Broken Point of Sale Receipt Printers – Repair or Replace?

Prices of computer hardware continues to drop in price and increase in features and functions. This is to the advantage of the consumer. However, many consumers do not take full advantage of this situation.

Point of sale equipment that is computer based follows this pattern of drops in price and increase in features. An entire industry flourishes behind a cloak of mystery regarding point of sale hardware, software and systems. In large part, business owners continue to pour money into the pockets of dealers who continue to overcharge for Printer repair and replacement parts, including printers.

POS Printer Repair – What you get

Let’s take a look at what most people do with a broken printer. They will attempt to repair the printer through their local dealer.

A call is placed to the dealer who will ask questions of the business owner to determine if the printer is truly broken or if the problem could be a software, cable or power issue. Yes, there are truly repair calls that are solved by properly plugging the printer power supply into the electrical outlet.

If the printer is determined to be broken a technician will come to pick it up. If there is a prior agreement with the dealer a temporary loaner printer may be substituted while the repairs are done.

Many dealers have now gone to a flat-fee for printer repairs. They will charge this fee plus parts to repair the printer. Parts are charged at full list price and will range as high as $125 – $150. Charges higher than that are generally not charged as they exceed the cost of a new printer.

In total, the charge to repair a POS printer should never exceed $300 as you could get a new printer for that amount. However, a repaired printer will not carry forward the full warranty like a new printer will. You will probably only have a 30 – 90 day warranty on the repairs. That means if this same printer goes down again in 91 days you are going to have to do this all over again.

POS Printer Replacement – What you get if a dealer does it

Replacing a POS printer is much simpler and quicker than repairing. This is largely due to the fact that most dealers do not repair the printer themselves. They actually send the printer to a repair depot to be serviced remotely and then returned. This repair process can take weeks and in the worst cases a month or more.

Replacement printers are often kept in stock by local dealers. If not, they can obtain a replacement printer from one of their vendors in a day or two. However, be prepared to pay full price with a dealer margin in excess of 40%. This could easily drive the replacement cost of a POS printer to the $500 mark.

At least with a new replacement printer you will start the clock on a new warranty period. The problem with this is how much of this new warranty is passed to you by the dealer. I am sorry to say that a great many dealers will pass 1 year of the 3 years of warranty offered by the manufacturer.

POS Printer Replacement – What you get if you do it

Let’s take a look at what you get if you source the replacement printer via the Internet. You may be shocked at how easy it is and how much you get for less money.

First, you get the same printer that you get from the dealer. You may even get the printer from the same warehouse that the dealer buys from.

Next, you pay far less because you are eliminating the dealer margin. In some cases this is in excess of 40%.

Finally, you get the full manufacturer warranty. In the case of POS printers this is usually 3 years or more. What this means is that you will contact the printer manufacturer who will then direct you to the nearest warranty repair center who will repair the printer and bill the manufacturer.

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