The True Cost of Ownership: Used Scanners

Cost of Ownership

Think you’re getting a good bargain with a used scanner? Make sure you consider all the facts before signing on the dotted line. Read on!

Over the last two weeks, the imaging experts at Crowley have explored the true cost of ownership of production-level digital scanners. Remember, not all scanners are created equal and comparisons must take more factors into consideration than just price. The true cost of ownership looks past the price tag, comparing scanners using a number of different factors, including accuracy, productivity, maintenance, consumable costs, repairs and more.

This got us thinking about the true cost of ownership of used scanners. Like used cars, when it comes to used scanners there are both good and bad deals and varying degrees of business ethics practiced. Unfortunately, as so many people learn after they purchase that used car, a “great” deal that seems too good to be true often is. Missing parts and hidden problems can quickly turn a bargain into a nightmare. And while there is the protective Lemon Law for used cars, there is no such recourse for a used scanner.

If you are in the market for a used digital scanner from one of the industry-leading brands, such as Crowley’s Mekel Technology or  Wicks and Wilson, there are several factors you should consider before making any purchase to ensure that the “deal” you’re getting really is a step ahead and not two steps back.

The True Cost of Ownership: Used Scanners

The five biggest factors that could turn a great deal into an expensive venture are lack of information, missing parts, software licenses, and, finally, the reseller.

  1. Lack of Information: It’s important that the vendor you are working with understands the type of project(s) the scanner will undertake and is knowledgeable enough to make recommendations. Your goal in buying a used scanner is to gain efficiency; this can’t happen if the equipment is not a proper match to the type and volume of scanning to be done and/or the IT environment that it will enter. Doing the research is important; taking the scanner for a test drive is critical.
  2. Hardware: This is where it pays to ask questions. How old is the scanner? Will the scanner be refurbished, cleaned, and calibrated prior to delivery or will it be delivered “as-is”? Have all the lights, rollers, etc. been replaced with new consumable parts prior to delivery? How many clicks or scans has the scanner made over its lifetime? Is the scanner’s connectivity “future- proof”?  Will it connect and operate with current Windows operating system and current PC configurations?
  3. Missing Parts and Manuals: Some used scanners are missing parts or operating literature and could require the purchase of a very specific PC, proprietary scanner interface board, manuals or software license(s). These additional expenditures may negate the bargain price as parts may no longer be available or literature may be out of print – thus rendering the scanner purchase a short-term investment.
  4. Software and Software Licenses: Before purchasing a used scanner, it is important to delve deeper into the software. How old is the software? Will the software run within current Windows operating system or on current PC technology? These are just a few of the  questions you should ask about a scanner’s software. Then comes the software licenses. Mekel Technology and Wicks and Wilson software are only licensed to the original owner of the scanner (as are many other key brand names) and is not transferable from owner to owner. Because of this, the purchase of a used scanner will also require the purchase of a new software license, which can be costly. For Crowley manufactured brands, software licenses and updates are only available through The Crowley Company and its authorized resellers.
  5. The Reseller: When you choose to purchase a used scanner from a reseller, do your homework and ask questions. Does the used reseller provide a warranty or money back guarantee? Is the used reseller certified to maintain the scanner? Does the used reseller provide a long term solution to ongoing maintenance (ie. maintenance plans)? Does the reseller have a positive industry reputation and are they willing to share references?

If you are interested in purchasing a used scanner, The Crowley Company offers factory-serviced and refurbished equipment on an ‘as available’ basis. To inquire about availability, please contact your regional sales representative or contact Matthew McCabe at mattm@thecrowleycompany.com or (240) 215-0224.

If you have any questions about the blog, “The True Cost of Ownership: Used Scanners,” please contact the Crowley Company by calling (240) 215-0224. General inquiries can be emailed to blog@thecrowleycompany.com. You can also follow The Crowley Company on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

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