Copier Question..

We are nearing the end of our copier lease and are exploring our options. One option is keep the equipment (Xerox copiers) and just go with maintenance/support for a few years. Overall, we have not had many issues. Another option is to go with a new vendor (with Sharp copiers) for less then we are paying now yet more than the maintenance/support option.

Does anyone have any past experience with this type of scenario or any experience with Sharp copiers?


We are in a similar situation and are about to start looking at all our options. We had Sharp at one point and they seemed to run well overall, I don’t remember any glaring issues at the time. I think mostly you need to look at the vendor supplying the copiers and how good they are with support and billing questions.

We owned a copier with a maintenance contract when I first started working here about 7 years ago. At the time, it was cheaper to lease a new machine than continue the maintenance contract on the one we owned. It was also nice to have the newer technology.

If there is no need for newer features like bluetooth printing, cloud printing etc and the current Xerox machine is still reliable and rarely jams then it might make financial sense to continue using it.

Personally I would switch to a newer machine only if the older machine’s TCO (total cost of ownership, ink + parts + servicing + depreciation value) is higher per year. Especially if it is breaking down or jamming more often or there is a greater need for newer features.

I still prefer Xerox Versalink machines with stapling function.

If you want something even cheaper but with similar Laser like printing quality, you can look at the Epson WorkForce Pro WF series with PrecisionCore and Durabrite ink series of inkjet printers. Their new PrecisionCore printhead technology is pretty innovative. Note that their ink replacement costs can be higher than traditional inkjets. Their Durabrite pigment inks on printed paper can last 120 years.

When considering keeping a machine after the lease expires:

  • Take a look at the number of clicks (copies) made compared to the expected life of the device. This can confirm you’ve got some life in the machine, or perhaps should relegate it to a secondary machine, or dump it. We’ve selectively done all three of the scenarios based upon expected life and how the machine has serviced us to date and have done well evaluating and making decisions in this way.

When considering a new lease:

  • Make sure you have a well thought out list of requirements and give equal time to machine requirements and service/maintenance requirements. Vendors are notorious for focusing on machine specs. and then offering you ‘best effort’ service and maintenance. Make them include service level commitments that are reasonable and have real consequences when not met.

We currently use Sharp Copiers and are mostly pleased - We do have a supplies & maintenance program but we tend to purchase our copiers and then just pay for the maintenance and toner plan.

We also have one Xerox that the lease recently ended - we stopped the maintenance, etc and are just purchasing toner separately and will call if we need maintenance.