With the downturn in the economy, many manufacturers face a third quarter of poor sales of photocopiers. This is very beneficial for the consumer, with competition already high between Ricoh, Xerox, Konica Minolta and Canon prices will enevitably come down. Many people actually forecasted price rises in the UK but with photocopier sales flatlining uk companies are in no mood to pay more money for copiers.
Manufacturers have claimed that a weak euro and pound against the yen would mean price increases. However, with photocopier manufacture coming from China and the average manufacture markup of a copier still very healthy OnlineConnect.co.uk say that the market won’t take a price rise. Photocopiers are still very overpriced when you compare them to laser printers or fax machines where competition has forced prices down.
Manufacturers are looking to recover from falls in Sterling but have not considered the market as a whole. In an already difficult market where many businesses are struggling to make ends meet it is clearly not the right time to talk about price increases. Often stories like this are leaked to encourage buying, ‘buy now before the manufacturer puts up the price’.
Some manufacturers, like Canon, are looking to establish themselves again in the market place. With Ricoh making major purchases of dealers it has left them somewhat out in the cold. So could there be a price war on photocopiers? Online Connect say there can be, internet companies like Online Connect have been instrumental in bringing prices of digital copiers down to the consumer. What we haven’t seen yet is real competition for prices amongst the manufacturers themselves.
During lean times customers and photocopier dealers can extend existing rental agreements to get by. Not so with manufacturers who need to shift boxes.
The photocopier is, lets face it, not the most desirable thing in the office so when it comes to replacement it is fairly low down the list. Manufacturers are having to realise that companies see the photocopier ever increasingly as a neccessary evil rather than a important assett in their business. In turbulent economic times office buyers are holding back on replacing copiers with budgets stretched and funds needed in the business elsewhere.
Where companies have choosen to replace and take out a new lease finance companies have shyed away from many contracts. With the credit crunch many finance companies have become far more selective about who they will lease too leaving photocopier dealers exasperated.
It is not just the priority of the photocopier in the office that has changed either, but buying habits have also cahnged. The office buyer is far more knowledgeable and can gain photocopier quotes online and let sellers compete for their business. With photocopier sales at a near all time low it seems photocopier manufacturers will need to do something quite dramatic on price to get consumers to start buying again. With new manufacturers like Samsung now selling digital copiers and the internet driving prices down things look brighter for the photocopier consumer.