Buying a copier can be a significant expense for any business. To make sure you get the best value for your money, negotiating vendor contracts is crucial. However, negotiating vendor contracts can be intimidating for many buyers, especially those who are not familiar with the process. Here are some tips on how to save money while negotiating vendor contracts for copiers.
Most of us buy stuff from people and industries we never worked in or received insider training from. This creates a seller favorable environment. This is no different in the copier industry. When a copier buyer relies heavily on or worse yet solely on the copier sales source they are unlikely going to receive all critical raw data or fair and reasonable contracts, terms, conditions, rates and pricing.
Before entering into negotiations with a copier vendor’s sales rep do your own market research. Download brochures and spec sheets. Researching the features, accessories, your usage from meter reports and specifications of the copiers you have, as well as the pricing of similar products from other vendors is to the buyers advantage. Network with others and ask them what they have, how they use it and what they pay. Having this information at your fingertips will help you negotiate a fair price for your copier while maintaining buyer empowerment.
Before entering into a negotiation, it is important to understand your business’s needs. Determine what features and capabilities your copier must have to meet your business requirements. This will help you avoid purchasing a copier with features you do not need, saving you money. NEVER leave this to the sales rep to define. Consider a model up one segment from what you have now. Compare duty cycles and preventative maintenance schedules keeping in mind the long term. You may be surprised to learn copier/printer MFPs might outlast the financing term.
One of the most powerful negotiating tools is the willingness to walk away. If a vendor is not willing to offer a fair price or terms, be prepared to walk away from the negotiation. There are many copier vendors in the market, and you are sure to find one that will meet your needs and budget.
Leasing a copier can be a more affordable option than purchasing one outright. However, lease terms can be negotiated to save money. Negotiate the length of the lease, the interest rate, and the monthly payment amount to fit your budget.
Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts. Copier vendors often have special promotions or discounts that they may not advertise. Ask if there are any current discounts available for the copier you are interested in. You may be surprised at how much money you can save.
Refurbished copiers can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a new copier. Refurbished copiers are typically tested and certified, ensuring they meet the same quality standards as a new copier. Ask your vendor if they have any refurbished copiers available.
Consider hiring an independent subject matter specialist or buyer centric entity or consulting firm that is truly independent, unbiased in their research and vendor-neutral in their findings. This subject matter specialist in any industry can equalize the negotiation process.
In conclusion, negotiating vendor contracts for copiers can be a daunting task. However, by doing your research, understanding your needs, being prepared to walk away, negotiating lease terms, asking for discounts, and considering refurbished copiers, you can save money while still getting a high-quality copier that meets your business needs.
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