It is safe to say that nearly 97% of the professionals in the office equipment business are smart, dedicated, honest, and hardworking. Whereas, the remaining 3% can cause complete chaos, havoc, and financial heartache that can damage the reputation of the office equipment industry. Andrew W. Ritschel, President of Electronic Office Systems, has over 36 years of experience in the business. He previously stated, “I’ve seen enough of this ‘dark side’ to caution the general business community about some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid.” Continue reading below to find out the most dangerous traps for your business to steer clear from according to President of EOS, Andrew W. Ritschel.
Pitfall #1: Confirm The Lease Term Paperwork
Hearing the words “Just sign here and here,” or “Don’t worry, I’ll fill in the rest of the paperwork,” are red flag statements to be aware of regarding your lease term. If you do not completely understand what you are putting your signature on, there is no guarantee your paperwork is legitimate unless you thoroughly review it before signing. For example, a 36 month lease term could turn into a 63 month lease! What should have been $10,000 over 36 months at $277 per month (with interest) ends up becoming $14,813 over 63 months, which is an over 50% increase being funded to your supplier. This can easily happen under your radar and not be detected for another 37 months!
Pitfall #2: Pay Off Remaining Balance & Return Equipment
Are you familiar with the saying “If you want something done right, then do it yourself?” The same goes for your business lease. You may hear a supplier offer, “We’ll pay off the remaining balance of your old lease and return your old equipment back to the leasing company.” This sounds like a major task was taken off your hands. However, if this doesn’t get accomplished, your business is now holding onto two leases and unpaid late fees for the equipment. Make sure you confirm everything is returned and paid off properly to protect your company.
Pitfall #3: Verify New Balances & Interests Rates
A salesman’s job is to be convincing and schmooze their way into your company. For instance, “Mr. Prospect, this is a five year lease with three years of service and supplies included. At three years you can upgrade this machine to something new and different.” The salesman has grasped your attention with a potentially great sounding deal. However, think about the actual meaning of the proposal. The remaining two years of the equipment lease and interest is added to the cost of the new equipment balance with new interest charges for the next five years. As a direct result, your business will actually end up paying interest on top of interest!
Pitfall #4: Read the Fine Print
Business 101: Always read the fine print before signing anything. The majority of people fail to read the terms in the fine print. For example, up to a 5% yearly payment escalation clause was written in the particulars of your lease. If you’re not careful this oversight could wind up turning a $15,000 lease into an $18,800 lease funding to the sales organization – while no one is looking!
Pitfall #5: Buy From Quality Companies with Proof of Sources
Don’t be fooled by the perfect smile, high-end suits, or the endless charm from salespeople. When you are thinking of spending company funds on whatever service or product the salespeople are selling, make sure you are working with a quality company that can show you proof of their sources such as awards or industry recognition. Also, do not settle for one sale proposal right off the bat. Compare financing terms, features, benefits, functionality, maintenance agreements, pricing, guarantees, and more!
Trust Electronic Office Systems As Your Next Supplier
At Electronic Office Systems, we welcome the opportunity to help you by analyzing your existing equipment and in-place contracts along osals being offered by your suppliers. We will acknowledge “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as we see it. All we require is five minutes of your time to illustrate why we should be your next supplier. Contact us today to make an appointment or to learn more about the other services we offer.