What You Need to Know About OEM vs Aftermarket Parts

If you’re considering the lease or purchase of new equipment like a copier, printer or multi-function device it’s important to do your due diligence. Business owners focused on the bottom line often neglect to ask key questions that can significantly affect the cost of ownership of your device. One area often neglected is your service and maintenance agreement. In the event of any problems, who is responsible for repair? Who pays for it? Do you know your options?

Leasing an office machine is a little different than leasing a vehicle. When buying or leasing a car you often have options when it comes time to service your vehicle. You can of course bring it back to your dealer and when service is performed, you can rest assured that OEM parts will be used. Or, you can take it to your local garage where, most likely, third party parts will be used.

When leasing or buying a copier, printer, or multi-function device you typically don’t have a choice when it comes to repairs. Often, a service agreement is included as a part of the lease and your dealer is responsible for performing regular maintenance and service. Often, you will have no idea what parts are being used unless you ask. Third party, aftermarket parts can cost up to 40% less than OEM parts.

While you might assume that these parts save you money, this is typically not the case. Any savings are taken by the dealer and go straight to his bottom line, not yours.  And to top it off, there is risk. Non OEM parts used in any repair will automatically void the manufacturers warranty. This could cost you when it’s time to return your equipment.

The takeaway? Always make sure you thoroughly understand any agreement before you sign. Read the fine print. Ask questions. Make sure to ask if only OEM parts are used for any needed repairs. If the answer is no, write it into your agreement and hold your dealer to it! Many warranties operate annually, so make sure to understand your warranty as well. Ask the right questions before you sign and you’ll make sure to avoid any unpleasant surprises during the life of your lease!

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