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Beware of Acquisition Costs When Buying a Printer

Buying a printer for your medical office doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Obviously you need a printer that fits your needs and can perform the daily tasks you require. However, the one question that must not be overlooked, but often is, revolves around acquisition costs. Not understanding the acquisition costs can result in sticker shock and may leave you with a printer that doesn't fully serve its mission.

In general, there are three cost categories associated with purchasing a printer - consumables costs, service costs, and acquisition costs. The acquisition costs refer to the initial cost of the printer and additional "hidden" expenses.

Accessories such as the printer cable, memory upgrades and wireless cards fall into this category. For instance, not all printers come with a printer cable in the box. Furthermore, if the printer is going to part of a network, upgrading its memory will allow it to handle large or complex jobs quicker. If you intend on using legal (or larger) sheets of paper in the printer, it may require an additional paper drawer to accommodate the larger sheets.

Also ask about the printer's warranty and term. You may be inclined to extend the warranty upfront. While this decision will directly affect the acquisition costs, it can save you big time in the long run if and when the printer experiences technical difficulties.

Lastly, if you are just starting out, or don't have a big budget to work with, you may want to consider lowering the base price of your new printer by purchasing a refurbished model. Refurbished printers are marked down from 10 to 50 percent. By saving money on the purchase price, you have more money to use on accessories and the warranty.
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