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Selecting a reseller

Colour Copiers Buyer's Guide

Selecting a photocopier reseller is as much a matter of service as it is of product. Your professional relationship with a reseller is likely to last for years, and therefore you should pay particular attention when evaluating this point.

You've already selected the photocopier that you’re interested in, now it’s time to get acquainted with the resellers who provide that model. Ask questions. Don't be shy, it's the best way to make sure that you are both well suited to one another. Good questions might include:

  • How long have you been in business? Who are your main references?
  • How long have your employees been working with you?
  • Do you sell more than one brand of photocopier? What is the best brand for you and how long have you been selling it? (Ask this question before you say which brand you want! If it's not the same brand, be prepared to look elsewhere).
  • What is your service level guarantee? What is your maximum response time?
  • How many technicians do you have trained on this model in our area? (Trying to cut costs on a service plan is unwise if assistance turns out to insufficient afterwards. Make sure you check that there are enough qualified technicians close to your business, especially if the salesperson is pushing you to buy a particular model).

Get an expert opinion
Photocopiers are a unique blend of technologies and looking after them requires a special set of skills. Besides checking yourself about the technical resources that the reseller has, their level of installation expertise and the service that is available, have your IT Department run their own check on the reseller.

Speaking to the technicians directly is also a good way to gauge their level of experience. A good tactic for this is to get the technician to relate stories of photocopier repairs already carried out, as well as ways that customers can avoid such problems.

Tour the premises
Taking a tour of the reseller's premises is also highly recommended. Meeting staff in different departments, understanding the real size of the organisation and how professional the maintenance and repair facilities are will allow you to select the best option – a reseller big enough to help as required, but small enough to value you as a customer.

Check their references
Resellers with professional standing and experience should be able to give you references. Don't just accept the references, check them. Even thought the reseller will naturally cite their best customers, ring them up and fill in gaps in your information from the conversation that ensues.

The best references to check are the ones where the customer owns the identical model of photocopier that you are considering. Ask them if the dealer has always responded quickly and usefully to their calls and how they rate the technicians' competence and expertise. In case of a high incidence of problems, find out how these were resolved.

Office supply shops
Entry-level photocopiers may well be available at retail or online shops, but this is not necessarily a good solution for businesses. Service is of paramount importance for photocopiers, both for maintenance and support in case of a problem. The manufacturer's warranty to cover repairs and replacement is a good start, but expert assistance available at any time in office hours is what most businesses require.

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