I get a fair amount of leads from people wanting to shop for a new copier or MFP to lower their current costs. Most people lease their copier and often the person assigned to gather bids was not the person who originally negotiated the current lease. So, often I find that the person begins the time consuming project of shopping for a new copier without knowing the details of the current lease.

Often, at my encouragement and with my help we uncover the details of the current lease. Some of the people who contact me can’t get out of their current lease for two main reasons. Usually it’s because there’s still a lot of time left on the lease. Many businesses don’t know where their copy of the lease is or how to interpret the “fine print”. Just find the invoice you receive each month from the leasing company and call the toll free number. You customer number is on the invoice. They will email you the lease. Don’t call the local dealer. That just tips them off that you’re about to shop around and they may take their time getting you a copy of the lease.

copier leasingThere’s no point in taking bids and talking to sales reps if there’s still a year left on the lease. Those things are non-cancellable. The second main reason why people can’t get out of their current lease is they waited too long to cancel the lease and it renewed for 12 months. Don’t ever sign a lease that has that clause in it. Essentially, it says that if you don’t send in your cancellation letter x number of months prior to the end of the 5 year lease it will renew 12 months at a time. Yuk! Some dealers offer these kind of leases to “keep a customer for life”. They are the only ones who can get someone out of the 12 month renewal as long as there is an upgrade and I can assure you that the payment is not going down. It will either go sideways or up. That also means there’s no incentive to give you a great deal because they know you can’t shop around.

Make sure you sign leases that only require a 60 day notice at the end and do not renew for 12 months at a time. Another tip is to no put too much service in the lease in case your volume goes down over the 5 year lease. In that scenario, you bought the pages whether you made them or not. I would also keep color pages separate and billed in arrears. They are much more expensive than black pages and therefore shouldn’t be put into the lease unless it’s a smallish amount that you’re sure you can exceed over the five years.

And finally, have the included pages put into the lease as a lump sum. That way you don’t get pinged for the monthly minimum on low usage months and then have to pay excess page fees for the high volume months. This all may sound complicated but to someone caught in an expensive lease they will know exactly what I’m talking about.

If you are unsure of your current status, feel free to email me your current lease and I will interpret it for you even if there’s still a long time left on your lease.   I enjoy doing that. Or email me if you have any questions that I didn’t cover in this blog.