When printer repair isn’t worth it

Printers sometimes encounter mechanical failures and need to be repaired; that’s almost a universal constant.  But it may not always be the best choice. While spending $100 to fix a one-month old, $5000 printer makes sense, older printers should sometimes be put out to pasture. Here are several scenarios where printer repair is not worth the cost.

Your cost-per-page/print (CPP) is increasing

At the end of the day, one bottom line you can’t ignore is the cost to print a page. Manufacturers almost always provide CPP numbers for printers, but those numbers can fluctuate depending on the price of ink or toner. To calculate your current cost per page, do the following.

  • Determine how much you pay per cartridge.
  • Determine page yield of the cartridge, which can be found on the cartridge’s packaging.
  • Use the equation below:
    Cost of cartridge / Cartridge page yield = Cost-per-print (CPP)

If you notice your CPP rising considerably, first switch to compatible cartridges to save money. However, if costs continue to increase or a new model with an improved better CPP comes out, consider retiring the old printer.

There is a high repair cost and difficulty

Once a printer’s warranty period ends, those repair and maintenance costs that were previously covered under warranty start to add up over time. Some parts can be replaced at relatively low cost, complex components such as the controller boards and chips won’t be. If the cost of repairing the unit exceeds the cost of a replacement, choose replacement. In addition, replacement parts for older printers can be hard to find especially if the unit has been discontinued for several years. At that point, downtime in addition to cost becomes a concern.

Manufacturer support has expired

Old legacy printers might not receive updated software drivers for new operating systems if they have reached end of support. In such cases, the printer needs to be hooked up to a system running the old operating system, which can reduce network security. Aside from driver updates, manufacturer support can be in the form of knowledge base articles, repair and warranty, setup guides and documentation, and firmware upgrades. Once a manufacturer drops support for a printer, operating the unit becomes more difficult. Consider replacing the printer with a new model under manufacturer support.

The printer has outdated capabilities

Expanded features in new printers can be another reason to retire a printer. Features such as wireless connectivity, duplex printing (printing on both sides of a paper), or support for memory cards can improve efficiency and usability. If an older printer lacking those features needs repair, consider whether a newer model would better serve the office, and consider the efficiency gains that come with it. From increased pages-per-minute (PPM) to reduced cost-per-page, a new printer can net lower operating costs over time.

Making a printer repair should make financial sense first and foremost. Contact Data Source Media to discuss the cost benefit analysis of retiring, replacing or repairing your printer.

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