Minimizing the Cost of Copy Machines: Small Business Commercial Copier Solutions

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Introduction to Cost of Copy Machines

In small businesses, every dollar counts. Minimizing costs is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity. One area that often goes overlooked is the cost of copy machines. Whether it’s a standalone printer, an all-in-one device, or a high-end fax machine, these devices can be a significant expense.

The cost of a copy machine goes beyond the initial purchase or lease. It includes ongoing expenses like maintenance, toner, paper, and energy consumption. For businesses that rely heavily on printing, these costs can add up quickly. Explore new black & white copiers to understand the range of options available.

But the good news is that there are ways to minimize these costs. From understanding color printing costs to choosing the right leasing strategies, small businesses can find solutions that fit their needs and budget. In this article, we’ll explore various strategies to help you minimize the cost of your copy machines, including Epson models, and make the most of your investment.

Minimizing the Cost of Copy Machines


Understanding Color Printing Costs

Turn Off the Auto Color Default Setting

Color printing is visually appealing but can be costly. The cost difference between color and black-and-white printing is substantial. Here’s how it adds up:

  • Color Printing Costs: Every time you print in color, you’re using four color drum units and four color developer units. These components are expensive and have a limited lifespan. Even a small amount of color on a page, like a hyperlink or logo, counts as a color print.
  • Black Printing Costs: When you print in black, you’re only using the black drum and developer unit, preserving the life of the other six components.
  • The Solution: Changing the default setting of your computer print driver from Auto Color to Black can cut printing costs in half. Simply go into the Control Panel on your computer, right-click the printer icon, choose printer preferences, and change the printing output setting from Auto Color to Black.

By taking this simple step, many companies can save hundreds of dollars a month.

Upgrade Desktop Printers to Avoid Expensive Ink Cartridges

The choice between desktop printers and large color copiers is more complex than it seems. Here’s a detailed comparison:

  • Desktop Printers: They may seem less expensive initially, but the cost of replacement toner cartridges can be high, ranging from $100 to $200 each. The per-page cost for color prints can be fifteen to fifty cents or even a dollar for a full-color page.
  • Large Color Copiers: These can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 but offer an all-inclusive maintenance and supply agreement. The per-page cost is approximately 1 penny for each black print and 6-8 cents for each color print, regardless of toner usage.

Scenario Analysis:

  • Scenario 1: Using a desktop color laser printer for 2,000 black prints and 1,000 color prints a month can cost $270.
  • Scenario 2: Leasing a $5,000 color copier for the same prints results in a total monthly cost of $180.

The takeaway is that a business color copier is often more cost-effective and efficient than a desktop laser printer.

Lease a Used Color Copier Instead of Purchasing New

When it comes to acquiring a copier, leasing a used one instead of purchasing a new one can be a wise decision. Here’s why:

  • Cost Savings: You can lease a lightly used copier for approximately 50% less than a new one is a smart choice.
  • Performance: Concerns about performance and repair costs are mitigated by full-coverage, all-inclusive maintenance, and supply agreements.
  • Responsibility: The copier service provider is responsible for all parts, labor, and supplies. If there’s an issue that can’t be resolved, they must replace the machine.

By choosing a used copier and paying half the cost of new, you can enjoy significant savings without sacrificing quality or peace of mind.


Leasing Strategies and Employee Tracking

Choose a 5-year Copier Lease Term

When leasing a copier, the term matters. A comparison between 3-year and 5-year lease terms reveals:

  • 3-Year Lease: The monthly payment is approximately 50% more than a 60-month term.
  • 5-Year Lease: A longer term offers a lower monthly payment and aligns with the depreciation cycle of a copier.

By choosing a 5-year term, you can enjoy 50% savings and expect the copier to last a minimum of 5 years without issues.

Enable Account Tracking for Employees

Employee printing can be a hidden cost. Here’s why tracking is essential:

  • Understanding Usage: By enabling account tracking, you can monitor who is printing what, how much, and when. This data can help you identify unnecessary printing and implement cost-saving measures.
  • How to Enable Tracking: Most copiers have built-in tracking features. You can assign individual PIN codes or swipe cards to employees, allowing you to track their printing habits.

By understanding and managing employee printing, you can reduce waste and save money.

Changing Printing Font to Save Toner Costs

Different fonts affect toner usage. Here’s how:

  • Toner Consumption: Some fonts consume more toner than others. For example, Arial uses more toner than Times New Roman.
  • Recommendation: Century Gothic is a font that uses less toner than most others. By changing the default font to Century Gothic, you can save up to 30% on toner costs.

By understanding the impact of fonts on toner usage and making a simple change, you can enjoy significant savings.


Advanced Cost-Saving Techniques

Change Printer Default Setting to 2-Sided Printing

In today’s environmentally conscious world, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to reduce waste and promote sustainability. One simple yet effective strategy is to change the printer default setting to 2-sided printing. Here’s why:

  • Environmental Benefits: By printing on both sides of the paper, you can cut paper consumption in half. This not only saves trees but also reduces the energy and water used in paper production.
  • Cost Benefits: Reducing paper usage translates into direct cost savings. Whether you’re using a commercial copier or a small office copy machine, the savings can be substantial. For a business printing 10,000 pages per month, this change can save 5,000 sheets of paper, translating into significant savings over the course of 2023.

By making this simple change in your office environment, you can enjoy both environmental and cost benefits, aligning with your business needs and values.


Auto Tri-Folding for Invoices and Letters

Efficiency in preparing documents for mailing is crucial for businesses, especially those with high volumes of invoices and letters. Auto tri-folding is a feature available in many commercial copy machines that can significantly enhance efficiency. Here’s how:

  • Time Savings: Manually folding documents is time-consuming. Auto tri-folding automates this process, allowing employees to focus on more critical tasks.
  • Professional Appearance: Auto tri-folding ensures a consistent and professional appearance, enhancing your business’s image.
  • Integration with Other Features: Many commercial copier brands like Xerox, Ricoh, and Konica Minolta offer auto tri-folding along with other features like hole punch and stapling, creating a seamless workflow.

By leveraging auto tri-folding, you can improve efficiency, professionalism, and integration with other office equipment, meeting your office needs effectively.


Convert Incoming Faxes to PDF Files

In the digital age, printing every incoming fax can lead to unnecessary costs. Here’s a solution:

  • Convert to PDF: Most modern fax machines and all-in-one devices allow incoming faxes to be converted to PDF files. These files can be emailed or stored digitally, avoiding the need for printing.
  • Avoiding Unnecessary Costs: By converting faxes to PDF, you save on paper, toner, and maintenance costs. This strategy aligns with the trend towards a paperless office space and contributes to overall cost savings.

By adopting this approach, you can streamline your workflow, reduce costs, and align with modern business practices.


Print on Demand for Menus and Marketing Pieces

In the competitive market, flexibility and cost efficiency are key. Here’s a comparison between On-Demand Printing and Outsourcing:

  • On-Demand Printing: Utilizing your commercial copier to print menus, marketing pieces, and other materials as needed allows for flexibility and cost control. You can print exactly what you need, when you need it, without overstocking.
  • Outsourcing: While outsourcing to a print shop might seem convenient, it often requires bulk orders, leading to potential overstock and waste.

Scenario Analysis:

  • Scenario 1: Printing 500 menus in-house as needed might cost around $100.
  • Scenario 2: Outsourcing the same job could cost around $200, plus potential waste if menus change.

By embracing on-demand printing, you can enjoy flexibility, cost savings, and alignment with your business needs.


What People Also Ask

How can I reduce color printing costs?

You can reduce color printing costs by turning off the auto color default setting in your copier machine. This ensures that documents print in black and white unless specifically set to color. Additionally, consider using commercial copier prices that offer efficient color printing, and always monitor your monthly print volume to avoid unnecessary color prints.

Is it better to lease or buy a copier?

The decision to lease or buy depends on your business needs and budget. Leasing offers lower monthly payments and the ability to upgrade, while buying provides ownership and potential tax benefits. Consider factors like copier machine costs, repair costs, and expected copying needs to make the best decision.

How can I track employee printing?

Tracking employee printing can be done through built-in features in most commercial copy machines. You can assign individual PIN codes or swipe cards to employees, allowing you to monitor their printing habits. This helps in understanding how fast you need the copying and printing, and managing costs effectively.


Get a Free Quote and minimize the cost of copy machines



In conclusion, minimizing the cost of copy machines is a multifaceted challenge that requires thoughtful strategies and attention to detail. From changing printer settings to leveraging modern features like auto tri-folding and on-demand printing, businesses can find solutions that align with their needs and budget. Whether it’s a commercial copier, office copier, or specialized color copier, these strategies apply across various brands like Xerox, Ricoh, and Konica Minolta.

As we move into 2023, these cost-saving techniques are not just about cutting costs; they’re about aligning with environmental values, enhancing efficiency, and positioning your business for success. It’s definitely worth exploring these solutions and implementing them in your organization to meet your copying needs effectively.

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