Evaluating the pros and cons of purchasing a used printer.
By Anya Rao
In FNA’s case, they have an employee on staff familiar with both of the company’s used printers and is their go-to repair man. "Issues will occur with used printers; you’re going to have problems," says Kittredge. "Buying a used printer made even more sense for us since we have the advantage of having someone on staff that knows how to fix these printers. However, if you don’t have someone on staff with those capabilities, I wouldn’t recommend buying used equipment."
FNA Graphics is already making plans for its next equipment addition: a used EFI Vutek flatbed, which it hopes to bring in later this year.
Back across the border in Canada, LVP Graphics (www.lvp.ca) in Terrebonne, Quebec, purchased a refurbished Gandinnovations Jeti printer that had previously been used for marketing demonstrations. LVP owner Francis Tellier reports that he is more likely to buy used printers that serve as direct upgrades to his current equipment so that he doesn’t have to deal with the quirks and problems of an unfamiliar machine. He felt safe in making the Gandi selection because he already owned a Gandi machine.
"I would buy a used printer, but only if I already owned one and knew that printer," Tellier says. "I wouldn’t buy used if I was unfamiliar with that make." He adds that if he were to buy a used printer that he wasn’t already familiar with, it could become very expensive without a warranty. And, he says, without previous knowledge of that model, he would have to call a technician with every problem.
Sellers and brokers
In addition to offering inflatables, signs, and its own wide-format digital-printing services, Paramount Promotions (www.paramountpromotions.com) in Phoenix, Arizona, also sells new and used wide-format printers. Brad Bergamo, the company’s president, says they obtain used printers mostly from manufacturers or from leasing companies. Bergamo’s company returns some printers to the manufacturer (such as Mutoh, for which Paramount is an authorized reseller) to be refurbished before he sells them.
"A used or refurbished printer is a great way to get into owning equipment that you would not otherwise be able to afford," Bergamo says.
Refurbished printers-which typically have been checked out and updated by the manufacturer or some other certified technician-usually carry a warranty from the manufacturer or through a third-party reseller like Paramount.