Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Purchasing on the web,what you should know

Those of you who don’t know, COST PER COPY CONSULTANTS, was started 25 years ago in 1986.We started in our 2 bedroom apartment in Libertyville IL. With the idea of focusing on small to mid-size businesses.  My mother (Phyllis Spilman) had 21 years experience in running an office equipment business.  I myself had been working there after school since probably around the age of 12, emptying garbage cans, cleaning bathrooms, and helping with shipping and receiving.

That business was sold in 1985, the new owners did business in a way that neither one of us wanted to be a part of, so began the journey of small business ownership.  We knew that if we treated customers like human beings and not as a numbers or dollar signs, we would succeed, 25 years later I believe that business plan was proven correct.   A lot of our first customers are still with us today.

Our company has survived the inception of Office Max, Office Depot and Staples, and flourished because of our personal and exceptional service.  Now we seem to be entering a new era. The economy is really difficult,   particularly it seems for small to midsize companies (no one is coming to bail us out) therefore these companies are watching every dollar very closely, as they should.

Recently we sent out a proposal to a Doctors office that has been a valued customer for many years .It was a small commercial copier, being the smart small business owner that he is, he did his due diligence, as we always have encouraged. He went online to check pricing, the pricing he found was $300 less than what we had proposed, being that this was about an $800 machine he was obviously concerned. Knowing that the price he had found on the internet was significantly less than we could buy the machine direct from the manufacture it obviously concerned us as well.

We looked into several internet and warehouse type companies and what we found was that what they are doing, although maybe not illegal certainly very deceptive. The companies are leaving off parts of the machine, that come standard from the manufacturer and selling them as options, such as in this case a document feeder (standard on this machine) but selling it as a $200 dollar option. It gets better, when we sell a machine obviously it comes with the supplies included with the machine (toner, developer and drum), they are not. We deliver and set up the machine at no cost, they DO NOT!

The end result in this scenario was that our customer would have had to of paid a minimum of $500.00 dollars more than the price that was listed on their site for their machine to had made its first copy.  Not to mention they would have had no training on the machine.   In addition nobody to take care of the warranty. (This is the environment we have to deal with)

This got me thinking about other things, some would say smaller things, things like toner for your copiers, printers and fax machines, but toner is a very important part of both our businesses.   The name of our company COST PER COPY CONSULTANTS means we want you to know how much it’s costing you every time you send an image to your printer, copier, and fax.  In actuality who among us actually count the number of copies or prints that you get from a cartridge bought from one of those big box stores or warehouse stores or the internet stores.  When it comes to toner you may think that it’s insignificant, just pennies.   I am here to tell you those pennies turn into hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.

Just like the Doctor who was almost taken in by an unbelievable price, you may want to take a look at your own business and where you may be getting taking advantage of without you even knowing it.

In conclusion deception has become a very powerful sales tool, in this business environment. Bottom line, know who your dealing with and when you can do business with people that you will have face to face encounters with after the sale, it’s much harder to deceive people when you have a personal relationship with either through sales or service.


                I never imagine that the career path that I chose as a very young man would lead me to a place where it would be necessity to learn how to do investigative reporting.  But it seems that’s what will be incumbent upon me to do in order to keep my family business safe as well as yours.


Thank you very much for reading and for giving us the opportunity to serve your office equipment needs.

Joe Spilman

Your service guy

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