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New or Used?

(September 2012) posted on Tue Sep 04, 2012

Mandel looks at the pros and cons of buying new or used printing equipment in his interviews with well-known industry experts.


By Rick Mandel


We have chosen a profession that is by its nature a capital-intensive industry, and that can present a problem.
Graphic software to take in clients’ files requires on average a thousand dollars of upgrades every other year, and the actual workstation (Mac or PC) needs to be replaced every three or four years. Naturally, the newer software is optimized on the newest boxes. You can almost hear the cost accumulating: cha ching!
Secondly, printing devices range from $20,000 to a couple of million dollars in cost. This cost does not stay stagnant, and digital equipment should produce a return on investment (ROI) within three years. Devices may become out of date or too expensive to maintain after that time frame.
Lastly, the service costs can pile up for all printers. Yet being without a service contract is similar to playing roulette with your client. Even if we put together a third-party service network to take care of printers, problems arise.
So, how can you maximize your investments on equipment and service, while maintaining a level of expertise and production? As you can imagine, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have the statistics and logic behind new equipment purchases, while smaller printers often take a used equipment direction. The importance of knowing what you are getting into is important for both approaches in this economy.


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