Free Printers - If You Print A Lot

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Tim Wright, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    With all of the talk about printing, and advertising with flyers, I thought I might share this, even though it might have been brought up before.

    http://www.freecolorprinters.com/default.cfm

    You need to print at least 1000 pieces per month, factor in the cost of the ink to see if it would be worth it for you. If it is, they will send the printer free, but you must order x $ amount of ink each month.

    If you plan on printing post cards for mailing, calenders, flyers, etc and keep a campaign going through the year this might be an alternative for you.

    Tim
     
  2. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    I use to have this program. The printer was very nice, except for several problems:

    1. It is wax ink, meaning it has to warm up and become liquid. The problem - whenever you shut down, and the machine starts back up - it automatically dumps the ink that was previously liquified; thus causing you to lose ink at a very fast rate. And if you have power outages and forget about the printer warming up, themn the power goes out again - well, you get my drift - adios ink.

    2. You have to order the cleaning kit, because after so many copies, it shuts down if you don't use the maintenance kit on it.

    3. If you don't fax in the report on time, you are charged a big fee.

    4. Getting repairs is an absolute nightmare. The company that does it, will charge you up to $400 a day to send a tech out - even though you use them for an hour or so - if you live further than something like 2 hours away - they will rent a hotel room and eat at your expense. If you don't use them, then your warranty is voided. The service tech gets to determine on site if the repair is under warranty or not. If is not under warranty, they will collect the entire payment right then. And you will be looking a very big bill.

    5. The paper has a wax feeling to it, meaning it rubs off!

    6. The printer is so big, it is shipped on a pallet. And they do not deliver inside. You have to unload it off the truck yourself. It weighs (feels like) a ton or two.

    7. When I had the printer, there was a 4800 page minimum per month, or they would charge you an underusuage fee.

    As you can see, there are a lot of negatives that you aren't told about the program. The printer is beautiful, so are the printed pages. The printer was valued at $5000! But you don't have the ownership rights until the end of the program contract. But watch out for all of the hidden things that are well, hidden until you need help.

    Oh yeah, the ink cubes are shaped coded. This means that you have to buy the ink cubes from them at a very heafty price.

    I hope this helps in knowing both sides of the story.
     
  3. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Do you think it is better to simply buy a reasonably priced color laser printer?

    Tim
     
  4. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180



    Tim,


    my post was not to bash the printer; for it is a great printer. But there are alot of hidden things (especially costs). And value of the printer is fantastic, once the ownership is signed over to you. But to be perfectly honest, if I did it all over again, I would rather spend the money on a laser, than going the free route. With all of the hidden fees, repair costs, ink costs, maintenance costs, late report fees, underusage fees it is a whole cheaper to buy your own printer. Plus remember how I said it is truck shipped? And due to its size and weight, if you have to send it back for any reason, you will have to pay an easy $400 to $600 shipping charge. Yikes! Plus the memory that is in it, is not very big - you can get it upgraded, but it is something like $300 or so. And it takes a while for it to process any colored pages you want printed.

    Once again, the choice is a personal choice, but for me - I will never do it again. I hope this helps.

    Chris
     
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Thanks Chris,

    I did have this at one point, did not make the quota and had them come get the printer.

    As for mass printing though, it still might be worth it to some.

    But I think I will be looking at a color laser printer myself.

    Tim
     
  6. Let-it-mow!

    Let-it-mow! LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    If you're printing 5000 pieces a month, your local print shop can surely do it cheaper than you could ever do it yourself.
     
  7. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180


    When I had it, I was printing in the range of 5000 to 7500 pcs a month. Not everything was flyers or brochures. I owned a medieval- military hobby store (I still do actually). I used the machine for mostly reports, inventory lists, and customer reciepts.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, I get it...

    They get their money back at least 3 times over by the time you're through using the free printer that really wasn't.
     
  9. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    This is true for all printers. Just look at the technology and know that it is worth more than $100-600 and then look at the price of ink cartridges and how many times you replace them.

    They could give the printers at office max etc away free also and still make a killing.

    Tim
     
  10. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Amen! I got something like 4 or 5 printers upstairs in my attic, because it was cheaper to buy a new one, than going out and getting refills.

    Chris
     

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