Sometimes we recommend that a business reduces its printing costs by purchasing a black-and-white printer instead of printing everything on their expensive colour printer.
A business may, by contrast, frequently print in colour. In that case, we recommend they buy a high-end colour laser printer with all the bells and whistles.
Whatever we recommend, you can rest assured that we’re doing it to make your office printing more efficient, at the lowest cost-per-page.
Let me make my case with the example of laser printers. And to keep the math simple, I’ll deal with only one line of laser printers: HP.
When people go shopping for a laser printer, they often fixate on price. Printer A costs $300 and Printer B costs $500. Both print 20 pages a minute. Is there any reason not to buy the less expensive one?
There may indeed be a reason, if you understand the true cost of ownership and cease to assume that the most important factor is the cost of the printer itself. The truth is, printer manufacturers generally make more money off toner than they do off the actual printers. So, let’s look at a few HP laser printers and compare the true cost of ownership.
The cost of operating a laser printer depends on: how efficient the printer is, the cost of the toner, the yield of the toner cartridge, the cost of paper and the cost of maintenance and repairs. Let’s ignore the cost of paper, maintenance and repairs and just look at different printer models and types of toner cartridges.
The following chart shows a few common HP printer models. Since most companies that buy a Pro or Enterprise printer print between 2,000 and 3,000 sheets a month, we’ll use an average of 2,500 sheets and look at the effect on costs of using different black and white printers and toner cartridges.
|HP Pro 400||HP Pro 400||HP Ent M601||HP Ent M602||HP Ent M602||HP Ent M602|
|Printer Retail Price*||$409.00||$409.00||$893.17||$1276.50||$1276.50||$1276.50|
|Toner Cartridge||80A||80X||90A||90X||90XD||Digitech rebuilt
|Yield of Cartridge||2,700||6,900||10,000||24,000||48,000||48,000|
|Cost of Cartridge||$120||$230||$230||$370||$640||$380|
|Cost Per Page||$0.044||$0.033||$0.023||$0.015||$0.013||$0.008|
|Annual Cost of Toner**||$1,333||$1000||$690||$463||$400||$238|
*retail prices of the printers are taken from the HP store or the list price from Amazon
**the annual cost of toner is calculated as (2,500 page per month) x (Cost Per Page) x (12 months)
Okay. You can see that if you buy an HP Pro 400 and use the cheapest OEM toner, you will end up paying $409 for the printer and then $1,333 each year for toner. So, the cheapest printer ends up costing the most money – around $1,900 in the first year and just over $1,300 for each year after that.
If you buy an HP Ent M602, you will need to invest around $1,200 in the printer itself. But, even if you stick with the OEM cartridges, your annual toner cost would only be $400. And if you decide to use a Digitech re-manufactured cartridge, your annual toner cost drops down to only $238. In that case, your first-year costs are also about $1,900. But subsequently it is only $238 a year – about one-eighth of the annual cost of the cheapest printer. So, your best option is to buy a top-of-the-line laser printer and use toner cartridges with the lowest cost-per-page.
If you have any questions about this, or want some help selecting the right printer or printers for your business, give us a call. The consultation is free and we’re glad to help you.