The English have an expression: “Don’t buy a pig in a poke.” It means, don’t buy something until you’ve seen it. Intriguingly, the word poke comes from the old French word poque, for a small bag.
Good advice in any language – especially if you’re considering buying used office technology, such as a printer. Here’s our take on new vs. used.
When you buy in a private deal – through CraigsList.com, for instance – you really have no idea whether the printer you’re buying actually works or is suitable for your business.
That said, if you are in the market for a printer, and you need a good one but don’t need the latest technology, then I suggest that you consider buying a used one.
But do it safely! Here’s how:
1. Buy from a reliable source – a business you know, or one with a good reputation to maintain. If you have any doubts, check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to see if there are any unresolved complaints on file. The BBB keeps records of complaints, even on companies that are not members.
2. Make sure the printer has the features you need, but not a lot of extra options that could increase your maintenance and repair costs.
3. Wherever you buy your used printer, make sure they offer repair and maintenance services.
4. Make sure you buy a used printer in only one of these three categories: lease returns, discontinued showroom models or refurbished.
Lease returns are a good choice. That’s because they likely not too old and were probably used under a maintenance contract. In my experience, it’s not easy to find the specific lease return models you are looking for right now. Discontinued showroom models are also good and will have had very low use. But it will take a lot of looking to find the one that’s right for your business.
My recommendation is to do some research, or get professional help, to determine what kind of printer will serve your business best. Once you’ve identified some appropriate makes and models, start checking with dealers who sell refurbished printers. You can find plenty of them in a Google search. Or, better still, call us – besides remanufactured and new cartridges, we also sell refurbished printers.
Refurbished printers often come with some warranty. Ours certainly do. And reputable dealers will often offer maintenance contracts, and even let you try a printer for a week or so to make sure it’s suitable for the kind of printing you do.
Remember: Buying used equipment reduces waste – and that is good for the environment!
Here’s some further reading on buying used vs. new office tech:
- An article on the pros and cons of opting for second-hand
- An article on knowing your options when you buy.