Ten questions you should ask yourself when buying a used large format printer
Large format printers have transformed a number of different industries, not least of all the printing industry itself. Offering the ability to produce high quality prints on once unimaginable scale has become an incredible asset to those in photography, media, marketing and many other industries.
Constant improvements in the technology behind these machines have meant they are smaller, more compact and most importantly more affordable than ever.
However prices can still be far beyond the budgets of many individuals so preowned and refurbished models are proving to be a popular answer. With so much choice on the market, it can become a little overwhelming; this is why we have compiled a quick list of the 10 most important questions you should ask yourself before buying a used large format printer.
Do I really need a large format printer?
This question can be applied to most purchases we make, but it's extremely relevant when considering a large format printer. Understanding their capabilities and limitations will help you come to your own conclusion based on what you want to achieve. But if you are looking for high quality large format prints, there is no real alternative.
What is your budget?
Determining your budget will determine which machine you can actually afford, something which should be factored into this calculation is how long you expect it to take to get a return on your investment. This will depend on the amount you expect to use the machine, which gets us onto the next question½
How do you expect to use the machine?
Different printers are designed to handle different tasks, but the majority of large format printers are set up for heavy use. If you are concerned the amount of work you are expecting to complete may be too much for the printer, make sure you check out its technical specifications as it will have a recommended usage limit, these are usually detailed as the maximum amount of printers per month your machine should be producing. To ensure the life of your printer, these should always be taken into consideration.
Can you accommodate a large format printer?
This may seem like an obvious question, but even though large format printers have become much more compact in recent years, they are still large units. To ensure your prints maintain their quality and do not pick up any marks of damage after printing you will want to ensure that area around the completed print and loading table are clear.
Are you familiar enough with the type of printer?
Whilst the user experience in these large format printers has become much more accommodating in recent years, it can be a bit of a step from your everyday household inkjet. It doesn't take long to get up to grips with the operating systems and settings but it is most defiantly something to take into consideration.
Does it offer the customisability you need?
If you answered yes to the previous question then customisability may be something you are familiar with. Whilst these printers come set up with pre-sets to help you get going as quickly as possible, many choose to add their own custom specifications to get the best print quality possible. This may not be possible on all models of printers so it is best to do your homework before taking the plunge.
Should I lease or should I buy?
This is a question which has lost some relevance in recent years with the prices of large format printers dropping, and the quality of refurbished models. Leasing a machine gives you the benefit of few initial overheads to get up and running, but will cost you more in the long run. In most cases putting a little more cash into the initial purchase and owning your own machine is much more beneficial.
Will my printer keep up with my needs?
As businesses grow, so does the amount of work they produce. When looking for a large format printer you should try and factor in your expected growth for the next few years to ensure that the printer can meet your expectations. Regularly upgrading machines will become very expensive regardless of how well your business is doing, so buy the right machine which can keep up with you.
Which brand should I choose?
There is a huge variety in the large format printers available on the market, and the choice can seem overwhelming. Once you have decided on the amount of use the machine will see and more importantly the type of jobs it will be completing, you can look at individual brands. Online impartial reviews are a great place to start, see opinions and advice from people like you.
Where should I buy my printer?
You should always buy a printer from a reputable supplier, ensuring they have good support available should you require help at any point with your printer. At Perfect Colours we strive to offer the very best products possible and our used large format printers are all tested and fully refurbished to the highest standard ensuring they run as efficiently as a new machine.
For more information on our used large format printers, or any of our other products feel free to contact us today.