Question about Konica Minolta bizhub 350 All-In-One Laser Printer

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Bizhub c451 Hi, sorry if this is not the right place for the question... if it's not, do you know who I can ask? I live in Spain. I want to buy a bizhub c451 and the only problem is i'm being quoted 8.5eurocents (15 dollarcents-ish?) for maintenance per copy. Is this the only way to use the machine, because this seems expensive to me when I want to print lots as cheap as possible for a good client. Are there any solutions to this, or is it something I have to put up with? The supplier argues that I will sell each page on for 50cents, but I can't because this isn't a service to the public, I want to charge as little as possible while making a small profit as well. Maybe I can buy the consumerables myself and replace them? But I don't know the price of that or if it's worth it in the end. Any suggestions, or even confirmation that this is standard and I can't do anything about it, would be appreciated. Thanks very much! Tony.

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  • TonySpain Mar 17, 2008

    Thanks Nitrotrike,



    I will be buying the machine in full but the place I am buying it from is the only Konica Minolta dealer within 400km, so this place is the only option for a service contract.

    I have been doing some sums and worked out that a colour copy would come out at 4.5 cents if I buy the consumerables myself (in fact ship them from UK where they are much cheaper than in Spain) and the only downside I can see is having to pay a technician to come out if anything goes wrong - but at 20,000 copies a month I will be saving 800€ a month over a servcie contract - that sounds like a lot extra just for a bit of peace of mind.

    Have I missed anything here, or would you recommend I go ahead and look after it myself and don't have a maintenance contract at all?

    Thanks again.

  • brian c
    brian c May 11, 2010

    There is a 'cost per copy' that is quoted by the manufacturer and this is what a service company bases their contract costs on (so THEY make money too).

    As far as maintenance / service contracts, they all vary between service / maintenance providers, and you may be able to find someone cheaper. Keep in mind, that a lot of companies will NOT offer top-grade contracts to you if you bought the machine from somewhere else, regardless if the machine is new or not.

    The consumables (toner, staples, etc) are end-user (you) replaceable, but I strongly advice against using any non-oem supplies.

    You didn't mention is you will be buying the machine, or leasing it.

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Service contracts can be either a blessing, or a curse.

You might get a machine that will go its full maintenance cycle without a problem, or you might get one with "bugs".

Keep in mind the cost of PM (periodic / preventative maintenance) kits, drums, developer, etc. not to mention the labor to install the parts when the time comes.

I've seen machines sold and they only call once a year for a 'general cleaning', and others who call every two days.

Given the nature of color machines, I personally wouldn't take the chance. Keep in mind - if you scratch a drum, you're probably looking at close to $500 USD out of your pocket. All it takes is a small foreign object to get pulled into the machine to do this.

They we have the issue of power surges. Most companies that issue high-grade full coverage service contracts will install some sort of surge suppression device, therefore being able to honor the contract in the event of a power problem causing damage. Believe me when I tell you, control boards can get extremely expensive (there are a few color models in which the main control board cost more than a small car).

The moral of the story is, you won't get something for nothing. Either way, you'll be paying somewhere along the line - which is why a lot of companies lease their machines.

Given the new color technology and the price to replace some of the parts, some would say to get the contract - and make sure they install a surge protector. I personally wouldn't buy a $21,000 copy machine and not consider the cost of any future breakdowns / problems. That would be like buying a brand new car, and telling them to void the factory warranty just because it ran good on the test drive.

On the other hand, you won't be running it at it's full recommended monthly duty cycle, which "should" mean less breakdowns.

You have a tough decision, I know. All I can do is shed some light on what "may" or "may not" happen.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions, and good luck!

Posted on Mar 17, 2008

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