Minimum Page Counts – How the Wrong Number Can Cost You Thousands of Dollars

When looking to purchase a copier, a rep will get us to believe this little lie:

“We don’t have a minimum; we can print as much as we want. We don’t have minimums or overages to worry about.”

There is zero truth to this statement. A more accurate assessment of this situation would be this statement: 

“We have no idea what they based our monthly bill on, but it can cover as much copying as we ever do.”

You need to understand these three things about the copier world:

  1. Copier reps get paid on commission, meaning the larger the contract they sell, the more they get paid.
  2. There is no such thing as “unlimited pages.” If you usually print 1,000 pages and suddenly print 20,000 pages in a month, your leasing company would raise your rates immediately. Someone has to pay for the extra paper and toner you’re now using.
  3. Copier reps write contracts that protect their finances and limit their exposure to financial risk. Allowing a customer to have unlimited copies would open the company to huge liabilities, so they set the contract up so you, the customer, absorb all the risk.

If the contract wasn’t what you thought it was, what did you sign up for?

The Trickery Copier Reps Use to Take Free Money From You Every Month

For example, let’s say you were tasked by your boss to purchase a copier for the company. As you talk to each copier rep, they throw a ton of numbers at you. The entire process feels more daunting by the minute.

Suddenly, you stumble across a contract with everything wrapped up in one, easy to understand quote. You get unlimited pages for one price, with no overages to worry about.

Here are some of the numbers they hide from you when rolling everything into one convenient number:

This table shows a copier rep’s average costs on a black and white copier and the average prices for a typical customer. Your numbers may vary depending on your situation.

Cost to Copier CompanyCost to Customer
Supplies$0.007 per print$0.01 per print
Service$0.003 – $0.005 per print$0.004 – $0.007 per print
TOTAL$0.01 – $0.012 per print$0.014 – $0.017 per print

For this example, if you print 5,600 pages on average, the copier rep will tell you they do the maintenance, supplies, and support for UP TO 7,500 pages. This way, you “won’t have to worry about overages.”

However, you agreed to pay for an additional 1,900 pages that you’ll never use. You’re not using the toner or the pages, so this money is 100% profit for the copier rep. Over the course of a five-year contract, you’re giving the leasing company $1,596 in free profit.

Imagine this number and multiply it by 100 or more customers. You can see how this trick can add up to enormous profits for leasing companies.

The One Thing You Can Do to Keep Up to Thousands of Dollars From Your Copier Rep

Unscrupulous copier reps will tell you that you can print UP TO whatever number they tell you. That number should be the minimum amount of prints you use.

For the average customer, the thought of paying for overages on anything is repulsive. Copier reps know this and take full advantage of it. However, if you don’t pay overages, you’re paying for unused pages.

The best defense is to look at your historical average and sign up for 80% of that number. Not only are you getting a reasonable rate for high volume, you’re also not paying for prints you don’t use. You may spend some money on overages, but the total amount you’ll pay in the long run will be far less than if you would have gone with the “unlimited” option.

This trick is the most commonly used by copier reps across the country. They will make you believe you’re getting a phenomenal deal when they’re ripping you off. Follow this one simple trick, and you will potentially save your company thousands of dollars over the life of your copier lease.