How can I lower my printing cost?


How can I lower my printing cost?

Every time you print something you are spending just a little bit of money on both your paper and your toner. Unfortunately that ‘little bit’ of money adds up pretty quickly. So, how do you lower your printing cost without sacrificing the quality and quantity you need to succeed?

Most Copystar vendors offer a service contract when you lease a machine through their company. These contracts can cover your supplies or a specific amount of included images by including the cost in your monthly payment.

But let’s be honest, even when you purchase a machine without signing a contract you are still paying for the cost of your printing supplies.

White space is a bad thing.
Don’t waste paper by printing out one email on one sheet of paper when you can combine multiple emails on one page or print on both sides of your paper.

Keep an eye on your printer preview.
Why? Because it can save you time, effort and frustration (not to mention money). You don’t want to start your print job over all because you forgot to change it to ‘landscape’ instead of ‘portrait’.

Check your color settings.
Do you have to print in color? Color is always a more expensive option so keep an eye out for any errant images or hyperlinks that you don’t need to include on your document.

Keep your machine clean and well cared for.
A dingy or damaged machine could result in frequent paper jams, lines on your copies or over all dirty looking prints. All of which could result in costly service fees on top of the cost of re-printing everything after your copier is cleaned and repaired.

If you feel like you are paying too much for printing then don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 803-407-4321 to speak with one of our specialists to discuss what service option best fits your needs.



Why is my copier jamming?

Ok, it’s crunch time. That big meeting you have been preparing for is only an hour away so you get ready to print out your presentation. You step up to your copier in anticipation of seeing all of your hard work print out in neat little stacks and then…you hear it. That ominous ‘beep-beep-beep’ that brings tears to the eyes of grown men as they realize that their copier has a paper jam.


Some of the most common paper jams are born because no one takes the time to prevent them. Following these three simple steps can do a lot to reduce jam-induced frustration around the office.

  1. Don’t overload the paper tray.
    Every copier has a set capacity for each tray. When you go over that limit your machine is more likely to pick up more than one sheet of paper at a time and create your jam.
  2. Don’t mix and match paper.
    A printer is a complicated piece of machinery that adjusts itself according to what type of paper is in it’s tray. However when you mix and match paper with different sizes or thickness it can get confused. When the copier is confused it cannot adjust itself accordingly and jams as a result.
  3. Keep your copier clean.
    Routine service on your copier is recommended. Your environment creates a lot of issues in a machine. It should be kept away from extreme heat or moisture which could combine with things like dust or leftover toner to create a sticky mess in your machine. This can also create more problems than a less complicated paper jam.

Whatever you do just keep in mind that a little TLC could be the difference between that big promotion or a mental breakdown.


Interested in some more tips and tricks on how to care for your copier? Check out the rest of our blog! If you are interested in setting up service on your machine just give us a call at 803.407.4321

Leasing a Copier – What questions should I ask?



When you are thinking about buying a copier you should be prepared to ask many questions. You should always read any contract before you sign it and be prepared to ask questions if you don’t immediately understand it.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to ask questions before you commit yourself to a lease. You have the right to request a copy of the contract to review before agreeing to sign it.

There are many terms and conditions when it comes to the leasing process. Trust me when I say that you don’t want to be surprised three to five years down the line when it s time to return your machine and you can’t. Why? because you forgot to inform the leasing company that you didn’t want to renew your lease as per the terms of your contract.

On that note, a lease *is* a contract. It is not a short term rental that can be cancelled without a penalty or a very large fine. It is a legally binding document that can only be disputed before you sign it…not two months later when you decide you don’t like the terms.

So, ask questions.

-Do I have to pay the document fee and why?

-Why do I need insurance on my copier?

-Do I have to pay property tax?

-Do I get to keep the equipment when the lease is over?

-When does my lease end?

There are no silly questions, only people who are silly enough not to ask any questions at all.



How to choose your copier…and the pitfalls of choosing poorly.


Copy of How to chose your copier (2)Click here for Part One

Part Two:

Are you feeling boxed in?

A few weeks ago we talked about ‘size’ as what your copier could produce for you. After all, a desktop machine isn’t going to do much good for a successful lawyer or tax accountant during tax season.

You should also pay attention to the physical size of  your machine. While you may need a machine that can keep up with a larger demand you don’t want to be stuck with a machine that doesn’t physically fit in your office.

More than once we have received service calls on machines that have damages from someone taking off a paper drawer or multipurpose tray. Usually these mishaps happen when there is not enough space in your office for both you and your copier. In addition, many companies might take advantage of a ‘high volume’ office and try to sell you every accessory they can reasonably get away with in order to make their bottom line (meaning more clunky hardware and limited square footage).

Don’t be afraid to discuss your options with your sales representative, find out why they believe that extra side paper deck is a good solution for your office. Ask them if that very large finisher is going to make a real difference in your efficiency. Don’t be afraid to ask for training on how to use these accessories so that they aren’t dead weight two weeks later.

If your representative is unwilling or unable to provide this service then it’s time to look elsewhere. Shop around, think outside the box until you no longer feel cornered.

You can trust Capital Office Products to work with you in order to find the perfect fit for your office. We don’t believe in selling for the sake of a sale. We want to build lasting relationships built on mutual trust so that you can count on us to provide you with the best equipment and the best service for as long as you are in business, not just for three to five years at a time.

The Life of Your Copier

Copy of Copy of How to chose your copierHow long should my copier last?

Well, that is an interesting question. Unfortunately doesn’t have an easy answer.

A better question would be: Will my copier still meet my needs in 3-5 years?

The average copier lease is 36 to 60 months. This time frame is determined by your sales expert based off of your budget, volume and industry as well as the life of the warranties that can be applied to your equipment.

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and it is sometimes difficult to keep up. Your five year old Copystar might work for you now but what happens when you upgrade all of your software in the next few years and it is no longer compatible? Updated security options, cloud-based services and mobile applications are constantly evolving and forcing us as consumers to evolve along with it or go back to the stone ages.

Another point to consider is that a copier is a lot like a car. The longer you use it, the less efficient it is. Eventually, parts will start to wear down and break more often. Soon enough, it costs more to buy the parts to fix it than it is to pay monthly on a brand new machine. Is it really worth the time and effort spent to keep the old equipment just because you own it?

Capital Office Products, Inc. offers you a free assessment on how our technology can save you money and improve your business. Just give us a call at 803-407-4321 to schedule an appointment to talk to one of our highly qualified sales experts!

How to choose your copier…and the pitfalls of choosing poorly.

How to chose your copier (1)


Do you choose your copier or does your copier choose you?

Part 1

Choosing office equipment isn’t like picking out a bookshelf and sticking it in a random corner. It is both a long term and short term investment that should be prepared for carefully.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

-Do you trust your provider and their professional recommendations?

-What sort of service do they offer?

-Do they supply the toner to your machine?

Often times you will run into a fantastic sales pitch that is easy on your budget…until the machine breaks down or needs toner. Asking these questions could save you both time and money when there is an emergency and your flashy sales guy is no where in sight.

Consider this: A service call could result in several charges for things like a specially trained technician, travel time (to and from), the cost of parts and labor…assuming that the technician has the tools he needs for the job and doesn’t have to come back the next day.

Toner prices are going up each year and the cost of shipping always a hassle. A replacement for any damages to the cartridges during the shipping process is  usually at the customers expense.

Did your ‘amazing deal’ cover the cost of the service you will need? Does it include your toner and delivery?

Some other questions you should ask are:

-Is this the correct machine for our needs?

-Is it the right size for our office?

Sure, that desktop machine sounds easier on your budget, but it isn’t meant to churn out hundreds of documents a day. You don’t want to be an an accountant during tax season with a machine that can’t keep up with your needs. This doesn’t even take into account the cost of your supplies. Generally speaking, the smaller your machine is the more expensive it is to run.

If you are unsure, we here are Capital Office Products are happy to point you in the right directions based on your business needs. Locally owned and operated in Columbia SC we have been serving both our local business community and hundreds of remote locations for over 20 years. Have questions? Call us at 803-407-4321 or send us an email at

To DIY or Not to DIY (there should be no question)



The question, if you were wondering, is whether or not you should invest in a service contract.

Unless you are certified in the repair and maintenance of your machine then it’s probably best to limit your DIY projects for that BBQ pit you’ve been trying to build for six years.

While it might be tempting to pull apart your machine to discover exactly what is causing the paper jam in the back of the machine or the dark lines smearing all over your pages you should resist this impulse.

Those who don’t know what they are doing when they pull out parts could cause further (and potentially more expensive) damage while ALSO voiding the existing warranties on the equipment and it’s parts.

You need a trained technician who specializes in the repair and maintenance of state-of-the-art reproduction equipment.

Additionally, not having a service contract can lead to:

  • Unexpected emergency repair costs.
  • Long waiting periods for specialized parts (assuming that you ordered the correct part in the first place)
  • Lost productivity and profit.
  • Overall dissatisfaction.

If you are looking for the ideal partner who can maintain your office’s productivity as well as your office copy equipment, you should reach out and see what we can do for you with a monthly service contract designed with your unique needs in mind.

End of Lease Part 3: Returning the Equipment

returns 2

End of Lease

Part One

Part Two

Part Three: Returning the Equipment

Your lease *does not end* until the equipment is either purchased or returned to the leasing company. If the machine is not returned by a pre-specified date then the lease WILL go into renewal. In order to discover what date the machine must be returned by you will require a ‘Return Authorization’. Without a return authorization you cannot return your equipment. So, how do you go about getting authorization?

After you have turned in your letter of intent (information on LOI’s can be found in part 1 of this series) the leasing company will contact you will information on your final payments, property tax and any fees that may have been added over time.

Most leasing companies require all payments to be complete before they issue a return authorization. If the amount is not paid past your end of lease date then the lease may go into renewal. Once your account has been paid in full then you will receive your return authorization.

This document contains important information and should be reviewed carefully before you attempt to return your machine. Always verify your lease account number, serial number, machine make and model number. If ANY of these do not match what you currently have then the machine cannot be returned until the changes are corrected.

Once all of your information is verified it will be your responsibility to return the machine to the listed return address, which is non-negotiable. All return times must be scheduled in advance with the receiving company, failure to do so may result in having the receiving company reject your shipment.

It is possible to hire a third party to ship your machine back for you but it is the responsibility of the customer to pack the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent any physical damage or internal malfunction.

It is also the responsibility of the customer to insure the equipment for loss or damage while in transit. If there is any damage to the machine while it is being shipped it is the customer who is responsible for filing an insurance claim. Every machine is issued a non-negotiable insurance minimum on their return authorization.

At the time of return the receiving company will issue a receipt of acceptance stating that they received your equipment and that it matches the information provided on the return authorization document. They will inspect the machine and document if the machine is in good working order. Any issues should be recorded on the receipt for your records. Any damage must be reimbursed at the customer’s expense. The value of the damage will be determined solely by the leasing company after a full inspection has been made. The customer is responsible for the cost of all repairs to bring the equipment up to standard. If you have any concerns about damages that may have happened after your return then don’t hesitate to contact the leasing company with any previously documented or videotaped records of your machine prior to its return. (See part two of this series for more information on the condition of your machine.)

Still worried about the return process? All of our current and potential customers don’t have to! Capital Office Products handles everything for you so that you can continue operating in your business as usual. Just give us a call at 803-407-4321.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more fun information!

End of Lease Part Two: The Condition of your Equipment

End of Lease

damaged copier

Part Two: The Condition of your Equipment

The condition of the equipment you return is very important. Leasing companies are, first and foremost, a business. They will not accept a return if the item if it is not something that is in good working order. Therefore, if they cannot resell or release their equipment then it is the customer’s responsibility to reimburse them for the cost of the damage.

There are two levels of testing that are completed at different times. The first test is completed at the time of arrival at the location specified for your equipment return. This testing includes ensuring that the machine powers on, pass paper and searching for any major cosmetic damage which may include dented panels, broken parts or large scratches. If the machine cannot pass any of these initial tests then the leasing company may refuse to accept the return.

If the return is refused then the customer may be subjected to additional lease payments, property tax payments, and fines until the machine is either purchased at its current fair market value (FMV) or repaired at the customer’s expense.

If the return is accepted then a second test is conducted at a later date to look for any internal or less obvious damage. Damaged wheels or broken levels at the base of the copier, small scratches or dents, and wear on the touch screen can cost the customer several hundred dollars even after the lease is considered ‘closed’. So how do you prevent these charges?

We recommend that you utilize your current service contract to ensure that your machine is in good working order at the time of purchase. Keep your machine in a room where it won’t be subjected to moisture, high heat or heavy traffic. Don’t store it near any exits or closets where doors can open and cause any damage to the machine. Don’t ignore any machine errors or loss of quality and call your service provider to perform any machine repairs or maintenance.  When the lease term is up, take a video of the machine while it is making copies and prints to prove that it can pass paper. Take pictures of the exterior of the machine, documenting any cosmetic damage no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

A LOT can happen after you return a machine and you always want to make sure that all your bases are covered in the event you are charged for damage that was not done while the equipment was in your care.

At Capital Office Products all of our service contracts ensure that our customers do not have to worry about this process. At the signing of a new lease, their old machine is picked up from their location and taken to our primary warehouse where our expert service team inspects the machine for any damages or service issues. The machine is cleaned and repaired before the service team takes pictures and videos to document the condition of the machine. Afterwards the machine is stored in our climate controlled warehouse until we can return it to the lease return center for you.

Looking for more information of what else you need to know in order to return your machine? Check out our blog for part three: Returning the Equipment.

Your workflow is vulnerable! Here’s why.

3 ways to

Data is every company’s most valuable asset. Technology allows us to collect, store, analyze and share this data but the way that your data is transported from one place to the next can be accidentally exposed in transition. Some of your most high-risk transition points include: sending emails, printing or scanning your documents.

Documents containing sensitive information move back and forth from digital to physical form many times throughout the day, and often change hands frequently. This can leave companies vulnerable if their private information falls into the wrong hands, even if this not intentional.

Here are a few ways to improve your document security

1. Sending emails

When “data leakage” does occur, the first thing people assume is that someone has stolen the information. However, sensitive information can also be publicly exposed because of underlying human error.

For example, attachments are an efficient and convenient way to share documents, the practice can be risky. NEVER email documents containing social security numbers, bank account information or birth dates as you may inadvertently send to the wrong person and suffer serious consequences.

Thankfully software exists to allow users to password-protect their data or trigger a redaction function. This doesn’t just cover up text or images, but replaces the selected area pixel by pixel with redaction fill, to cover sensitive information.

2. Printing

Printers are often overlooked when creating data security plan. However, there are those can find it easy to damage a company and their clientele if no protections are in place to manage who can print what or how hard copy documents are distributed. Printer controls allows companies to restrict access to specific documents, and by keeping a record of all outputs with print management software, organizations are able track all documents printed.

Not all data leaks are founded on ill-intent. Documents can be forgotten on the paper tray or mistakenly picked up by the wrong person or even discarded in the trash rather than shredded.  Print software can hold print jobs in a secure network queue until authorized for release by the user, either with an identification badge or passcode. This allows users to pick up documents when and where they want.

3. Scanning

The combination of sensitive information and uncontrolled access to scanning is a dangerous recipe. Restricting document access by placing privacy filters within scanning applications adds an extra layer of data security, especially when paired with optical character recognition (OCR) technology. OCR filters convert the image captured to searchable text and can recognize words like “confidential,” which allows files to be automatically encrypted or even deleted.

To protect valuable data, companies should take steps to secure every stage of the document’s lifecycle. No security strategy is complete without accounting for the high-risk transition points when documents are converted from paper to digital, and vice versa. By taking steps to safeguard data during these vulnerable moments, companies can approach data security more holistically and effectively.