What to Look for When Buying Used Wide Format Printers
Saving money is one of the top priorities for any business. And one way some businesses save money is buying their office equipment used. But before you buy a used wide-format printer you need to understand what to look for and, more importantly, what to look out for.
Used wide-format printer terminology
The first thing to learn is the difference between "used" wide format printers and "refurbished" wide format printers.
- "Used" means previously-owned. This machine has likely been used in the normal process of business and has accumulated wear and tear as a result of that use. When purchased through a dealer, these machines may include a guarantee of at least 30 to 60 days and will usually have been inspected and certified that they're in working order.
- "Refurbished" often indicates a printer that has been returned to a store because the original customer either wasn't satisfied with what it did, changed their mind, or because the machine didn't work properly. On costlier models, refurbished machines may also be the result of a trade-in on leased product that the original owner opted not to purchase. In some cases refurbished wide-format printers have been worked on and repaired, but not always.
What to look for when buying used
Just as there are a variety of used printers available, there are also numerous dealers to choose from in your local area. Specific features aside, a lot of the purchase decision related to a used piece of equipment should be centered on the dealer you're buying from.
So when buying a used wide-format printer, give the highest priority to the vendors that offer a warranty or guarantee on the item. This protects you from buying faulty equipment and also allows you to return the machine if it ends up not working right for your particular business needs.
Also pay particular attention to the vendor's reputation. Look for consumer reviews, blogs, and price comparison sites that offer feedback from shoppers. Many of these sites use a five-star rating system, with the safest buys offered by vendors that have been reviewed and scored a rating of at least four out of five stars. If the vendor you're interested in has a negative review, read it to see what the complaint was and then determine if that complaint is severe enough to keep you from buying from the vendor.
When considering products on the higher end of the scale, often including maintenance and service contracts, vendors should be willing to provide a list of references. If you have the time, call a few and ask questions like:
- How long have you been a customer? How many different pieces of equipment have you purchased from this vendor?
- Have you purchased anything used? And if so, how did the product hold up?
- Has the dealer done a good job with maintenance and service?
- How quick was their turnaround for repairs (if applicable)? And how quick was their response during non-business hours?
- Would you buy from this dealer again?
- What could the dealer improve about their operation?
Finally, if you're shopping at a physical store or dealer showroom, examine the machine to make sure it doesn't look too beat up. That said, don't expect used and refurbished machines to be cosmetically perfect. Just make sure the defects and cosmetic damage don't interfere with the functioning of the machine. For example, the LED screen should be relatively free of scratches and the button labels should be clearly readable.
Buying a used wide format printer can be a great way to save money - but a great deal starts with a great dealer. BuyerZone can connect you to multiple wide format printer dealers so you can compare their offers and choose the best match for your business.Ready to Compare Wide Format Printers and Plotters Price Quotes?