March 2012

Remanufactured Printers

Remanufactured Printers help Profits Soar

By Lance Lansing, Global Printer Services

When the owner of a large independent office supply company in Tennessee decided to offer a print management solution, hardware was not his first concern. “When we started the MPS program it was to sell more toner, but it soon became apparent hardware would be a big issue” said the owner. In response to their growing hardware concern, he purchased a small company that repaired and serviced printers. The service company had been selling remanufactured printers successfully for some time and this opened up a whole new way of looking at printer hardware. After looking at his different options he decided to offer all of his prospective customers remanufactured printers. Many of the printers were equal quality or “…sometimes better than new.” With redesigned parts and known issues solved, remanufactured printers are now his number one offering to his customers.

This company discovered the same thing thousands of copier dealers and VARs are discovering… there is still a way to make gross profit selling printer hardware. By offering remanufactured printers to their customers, many MPS dealers are discovering a new and lucrative profit source, at the same time saving their customers money. With more and more dealers offering an MPS solution, it has become very apparent that is in both the dealer’s and end user’s best interest to have the correct hardware in place. More often than not, the correct hardware is remanufactured printers. With the savings on the supplies and maintenance items as well as lower acquisition costs up front, remanufactured printers make sense in most hardware upgrades or change outs. In a recent conversation with a copier dealer in Kansas it was said that “You can actually make a profit on them where on new a lot of times you make nothing on them.”

Profit Potential: Remanufactured Versus New
So what is the profit potential of remanufactured printers? One example is the comparison of an HP 4250N (a monochrome workgroup printer) versus an HP P4015N (a current new model of monochrome work group printer); the acquisition cost is a savings of over $700.00 for the same functioning remanufactured HP 4250N. In addition, with remanufactured printers: the toner is less expensive, the accessories are more readily available and less expensive and the maintenance and repair items are less expensive. The remanufactured printer has a similar duty cycle to the current model and the service techs are more familiar with its technology. There are a multitude of ways that remanufactured printers can save money and time toward the ultimate goal of increasing gross profit. The cost savings in up front and long term become more marginally noticeable with larger workgroup or MFP printers. “The reason we do it (offer remanufactured printers) is there is more profit margin. We can actually make a profit on printers” stated the Kansas dealer.

Customer Service: A Key Benefit
Another benefit to selling remanufactured printers in addition to higher gross profit is a better level of customer service to the dealer’s customers. End user accounts with multiple brands and models can be difficult to service and stock supplies. By offering a cost effective alternative to high priced new machines, dealers can offer a cost effective solution to help streamline service and supplies. By simply changing customer’s inefficient models out to install remanufactured printers with proven technology and cost effective supplies, the end user is the real winner as well. The remanufactured printer solution is in many ways easier for the dealer to manage; this ease along with cost savings will save the end customer down time along with less expensive supply costs.

Using remanufactured printers for service calls is another way to increase the level of customer service. A service call that costs upwards of $100.00 plus travel and parts can easily exceed the value of the printer that is being repaired. By offering a remanufactured printer instead of repairing the old one, the customer will get a proven reliable model that will be cheaper to maintain and run with only one visit from the technician. Less visits with an older, remanufactured machine? I know what you are thinking. However, although the industry has seen lower price points on laser printers in recent years there has also been a decline in quality of newer laser printers. Installing a proven high volume remanufactured machine at a fraction of the price of high end laser printers will satisfy the customer for a longer period of time and still save the customer (and the Dealer!) money on supplies and maintenance.
The other side: Negatives about Remanufactured Printers

There are always two sides to a story, and yes… even with remanufactured printers there are some potential pitfalls. One of the most common objections to offering remanufactured printers is the quality of the product. In a recent conversation, one copier dealer stated “We’ve had several companies that have sold us remanufactured printers and when they came in they didn’t do everything that needed to be done.” Key components or assemblies of the printer could not be replaced. Possibly the physical appearance could make them unsightly to show to customers. Receiving a poorly remanufactured product can eat up any profit gain in service calls and customer dissatisfaction. An unsatisfactory appearance or multiple service calls can undermine customer confidence and lead to a lost customer or an overall decrease in profit for the length of the contract. All remanufactured printers are not created equal. There are no industry standards regulating remanufactured printers. But the RIGHT vendor will regulate their remanufactured printers. And the RIGHT vendor will not sell you a remanufactured printer that is not up to your standards as a Dealer.

Finding the Right Remanufactured Vendor
All of the risks of “the secondary market” and remanufactured printers make it critical to find a vendor who offers a quality product. Look for a vendor that uses a proven process and can outline what is done to the printer and why. A purchasing agent for an MPS and service company had this to say, “Having one rep, a wide offering, good price point and quality workmanship are all decisions that lead to us choosing our printer vendor.”

Three main areas that need to be considered when choosing a remanufactured printer vendor are: a quality product that is submitted to a strict quality control process, experienced and professional technical support and post sales support.

Starting with a quality product that has a new appearance will cut down on install times and help instill customer confidence. Remanufacturing a laser printer is more than replacing the maintenance kit and cleaning the outside. A true remanufactured product is stripped down to the frame and cleaned inside and out. All worn items are replaced with the maintenance items. The outside appearance has to be as close to new as it can be made in order for the customer to have confidence in the product. It is a time consuming job that takes a process and experienced technician to achieve. Technical support is also very important when choosing a remanufactured printer vendor; having an experienced technician readily available that can help trouble shoot problems over the phone can save time and money by helping to eliminate multiple service calls or waiting for repair parts. Post sales support may be the most important vendor trait of all. Having a support network that is immediately available to help solve problems can be the difference between a satisfied or unsatisfied customer.
Money can still be made with copier and printer equipment, you just have to have a little “know how” and get ahead of the competition. By opening up the availability of remanufactured printers to clients and building a solid relationship with a respected vendor, you open up the profit margins and better client relations as a Dealer.

At Global Printer Services, we not only follow the guidelines of remanufacturing, we help mentor our Dealers in the remanufacturing process and their role in selling these remanufactured printers to the end users. If you have any questions regarding stepping into the remanufactured space and offering a better solution to your clients, and ultimately your dealership, please contact Global Printer Services (800)-588-3554.

About Global Printer Services (GPS):
GPS is an industry leader in HP LaserJet sales and HP laser printer parts. Here at GPS, we take great pride in our products and services. It is this unwavering commitment to our customers that sets us apart from the competition. At GPS you will find printers that are remanufactured to work as well, or better, than new. Because we know how important support is after you receive the product we offer free technical support and unsurpassed post sales support. We also back our printers with an industry leading one year warranty. We have been supporting the HP printer industry for more than 16 years and will be around to take care of you for years to come. #1 Source for Printers.