Like most people, you want value for your money, and you know the only way to get that is by learning how to negotiate a copier lease.
If you’re here, you’ve probably decided to lease a copier, but there’s one problem – there’s simply no fixed price for a copier. If you’re trying to get the best deal and not get ripped off, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn the best negotiating practices and tips on how to break your copier lease if necessary. Let’s get into it.
What Is A Copier Lease?
In case you’re just beginning your journey of acquiring a copier lease and you’re not yet sure exactly what it is; here’s a simple explanation –
A copier lease is when you pay for your copier over some time rather than buying it outrightly.
In a copier lease, the cost of your device is divided over three to five years by the leasing company. You will then have to pay them in a fixed amount, either quarterly or monthly, to complete the full payment.
Is A Copier Lease An Operating Lease?
A copier lease can either be an operating lease or a capital lease. An operating lease is a contract that allows for the use of an asset but does not convey ownership rights of the asset.
For accounting purposes, a capital lease (or finance lease) is treated like an asset on a company’s balance sheet, while an operating lease is an expense that remains off the balance sheet.
An operating lease is ideal and popular for businesses in that renting printers, copiers, and other equipment would not be considered or added as a company asset on their balance sheet.
What Is The Difference Between Renting And Leasing An Office Copier?
Copier Rental and leasing are pretty similar, but they do not mean the same thing. Yes, both generally include the cost of maintenance and servicing of the machine, and some companies may even use the word “long-term rental” to refer to “leasing”, but here is the difference between the two.
Renting is for a short-term basis, while leasing is for long-term usage. So renting is suitable for when you need a copier for an event, while leasing is for a long-term commitment.
Generally speaking, if you run a business, leasing is the more ideal option, and it being a long-term commitment gives you more reason to negotiate the contract and get the best out of it because you’re going to be stuck with it for some time.
What Are The Benefits Of Leasing A Copier?
Before we jump right into the art of negotiating a copier lease, you need to know the benefits of leasing a copier. Understanding the benefits of leasing a copier makes you know that whatever stress you might encounter during negotiations is worth it.
Here are some of the benefits of leasing a copier in 2022:
- Lease agreements require a smaller capital from your business and thus help you save more money and keep bank lines of credit available for more significant business needs
- Leasing a copier can alleviate budgeting concerns. You also have the freedom to choose the length and term of the agreement for more flexibility and easy accounting.
- If you lease a copier, the lease payment is considered a pre-tax business expense, meaning you can deduct the entire payment each time it’s made.
- Most copier lease agreements have options to upgrade the copier at a predetermined date. Such lease arrangements enable your business to always be in line with the newest office technology.
These are some of the major reasons why leasing a copier is worth it, and once you learn how to negotiate the perfect lease agreement, you’re going to be sure you’re getting all the value for your money.
How To Negotiate A Lease
It’s time to get into the step-by-step guide on how to negotiate a lease. To negotiate your copier lease, follow the steps below:
Pick The Copier Dealer You Want
There are so many dealers, and the best way to pick your preferred one is by evaluating them based on their infrastructure, reputation, and reviews from trusted persons/businesses/platforms.
You want to choose a company that you can depend on to keep your copier up and running. For example, look for a local provider with fast response times and skilled technicians. Then, you’ll be closer to entering into an office copier lease.
Understand the Lease
Make sure you understand the copier lease before you start negotiating. Most times, business owners think that the lowest price quote is the best deal, but in the end, they sell themselves short for a lesser product or service.
Make sure you’re getting the product and service you want before you begin negotiations. Otherwise, it will be hard to get an office copier lease that benefits your business.
Know Your Specific Needs
Go over the contract with the sales representative, reviewing what’s included in the agreement. This is the time to input the conditions you prefer and clarify any terms that are confusing or unfavourable to you.
The sales representative should take a consultative approach to learn your specific workflow needs and requirements to make sure it meets your needs.
Think Beyond Price
You need to think beyond the price and also consider factors such as the service agreement, warranty, supplies, and more. So when you look at the prices, factor in every other thing before moving forward.
Consider the value of the toner, maintenance, support, and training arrangement that benefits your business long-term.
Show a Comparison
If you walk into the copier dealer’s shop with no other quotes to compare with, you can guarantee that you’d be given a higher price. Office copier dealers are often willing to go down in price to match other companies’ quotes.
To get the company to go down, you need to show a quote for the same product and service. For example, If you are looking to lease a black and white copier, then have a quote for a black and white copier machine from another leasing company.
This will be your starting point for negotiations. Then, the copier dealer knows you know the market, and you can work together to choose the best price.
Be Willing to Compromise
Every good negotiator knows that compromise is the heart of the negotiation process. If you push too hard for every single thing you want, you might lose the whole bargain in the end.
With that being said, you need to find the middle ground. Find a solution where you and the copier dealer meet in the middle and make it a win-win situation.
Checklist Of What To Negotiate When Entering Into A New Agreement
As a general thumb of rule, there are some things you should pay extra attention to when negotiating a copier lease. Here’s a checklist of what to negotiate when entering into a new lease agreement:
No annual increases
One major reason why many businesses opt to lease a copier rather than buy one is that it’s more cost-effective so it’s crucial to have payment structures that don’t include annual increases to your monthly payments.
Your copy machine won’t be getting upgraded every year but, for some reason, many companies lease copiers with annual increases of as high as 10% attached. This means year after year, the amount you pay is increasing somewhat drastically.
Before you sign anything, it’s best to negotiate for a flat rate. Non-escalating copier leases do exist so don’t give up even when many companies say it’s non-negotiable.
30 Day renewal/cancellation at the end of the lease
Never sign a contract with confusing clauses when it comes to renewal or cancellation. An example of these confusing clauses is one like this: the salesperson presents a contract, and the “end of lease” language requires a formal, written notice to end the agreement between the last 120 and 90 days of the lease.
This will mean if you try to cancel outside of the last 120 and 90 days, you are at risk of paying a cancellation fee. Negotiate an agreement that allows renewal or cancellation with a 30-day notice and it should be clearly written out this way in the agreement.
The maintenance Agreement should be separate from your Lease Agreement
A maintenance agreement outlines the steps the leasing company will undertake to ensure the upkeep, repair, and serviceability of the copier.
If your maintenance is inside your lease, the leasing company has more grounds to demand a 10% annual fee increase and the terms will be fixed in such a way that you can’t make changes even when your business needs to change. That’s why is best to keep maintenance agreements separately and handle them outside of the main lease agreement.
Add a Performance Guarantee to your paperwork
No one wants to be stranded with an office machine that doesn’t work, especially if there are still months or years left on the lease. Adding a Performance Guarantee to your paperwork helps in the future if you want to cancel based on poor performance by the leasing company.
Without a performance guarantee, If your copier develops unending technical difficulties and your current provider isn’t prudent with maintenance based on your agreement, you’d still be stuck in the lease and have to ride it out.
In the agreement, make sure it says the company will replace the copier at no additional charge to you for the length of the lease if they can’t repair it properly.
Install, setup, delivery, and training should be included in the agreement
Usually, this can be negotiated without too much trouble, but it is definitely something that should be included in your new copier agreement.
These machines can be complicated, and operating one is tricky without the proper training and installation. So make sure setup and training are included in your agreement, so you don’t have to figure things out by yourself in the beginning.
No document processing fees
In an attempt to increase profits, many leasing companies will charge a document processing fee of about $100. It’s worth the try to negotiate your way out of this because it’s a hidden and unnecessary fee.
How Do You Break A Copier Lease?
With a lease agreement in place, you have entered into a binding contract for a predetermined amount of time and money.
But sometimes, things may get messy, and you have to be one step ahead so you can get your business out of a trap. Here’s how you can break a copier lease amicably;
Review the condition for cancellation
When you are signing a lease, you should look out for the cancellation clause. Most lease agreements will have the option for early termination but, probably, with additional costs.
If you can handle the additional costs that incur early termination, it is better to go forward.
Evaluate if performance is stated as a clause in the contract
Take a look at the contractual agreement carefully to check if all performance guarantees are met and whether a breach of a guarantee allows you to terminate the contract.
If you find a clause that is not met, the copier leasing company may be questioned for a contract breach, and then you can cancel your agreement without paying any additional charges.
Check the agreement for an assumption clause
Check the contractual agreement for any assumption clause that allows another company to assume your lease’s remaining terms. That way you can sub-lease the remaining term of your agreement to another company.
Through lease transfer
When entering a new leasing agreement with a new dealer, they may include a copier lease buyout as one of their terms. This means that the new dealer will take care of the pending balance that you have with your old company.
It’s a win for the new dealer because they’ve gotten a new customer, and it’s a win for you because you’ve escaped from your old lease agreement.
Negotiate with the provider for early lease termination
If all else fails, the final resort is to try to negotiate with the leasing companies for early termination of the lease. This could come with an additional charge, but at least you’d know your business will be free from the financial burden of paying for a copier that doesn’t meet your needs.
Negotiating a copier lease is essential because if you just go in and lease the cheapest equipment or the salesman’s choice without any input from your end, you’re probably going to be disappointed in the future and feel trapped.
Thankfully, with the negotiation steps above and a backup plan on how to break an agreement if needed, your business should be in good hands.