Everyone is guilty of skipping straight to online price comparisons and buying online without even considering local vendors or retailers, at least a few times. Some businesses don’t even realize they might get a better deal if they shop locally. In fact, what many shoppers don’t realize is that online retailers may sometimes have a slightly better price, but they often can’t beat the other advantages of buying local.
Let’s talk about buying from local copier dealers and why you might be missing out if you’re limiting your shopping to authorized dealers everywhere but in your own neighborhood.
There are a number of reasons to buy copiers from an authorized dealer in your area, rather than sourcing your tech from across the country, or even from international printer dealers. Copier cost is one reason you may be casting a wide net, but if you don’t consider local copier dealers, you could end up facing the opportunity cost of everything you’ll miss out on aside from low prices.
Take a look at some of the top reasons, including the economic benefits, the real cost of copiers, service speed and quality, availability of custom solutions, and other forms of support.
There is a clear link between supporting local businesses and boosting the local economy. Increasingly, business owners understand that their business is part of a community. It can either be a supportive member of that community or a drain. The businesses that support the local economy have a lot more to talk about when discussing their core values with the media when searching for a little recognition and a loyal customer base.
Additionally, copiers and printers already take a toll on the environment. They are one of those unavoidable drains on the environment that are still an unfortunate necessity to any office. Until technology can be produced without having to mine for precious metals and printers can be created that don’t use paper, everyone can do their part whenever possible to limit their carbon footprint. Just as many offices choose to have the copy machine go to sleep when it hasn’t been used and use recycled paper, opting for a local dealer can mean you won’t be shipping a machine across long distances. Instead, by going local, you’ll choose a machine that is already in your area.
You might be surprised to find out that price shopping is a skill, and not everyone is good at finding the best price or understanding what the concept of price really means. When most people think of price, they think of the price tag. They are most often concerned with the exchange of money for the item.
However, the price of your copier also includes the economic and environmental costs, as described above. Plus, the price of your copier includes your maintenance package, warranties, and customer service. And the price of your copier includes the opportunity cost of what you could have gained by going local.
In addition, most people assume that they will find the best price by going to the manufacturer or the biggest online dealers. Unfortunately, misplaced assumptions about where to find the best price can lead to a higher price tag. The truth is, most manufacturers have a wholesale price that is about the same for everyone. It’s not like big box stores who negotiate lower wholesale prices in exchange for a volume purchase of 100,000 mugs, for example.
Because organizations don’t buy copiers in bulk, they don’t negotiate impressively lower costs. Small, local businesses will have the same wholesale price. In fact, smaller, local retailers will often have lower overhead, allowing them to bring pricing agility and other benefits to the table.
If you don’t already know, service is what really matters when it comes to office copiers. You can choose the Cadillac of copiers with all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t have an outstanding, reliable service package, you’ll suffer when it’s time for regular maintenance and repairs.
Choosing a provider with local service means you’ll be getting service technicians who have the necessary training and experience to work on your copier's make and model. You won't be limited to someone who is good with electronics and is willing to spend valuable time on an hourly rate to try to figure out what is wrong.
Most local dealers will also be able to provide 72-hour, and sometimes even 24-hour turnaround. They won’t have the web of processes and procedures that a distant retailer will likely have, such as filing the request, getting approval, assigning a technician, dispatching the technician, and going through the same procedure to request and requisition parts. Local dealers can skip the red tape and make the repairs all about you and helping to get your office back up and running again as fast as possible.
Manufacturers and distant retailers don’t see you or your business. You were a prospect, then a customer, and now you’re a numbered invoice.
Local dealers, on the other hand, are in the same community as you. They care about whether their community thrives, and they care about the impact of word-of-mouth.
They will be more inclined to take into account your business needs and goals. And they’ll be more likely to focus on custom solutions. It’s easier to build relationships with a local network of fellow business professionals than it is with reps who see you as a number. For that reason, you’ll get more flexibility out of your local dealer than your manufacturer representative.
If the ’80s taught us anything, it’s that nobody likes being routed to a call center for support of any kind, especially billing support. Over the decades, companies have honed their approach. However, large manufacturers and retailers are still routing your calls to call centers where your concern may or may not be addressed satisfactorily.
Smaller, local dealers don’t have big call centers. If you just have a quick question about your bill or notice a correction that needs to be made, it’ll be faster and easier to get ahold of someone who can listen, problem solve, and create real solutions.
It's also easier to hold local retailers accountable for mistakes and corrections. Again, they not only care about the problem and solution, they care about the experience and have the resources to manage your call as a conversation, not a hot potato being passed around the call center.
The professionals at All Copy Products care about you, your business success, and your community. They have award-winning service, carry only the most reliable brands, and can manage flexible, custom solutions.
When you choose a copier, be sure to consider local dealers and those who operate with the best possible service in your area. Remember that the dollar price isn’t everything. There’s so much more to buying a copier, and that includes how it will continue to perform and be serviced, well into the future.