How Much Do Typical Copier/Printer Supplies Cost?

Submitted by Joel Barriga on Wed, 10/06/2021 - 09:37
copier printer supplies

When it comes to making a big investment, it’s important to allocate for all the possible costs you might encounter. Leasing or purchasing a copier/printer is no exception, but most people don’t know exactly how much a toner cartridge costs, and it can be an unpleasant surprise if you’re not prepared.  

As professionals in the copier/printer industry, we have a pretty good understanding of how much your everyday printing supplies cost. That’s why we’ve written this article, so you can know exactly what to expect when deciding to invest in a new device.  


How Much Does Toner Typically Cost?

The main thing to know when buying toner is that there are four different types: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Newly Manufactured Toner, Remanufactured Toner, and Drill and Fill Toner. Ideally, you’d always want to find OEM toner, because they’re made by the same manufacturer as your printer, so you know they’ll work to manufactured specifications with your devices.  

Because OEM is the highest quality, it’s also the most expensive. So, to combat some of those costs, Xerox released Xerox Everyday Toner, a newly manufactured toner that’s compatible with most major copier and printer brands, and more affordable without having to compromise quality.  

Now toner costs vary depending on how much your organization prints, and what it is that you’re printing. For a desktop unit like the Xerox VersaLink B405, which prints in only black and white, you can expect to pay anywhere from $113-$169, for a black toner that will last you about 2,500-5,000 pages.  

If printing in color, you’ll have to purchase cyan, yellow, magenta, and black toner, which for a color desktop unit like the Xerox VersaLink C405, will typically run you about $900 total, and last you 4,800-5,000 pages.  

Auto-Toner Shipments

If the thought of determining which toner is compatible with your machine, and buying it yourself seems stressful or unnecessary, you might be interested in auto-toner shipments. Auto-toner shipments are a benefit that come with a maintenance plan or service agreement and work by installing an application that can read when your toner levels are low. The correct (and highest quality) toner is then shipped right to your door, so you’ll never have to worry about running out.  

If you think auto-toner shipments might be something you’re interested in, read our article on Auto-Toner Shipments or Buying My Own- Which is Right for Me?  


What About Paper? 

Just like there are different types of toners, there are also different types of paper as well. Some of them you might be familiar with, such as regular matte paper (your classic copy paper), or heavyweight paper (such as cardstock).  

However, there’s also glossy paper, with a smooth shine and a rich color output, bright white paper, which is formulated with a brilliantly white finish for vibrant colors, and photo paper, with a sheen on one side and matte on the other. Picking the right paper will have a great impact on the output and quality of your overall print, so it’s important to know the different types and which scenario they’re used best in. 

For a desktop printer such as the Xerox VersaLink C405, paper will cost you anywhere around $3.50-$20.00 per ream (500 sheets), depending on the type of paper. Regular matte paper will be closer to $3.50, while high-quality bright white and photo paper will be closer to $20. When shopping for cardstock, you can expect to pay around $21 for 250 sheets. If you’re printing 1,000 pages on a month, you can expect to spend around $7-$40 a month on paper.  


What Are Some Other Supplies I Might Need?

Many people think that toner is the only supply that you’ll need for your printing equipment, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several different user-replaceable supplies such as drums, transfer belt cleaners, maintenance kits, waste containers to just name a few. If your copier/printer includes the ability to staple, staples are another supply item that you’ll need to replenish.  

For a multifunction printer like the Xerox AltaLink Series, you can expect to pay around:  

  • Transfer Roll: $62.00 
  • Transfer Belt Cleaner: $50.00 
  • Drum Cartridge: $576.00 
  • Fan Filter: $25.00 

For a multifunction printer like the Xerox VersaLink C405, you can expect to pay around:  

  • Maintenance Kit (Transfer roll, transfer belt, feed roller): $261.99 
  • Drum Cartridge: $264.99 

You might want to make sure that if you’re currently on a maintenance plan and you order supplies outside of your plan, that they’re compatible with your machine. Several manufacturers produce supply items that are designed only to sync with the specific machine it’s designated to work with, due to the different maintenance plans that are offered. That way if you’re on a maintenance plan, you won’t accidentally use bought supplies that aren’t compatible and pay twice. 

When the need for toner or other supplies arises, not all employees may know that you’re covered on your current maintenance contract for service and supplies, and they might order supplies not knowing that they’re already included, causing your company to pay double.  


How Much Does Service Cost?  

Getting a copier/printer serviced can be a little tricky without a maintenance plan, and it can get costly if you’re not careful. For example, here at STPT when servicing a copier/printer that’s not under a maintenance plan, we charge $125/hour, a $60 trip fee, and the cost of the required parts. We’ve seen other vendors charge even more, so this cost will vary depending on the vendor that you use. It’s also good to note that on-site service is not offered for all machines, particularly smaller desktops that are bought from retail giants.  

With a maintenance plan, however, all machine-related parts and labor are included, and you don’t have to worry about finding a technician who’s experienced enough to fix your machine. 

The cost of a maintenance plan varies on the size of the copier/printer, and the number of monthly impressions agreed upon before signing. Maintenance plans typically cost $10-$30 per month, depending on the copier/printer size, and included impressions are usually around $0.015 per page for black and white, and $0.07-$0.15 for color.  


Time to Budget!

Now that you’re aware of copier/printer supply costs, you can budget your printing expenses much more efficiently, keep on track with your company’s financial goals, and make better business decisions regarding obtaining maintenance plans or buying supplies on your own. If you’re interested in more cost articles, read up on How Much Does Leasing or Purchasing a Copier/Printer Cost, and the Nine Hidden Costs of Owning/Purchasing a Copier or Printer.  


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