Office Printers: Lease or Buy?

There is a common question faced by many businesses when it comes to office printers: lease or buy? Both have advantages which may make each option more attractive in certain scenarios. Likewise, both come with disadvantages which must be considered down the road.

Thinking about leasing or buying printing equipment? Edwards Business Systems both leases and sells quality printers and more. Here’s an overview of leasing versus buying equipment, plus some insights on when it’s better to buy or lease office printers.


Leasing: Advantages and Disadvantages

Many companies choose to lease office printers. For a small business, this may be preferable when they need access to high-end printing equipment but don’t want to pay the full, upfront cost. Likewise, companies which need to scale rapidly might find the flexibility preferable.

Leasing can mean two different things. First, it’s possible to literally lease a printer like leasing a building or a car. In this instance, a model is chosen, a contract signed, and the device gets dropped off. Second, leasing printing equipment sometimes refers to managed print services. A device is still leased like above, but the contract comes with other features such as supply management, dedicated support or print tracking.


There are many advantages of leasing a printer and most of them are financial. It prevents investing precious resources into technology which might soon become obsolete both because of the smaller acquisition costs and because a company will work with a sales rep to determine the best model for them. It also helps keep costs visible and under control because the contract is a fixed amount each month. This is particularly true when leasing involves further managed print services.

These advantages mean that leasing brings technology into reach which a company’s budget might otherwise preclude. Leasing is quick, easy, and safe.


When it comes to office printers, a lease may actually cost more in the long run and it will never be owned outright. This is true if a more economical model is chosen. Likewise, some contracts involve a lock-in period much like renting an apartment or a building. If it doesn’t work out, the lease still needs to be paid.

Choose Leasing When…

  • Minimal financial commitment is required or preferred
  • The company has shifting printing needs which may make this device obsolete sooner
  • There’s confusion about which model or device will best suit the company
  • Managed print services make sense
  • An organization wants to test out a model before investing

Buying: Advantages and Disadvantages

For companies that are ready and have the means to take the plunge, purchasing a printer grants more freedom and control over the device. Buying an office printer is a serious investment, one which can make or break an organization’s workflow.


Purchasing a printer outright is almost always less expensive in the long run because locked-in contracts don’t exist. If the device is expected to satisfy printing needs in the long run, then it usually makes sense to save up the initial cost and purchase one outright. One avenue which many companies investigate to offset this is purchasing a secondhand printer from a reputable dealer. Likewise, companies enjoy more flexibility with additional expenses. Owning a printer prevents a company from being locked into receiving service or purchasing consumables from a specific dealer which will also help balance costs.


Beyond the fact that commercial printers run into the thousands of dollars and come with hefty initial investments, there are more hidden costs associated with owning a printer. For example, it may get harder and more expensive to purchase spare parts when something breaks. Likewise, specialized equipment like cartridges or proprietary inks may drive up operating expenses, especially if they aren’t closely tracked. Therefore, although buying a printer will save a company money, the risk of it also costing more increases, too.

Choose Buying When…

  • The printer is expected to be a core part of the print environment for awhile
  • It’s more important to save money in the long run than refrain from a large acquisition cost
  • A contract is not preferred or necessary
  • More control over the printing environment or specific device is preferred
  • The specific device wanted has a high resell value


When It Comes to Office Printers, Lease or Buy Are Both Good Choices

This article has provided an overview of leasing versus buying equipment. When it comes to office printers, lease and buy are both valid choices with advantages in various situations. Which is right for an organization depends on its current printing environment and projected needs.


Edwards Business Systems has over 60 years of experience helping decide if it’s best to lease a printer for a small business or to buy one outright. We offer options for leasing and help guide businesses towards the best purchase decision. Contact us today to get started acquiring the best printer for your office through either lease or purchase.

April 16th 2019