Is it Better to Lease or Buy a Printer

by Rich on December 4, 2009

Those who are in need of a large, expensive printer may opt to lease one instead of buying one. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to leasing, so before making your decision, be sure you consider all of your options.

Lease Agreement

Lease Agreement

A major advantage to leasing is the money it saves you up front. If you are in the midst of starting a business, this can be a big deal. It will keep the cash flow open that would otherwise be invested in the printer. You may also have the option of deducting your lease payments, so that can save you money in the long run.

If you are leasing your printer, there will more than likely be no delivery charge. The company will want to be sure the printer arrives safe at your door, since one day, it may be their printer again. The delivery fee on a purchased printer can be steep, so this is a great cost savings.

Another benefit to leasing your printer is the ability to sample the merchandise before you purchase. If you do have a new business, you may not be sure what exactly your printing needs will be. If it turns out you have under or overestimated them, you are not locked into owning an expensive printer that does not fit those needs. A lot of times, leased printers can be upgraded for free, allowing you to make a better printer choice over time. Leased printers also may include regular maintenance at no extra fee. Again, the company will strive to keep their merchandise in great shape in case it is their responsibility again in the future.

However, as advantageous as leasing a printer may be, there are a few things to consider. The main thing is, a leased printer will cost more in the long run. Even though you save money up front, the payments you continue to make will not necessarily go toward the ownership of the equipment. This also means you will be unable to write off the machines depreciation at tax time.Also keep in mind that if damages occur to the printer aside from normal wear and tear, you may be held responsible by the leasing company.

The best thing to do if you are printer shopping is to let the cost decide whether you will lease or buy. If your need is great enough to justify an expensive printer, use a lease to ensure you can keep up with your workload. The last thing you want is to be overwhelmed with your work and not be able to offer your customer services or products because your office is ill-equpped. You can opt for a short term lease, so if you iron out what your needs are and you have the cash, you can invest in owning a printer in a few months. Finally, speak with your financial advisor and your printer company to see what will work best for you and your business. Your leased printer will be a financial liability, whereas an owned printer is an asset. However, in the long run, leasing may still be your best option.

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