The word “free” is one of the most powerful words in marketing. This word opens the floodgates to introduce your prospects to your business. Unfortunately, scammers can also use this word to empty unsuspecting customers’ wallets. Such is the case with the “free” copier upgrade.

How Do Copier Reps Scam You With a “Free” Copier Upgrade?

When you have 6-12 months left in your copier lease, your copier rep will call you up and inform you that they have a special deal for you: they will upgrade your copier for “free” if you sign another lease with them.

What Goes On Behind The Scenes of This Scam?

When a copier company and a leasing company love each other very much, a scam is born.

Copier companies need new sales, and leasing companies need new contracts. To achieve these goals, these companies join forces and come up with a unified scheme to achieve both of these desired outcomes.

The leasing company will tell the leasing company they will forgive a payment or two as long as they can get another contract signed. Sometimes the leasing company will also defer some of the payments.

The copier company looks at the equipment portion of their lease (which comes out to roughly half the total) and they try to wrap that price into the next lease and still remain under retail price.

The copier company also goes to the manufacturer to see if they have any specials or discounts going on. Instead of passing the discount onto you, they take this savings and make the remainder of the payments to the leasing company.

Why Is This Deal So Terrible For Your Company?

At first glance, this deal doesn’t look terrible. However, there are three reasons to avoid a “free” upgrade when your copier rep offers it to you.

  1. You could’ve gotten the machine for less had you not had your current lease obligation.
  2. This process is simpler to wrap into a five-year lease to make the numbers look right. Copier technology changes at a rapid pace, and your copier rep knows you’ll want to upgrade at year four of your lease. If you would’ve ridden out the remainder of the lease, you could’ve been paying a much lower monthly bill.
  3. This tactic immediately eliminates competition before you even have a chance to shop around for a better deal; this also means you will pay a higher monthly rate since copier reps no longer have any incentive to give you a better deal.

You Can Beat This Scam If You Are Patient.

If you have a five year lease, don’t let your copier company rope you into a bad deal. Be patient and ride out the rest of your contract. Once you finish it out, you can look for much better deals for your business. Resist the urge to upgrade early, and you will save hundreds of dollars over the life of your new lease.