investing in a reliable and efficient copier that aligns with your requirements. Consulting with office technology experts can provide you with valuable insights tailored to your business needs.  Start with a risk-free evaluation that takes into account your current devices, network, needs and layout. 

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