How Much Does a Sharp Copier Cost?
Sharp was founded in 1912, deriving its name from one of the first inventions - a mechanical pencil called the Ever-Sharp. Today, the Japanese company is one of the largest electronics companies in the world.
Sharp is perhaps best known for its TV and home theater products, but the company also has an extensive line of office products, including multifunction copiers with advanced features. Read on to learn more about them.
About Sharp Copiers
Sharp makes more than 60 models of business copiers, ranging in print speed from about 20 pages per minute (ppm) to more than 70. About half of Sharps’s models fall in the range of 31 to 45 ppm, which is considered mid- to high-volume. But Sharp offers options for small business, too.
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Like all modern copiers, Sharp products do a lot more than just make copies. They’re referred to as multifunction printers (MFPs) because they are also capable of tasks such as digital printing, faxing and scanning. Many models can also be used to scan and email documents, print directly from a USB device and send a fax without leaving your computer.
Sharp copiers are available in black-and-white or color models. Some copiers are small enough to sit on a desktop, but most are standalone models. The latest Sharp copiers also have features such as high-resolution touch screens, color displays, full-size retractable keyboards and remote front panels. Some offer convenient features such as stapling, inserting, sorting and hole punching.
Sharp Copier Prices
Sharp does not sell or lease copiers directly to the public; it uses a network of dealers. For this reason, Sharp does not advertise its prices. Prices vary from one region of the country to the next and from one dealer to the next.
As with all copiers, the price depends on the type of machine, its printing capacity and the features. Printing capacity has the biggest impact on price. Here are some general guidelines for what you can expect to pay for various models:
- Low-end machines suitable for small businesses start at around $1,500. These are capable of printing around 20 ppm.
- Mid-volume printers capable of 21 to 35 ppm usually start at $3,000 to $10,000. With the most advanced features, you could pay $12,000 to $15,000 for a black-and-white model or up to $20,000 for a color model.
- High-volume machines with speeds of 36 to 56 ppm usually cost about $40,000 to $60,000, and are suitable for large corporations.
Buying vs. Leasing a Sharp Copier
Most companies lease their copiers, rather than buy them outright. Leasing is less expensive upfront because little or no downpayment is required. Instead, you make monthly payments over a period of years - usually three to five. When the lease is up, you can return the machine, buy it or trade it in for a newer model.
Leasing is always more expensive in the long run than buying outright, but it’s a great option if you need to preserve short-term capital for other expenses. It also prevents obsolescence - you’ll never be stuck with equipment that is too out-of-date to be useful.
Choosing a Copier/MFP
Brand name is only one of many decisions you’ll have to make when shopping for an MFP. Here are some other important things to consider:
- Inkjet or laser? - Inkjet printers are better for printing photos and graphics, but the quality of the text is inferior to laser printers when you’re using regular office paper. Laser printers are faster, so they’re popular with businesses that print in great volume.
- Print speed - As you probably gathered from above, print speed is measured by pages per minute (ppm). If you print often, you might want invest in a printer that can produce at least 30 to 50 ppm.
- Paper capacity - If you print often, you’ll also want a MFP with a large paper capacity. Most basic models have capacities ranging from 100 to 250 pieces of paper. Advanced models hold thousands of pieces of paper.
- Connectivity - Do you need network connectivity so the printer can be shared among all of the computers in one department? Do you need wireless connectivity? Would you like employees to be able to print directly from smartphones and tablets?
Choosing a Dealer
In many cases, the dealer that sells or leases the copier also handles the service contract. You won’t just deal with these people once - you’ll deal with them every time your copier needs service or repair. This makes it all the more important to hire a reputable, experienced dealer.
When you start shopping, request quotes from multiple dealers in your area to compare prices. However, never choose on price alone. You’ll also want to check references and the company’s rating with organizations like the Better Business Bureau. Find out how long the company has been in business, too.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Some important ones include:
- How many local technicians do you have that are able to work on my model?
- What is your average response time for service requests?
- How much do you charge for service calls?
- Do you offer in-house training on how to use the copier? If so, how much does it cost?
Keep in mind that while most dealers offer service contracts, you don’t always HAVE to buy the service contract from the dealer that sells or leases you the copier. Shop the service contract around to third parties to see if you can find a better deal.