Clover Imaging Blog

Hidden Cost of Printing. How to Educate Your Customers


Whenever a company invests in a new machine, they need to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) will be for that equipment. Underestimating the initial investment can quickly turn this beneficial machinery into a burden.

Far too often, companies take for granted the cost of printers. They may even end up purchasing more of them than their budget allows because they’re not clear about the ongoing costs involved.

As a reseller, having a firm grasp on the true cost of printers and being able to communicate this amount to your clients will give you a real advantage and help you win new accounts.


3 Reasons the Overall Cost of Printers Is More than Your Customers Think

The next time you’re nurturing a lead, make sure you explain to them everything that goes into the cost of printers, so they can be sure what their budget will cover.

Below are three important printer products that may represent costs your client hasn’t considered.

1. Printer Supplies Cost

Printing supplies costs refer to things like the cost and capacity of replacement toner cartridges. How much will it cost to replace the spent toner cartridges for that particular print model? How expensive is replacing toner cartridges for a color printer compared to a monochrome? OEM replacement cartridges are very expensive, color printers can be even more costly because they require 4 cartridges to be replaced.

Showing your customers alternative solutions like remanufactured toner cartridges is a great way to offer your customers cost saving solutions up front. Compare the cost savings of remanufactured print cartridges to that of an OEM replacement cartridge for that particular printer model.

Another factor in printer supplies cost is the amount of paper your customer prints at their office. The average office worker prints 10,000 pages per year. This page count impacts both the hardware and supplies cost of the printer. It also impacts whether they are printing primarily to color or black and white outputs.

2. Printer Hardware Cost

A toner-based printer fuses powdered toner to the paper with heat in order to make the desired image. Therefore, most maintenance kits include the required replacing components in the unit’s fusing section.

Normal or heavy printer use will cause a printer’s fuser assembly and rubber rollers to wear down. This makes it difficult for them to grip the paper. The higher volume HP & Lexmark monochrome printers have scheduled maintenance cycles (based on predetermined page counts). Installing a maintenance kit will ensure that a printer remains a reliable and well-performing machine.

Printer maintenance kits include all the parts that are most likely to wear out. The advantage of buying a complete kit is that it is much more cost effective than buying all the parts separately. Until the kit is replaced, image quality will suffer and there could even be paper mis-feeds.

3. Printer Service Costs

Servicing the printer for common printer problems such as repeated paper jams, printing blank pages, network connection problems, printer belt issues and other malfunctioning. These factors can affect the cost of printer repair. If customers aren’t aware of this, they will eventually discover it represents quite the hidden cost.

The type of printer in need of repair affects the overall cost for services. Some higher-end laser printers for commercial use have advanced technologies that require more expertise and training than standard home-use printers. Professionals may charge more per hour to work on these printers or an overall higher fee for each service call.

Many printer repair technicians charge hourly rates for their services. Some pros charge different rates for residential versus commercial printers, and others have one set hourly rate across the board. Travel fees that cover the time and transportation expenses for the technician is another price to add to the printer service equation.

The average cost for a printer service technician can range from $60-$90 per call.


Win More Accounts with Upfront Pricing

As you can see, the TCO of printing can be significantly more than what your customers initially anticipate. You may have even lost accounts in the past after this discrepancy came to light.

Educate your customers about the true total cost of ownership – including the hidden costs we just discussed – and you’ll have a much easier time winning their trust and keeping their accounts.

CIG has several tools to help educate your customers on the hidden cost of printing, from TCO worksheets to our online Axess TCO pricing tool. Reach out to your CIG account representative to learn more today.