Printer Replacement vs Printer Repair: What Should I Choose?

Print device problems can significantly impact on the productivity of your work environment and leave your team feeling frustrated. And like it or not, even the best printers will eventually stop performing at their highest potential.

Whether this means your printer slowing down, continually experiencing errors, or just plain refusing to work, there are decisions to be made—when that occurs, how do you know if printer repair or printer replacement is your best option?  

There a few factors to keep in mind when deciding to replace or repair your print device:

  • Age of the Device
  • Lifetime Volume of the Device
  • Cost Per Page
  • Labor Costs for Repair

1. Age of the Print Device

When looking at the age of the device, consider when the model was released and not just the date that you purchased it for your work environment. For example, if you’ve had a printer for five years but the model was released two years prior, that can impact its expected lifetime and the accessibility of parts. If a device is nearing “legacy status,” meaning that it is over seven years old, there are a few reasons why replacing it is your best bet. 

First, replacement parts become very difficult to find. If you are fortunate enough to locate what you need, the parts can be expensive to purchase. Second, your device may no longer support the latest firmware upgrades which can significantly slow down performance.

It’s similar to the way a cell phone or laptop can no longer support software upgrades as they age and newer models are released. Finally, there may be new features that were not previously available, but that could make spending a little bit more money on a replacement very worthwhile. 

For example, if your current model had a low ppm (pages per minute), or was not able to support duplex or wireless printing, there may be a newer model available that contains those features that would make your work environment more efficient for just a little more than the cost of the repair.

mistakes with printers 

2. Lifetime Volume of the Device

The second factor to consider when deciding between repair and replacement is the lifetime volume of the device. Printing a configuration page from the device should allow you to view the lifetime volume, similar to considering the overall mileage on a car. Even a new device can “burn out” quickly if it has been over-utilized beyond the manufacturer’s recommended monthly volume.

Side note: The recommended monthly volume should always be the number considered when finding the printer that is the best fit for your environment).

The duty cycle will tell you what the device is capable of doing at its maximum, but is not a healthy average for the device. Again, looking at a car as an example, just because your car CAN do 120 mph doesn’t mean that it SHOULD be doing that speed all the time.

A good rule of thumb is to multiply the recommended monthly volume by 84.  84 represents twelve months a year for seven years. If your device’s page count is higher than that number, replacement may be your best bet. 

3. What is the Cost Per Page

If you are already with a managed print provider, your cost per page should be found on your most recent MPS contract/agreement. If your device is an older model (see above), it may be worth discussing if replacing the device would lower the cost per page on your contract, especially if it’s a blended rate for multiple makes and models. 

If you are not using a managed print provider, you can find the cost per page by dividing the cost of a toner cartridge by the number of pages that you were able to print before needing to replace it. Example: The toner cartridge you bought at the office supply store cost $38.  After about three months and 1,583 pages, it needs to be replaced. 38.00/1583 = .024. Your cost per page is .024 or about 2.5 cents per page. 

A newer model will often support a higher capacity toner cartridge or will require cheaper toner cartridges, saving you money on overall printing spend. You could then determine how long it would take for the money you’ve saved on your monthly invoice to justify the purchase of a new device, (or your return on investment).

4. Labor Costs for Repair

While some repairs can be done on-site once the appropriate parts are obtained, others will require the assistance of a managed print service technician. Asking for a quote upfront is always beneficial if your business is not already established with a managed print partner.

When labor costs are involved, the bill for repair can quickly skyrocket. Compare the total cost of the replacement parts and labor to the cost of a new device when deciding on whether or not replacing the device is the route to take.

5. Printer Repair and Replacement Support

imageOne can help you make the best decision for your work environment and budget, and provide fast, efficient, and cost-effective printer repair or printer replacement services.

Want to learn more about whether you should repair or replace your printer, copier, or multifunction device? The team at imageOne would love to chat! Schedule a complimentary, no-strings-attached consultation today.