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Buying Refurbished Office Printers: 4 Steps for Success

April 30th, 2018 | 6 min. read

By Gary Harouff

When you consider buying refurbished or pre-owned office printers, does it make you think any less of the product because it’s used? Does it make you question if the product still performs the best way your company needs it to?

Or, does it make you think you can potentially be saving a ton of money by not having to spend as much for a brand new product?

We get it… it’s all about the Benjamins!

Whether you’re running a small local business out of your home, or you’re part of a large national corporation, office printers can be a big expense that really can make a dent in your office supplies budget.

Small businesses often operate on small budgets, and an office printer isn’t always the first thing a company wants to invest in. And for many business owners, a high-quality used printer is a great way to get the necessary performance and tasks completed at a reduced cost.


Purchasing a pre-owned or refurbished office printer isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it could work wonders for your small or medium-sized business. However, it would be foolish to think a refurbished office printer works just as great as it did the second it was unpackaged from the box it  first came in.

So, maybe there isn’t one exact or correct answer for this particular decision, but there are certainly some warning signs and smart precautions you should take before you make the decision to buy or lease a pre-owned or refurbished office printer. We want to ensure your future repair costs don’t entirely eat up that initial savings.


Oh and one more thing…

Whether you are buying a printer, copier, mutli-function printer, or copy machine, the same holds true for any of these devices.


Here are four easy and reassuring steps you can take to pre-check your refurbished office printer before you even make the purchase, as well as ways to insure the performance, service costs and repairs of your preowned printer once you’ve bought it.


Shopping for your Refurbished Office Printer: Before You Make the Purchase

Step 1- Check the Counter/Odometer:

Business printers have an internal counter that is a lot like the odometer in a car. Checking the counter, or odometer, on the refurbished office printer you’re considering buying is one of the smartest moves you can make. This counter keeps track of pages printed, and in some machines it keeps track of other information like amount of toner used.

You can use this data by comparing it to the duty cycle, life expectancy of the fuser, and so forth. A six-year-old machine can actually be newer in terms of usage than a machine that’s just two years old. It all just depends on how frequently that particular printer has been used over the years.

Step 2- Inspect the Interior for Dust and Toner:

This may seem a bit silly to do as you scope out the right refurbished office printer for your business, however this easy trick could really prevent you from buying a bad printer. You want to make sure the previous business owner of the printer, “Cared for your Office Printers and Copiers.”

As you look at the pre-owned copy machine, open the main doors and use a flashlight to visually inspect the components. Dust buildup and toner stains are an indication of a machine has not been very well-maintained.

Due to the pricy costs involved, you should never agree to a purchase a printer or copy machine until you’ve visually inspected it. If you don’t feel comfortable performing the inspection, consider hiring a printer technician to do it for you.


Step 3- Look for the word “Certified”:

There really is a difference between a certified and non-certified refurbished office printer, and it’s important you pay attention to this. Even though certified pre-owned office printers tend to be more expensive than their non-certified counterparts, they provide you the added confidence of having undergone professional quality control.

And remember, even though they are a little more expensive than a non-certified office printer, they are still less expensive than a brand new office printer. In addition, certified printers often come with a money-back guarantee or something of that measure. Consult with the pre-owned manufacturing company to make sure they have a guarantee system in place before you make your purchase.


Step 4- Consider a Warranty from the Manufacturer or Service Provider:

Warranties are (and should always be) available on used and refurbished office printers. Almost every warranty is different, to learn more about them, check our article on, “Are All Copier Warranties Equal?”

Warranties do come at a cost though, but wouldn’t you typically buy one if it was for your car or a kitchen appliance for your home?

At the end of the day, you will be happy you chose to pay more upfront for a warranty if a problem does surface with your refurbished printer or copier down the road. If you really think you want to buy a printer from a popular retail chain, you should read this article first: Laser Printer Repair vs. Purchasing a New Printer. Now, if you are still set on buying one at you local retailer, then you have to take a look at this article about extended warranties: Is an Extended Warranty Worth the Money?

Even if you choose to skip the warranty in the end, knowing how much coverage is available and what the cost would be is a good indication of how confident you should be in the long-term performance and durability of the machine.


All in all, purchasing any type of copier or printer for your business is a big and very important decision. If you chose to go with a refurbished or pre-owned office printer, make sure you apply these steps to ensure you are getting the best quality printer for you and your business’ needs.

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AIS is dedicated to serving potential businesses to help them achieve their printing and copying needs that it takes for their company to succeed. We are also dedicated to creating and maintaining a helpful and trusting relationship with our current clients to make sure they have continued satisfaction while using our office printers and copiers.  

We believe in and promote the use of our pre-owned and refurbished office printers because of the high quality of care we dedicate to each machine. If you or your business is interested in purchasing or leasing a pre-owned or refurbished office printer, or just want to learn more about the buying process, visit us online and leave us a message on our contact page. We will get back to you within no time and help walk you through the steps you need in order to make the very best purchase for your business.


Visit our Office Copy Machine Ultimate Resource Page for additional info on pricing & costs, and just about anything else copy machine related.


Gary Harouff

As President and founder of AIS, I am passionate about growing our business and serving our customers. I'm proud that we are considered one of the fastest-growing companies in America. We have been named by Office Dealer magazine the elite dealer of the year and most recently by ENX Magazine as an elite dealer for 2017. Our partnership with Kyocera is strong and we have been an elite dealer for them. We recently became an authorized dealer of Xerox in their Document Technology Partner Program. Before founding AIS, I was President of Toshiba Business Solutions. I enjoy staying active, both physically and professionally. Charitable endeavors include: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Safe House, Christian Children’s Fund as well as other faith-based charities.