At the end of a lease, if it was a FMV lease (Fair Market Value), you will be asked to package and return your copier. This is an important step in the copier leasing process that is rarely talked about.
Here are some tips that may help you out before you get ready to package up that copier to ship half way across the country!
Steps to follow when returning a copier:
- Make sure all sensitive information has been removed from the copier's hard drive and memory. This includes wiping the hard drive (not removing or deleting it all as there is some info on the hard drive needing to remain on the copier which relates to copier function. When the copier was brand new, the hard drive was not empty.)
- Prepare the copier for the return of the equipment. Take out the toner and consumable items, clean the inside with a rag (make sure that toner won't go everywhere during the shipping process.
- Unplug the copier and remove the paper
- Check and see if you have extra toner. If the toner was included as part of a service agreement, then you will need to return the toner to whoever you got the toner from as part of the service agreement. If you bought your own toner, you can go online and try and sell the excess toner.
- Attach the RMA to the copier. The lease company will need to know who sent the copier and helping them identify the request number will speed up the formal end to your lease contract.
- Get your copier loaded on a pallet and strapped with cushioning around the corners or joints. You don't want to break plastic as you secure the copier to the pallet. Depending on the shipping company, they may prefer that you DO NOT have it on a pallet. It is best to ask what the preference is from BOTH the return warehouse and the shipping company and do it the way they recommend in case damage were to happen.
- Move the copier on the pallet to the closest or easiest point of access for the freight company. Ideally a loading dock, but at least the first floor.
- See if your building requires anything special of the delivery company - Valid driver's license, certificate of insurance, scheduled times, etc...
- Schedule a shipment with a company used to shipping copiers. Your vendor should know of a reputable company. If your vendor is doing self leasing, then most of the steps above are invalid as they vendor will generally just come and get the copier and you are done. These instructions are for the other 90% of people who are financing through a leasing company.
- If your vendor does not know of a mover, contact the shipping warehouse where the copier goes to as they may have ideas.
- Make sure the copier is inspected before it leaves. Take pictures in case a claim is needed. Have the driver look and make sure he/she believes it was done properly. Often good to also have your vendor check it out.
- Validate receipt of copier and confirm there are no more damages that you are responsible for
With the steps above, this is why we often recommend $1 Out leases. However, if you have the staff to properly package the copier and ship it back, a FMV lease may be good for you.