Is Your Fax Machine Worth Fixing?
Each person has to make an educated decision and decide if they should repair their fax machine or have it replaced when it goes on the blink. First, there is the service charge to consider and ...
Each person has to make an educated decision and decide if they should repair their fax machine or have it replaced when it goes on the blink. First, there is the service charge to consider and donít forget about replacement parts. There are certain parts in a fax machine that can actually cost more money than the machine does. I would never fix a machine in this case.
Some people simply get used to their fax machine and donít want to make a change. If it is an inexpensive model, I would look for a new fax. I may consider repairing it if the cost of the replacement value exceeds the service charge rate and it does not need any parts. Regular parts that wear out are the paper feed rollers and the separation pad in the automatic document feeder. These are common replacement parts and rage from $25.00 to $150.00 depending on the manufacturer.
Rank your fax:
Here is a ranking system that I came up with to help you decide for yourself if you should fix it or ditch it.
a.) Box Store Low-End Fax Machines:
Ranking: Low price, replace, never repair$50.00 - $150.00
b.) Box Store High-End Fax Machines:
Ranking: Medium to High price, repair butconsider the price of parts$200.00 - $600.00
c.) Business Model Fax Machines:
Ranking: High price, repair andreplace parts$600 - $2000.00
a.) Box Store Fax Machines:
Ranking: Low priced, consider replacing.
Box Store fax machines are fax machines that you purchase at large retail outlet stores. They are very inexpensive to purchase and most are designed for the average home user. I have seen plain paper fax machines that sold for $89.00 and with a $50.00 rebate your total purchase price was $39.00. They forget to mention the toner was about seven cents per page. I have customers calling me just about every day asking me if I can repair their fax machine. When I tell them my on-site labor rate they quickly end the phone call. The only solution for these is to box it up and send it back to the manufacturer. Then you have to wait two or three weeks and when it comes back itís not even the same machine you sent in. These should last you about a year if youíre lucky. They are designed to be disposable.
b.) Box Store High end:
Ranking: Medium to High consider repairing.
These machines can actually be pretty good and work well. If you want to repair this type machine, I would go ahead as long as the parts and labor does not exceed half of the price of the machine. When buying a machine like this you need to study and check out the toner costs to find one that is the lowest cost per page. A high toner cost can add up especially if you are receiving a lot of pages. This could pay the extra cost of a business model within one year. To get a good one I believe luck has a lot to do with it. My customers like to ask me which one of these are the best but I hate to say because I donít sell this level of machine. Thereís too much at stake for me and my companyís name. You see I have sold some of them and they did not work out too well. I have decided to only sell the upper end machines and have never been sorry about it. If you want me to name some brands here they are. Brother, HP and Sharp have always had decent equipment, but even these have lemons.
c.) Business Model Fax Machines:
Ranking: Definitely Repair this model, with a view exceptions.
High volume fax machines are a bit like copiers. They are designed for medium to heavy usage. You should definitely keep these machines running. The only exception would be if a circuit board goes out. The circuit board could cost as much as new machine. You could consider having the circuit board repaired for about half the cost. The costs for these machines are much more but the cost per print is much lower. The cost per page for toner is about one and a half cents per page. They are designed to last many years. The average pro series should last you five to seven years. If you asked me which brand was the best fax, I would have to say Ricoh. Ricoh are very dependable machines.
I have been in the office machine repair business for over twenty years. Fourteen of those years I have owned and operated my own business selling and servicing copiers, fax machines and printers. Ten years ago, one third of my repair business was repairing fax machines. Now if I service or repair more than one fax a month it is unusual. This is definitly do to the drop in the price in equipment. I also am an honest business person and I am always up front with each and every customer and potential customer. It is not just about another sale. It is about educating the customer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Tucker has been in the office equipment and supply industry for over 20 years and has several published industry related articles.