Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Is buying a used printer a bad idea?

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
B&H Photo has this used HP all in one laser printer for $109. It retails new there for $179. It is $219 at most other places.

I called they said used printers do not come from customer trade-ins and are almost all returns, meaning they can't possibly have that much use on them right? It comes w a 30 day return policy and a 90 day warranty. Do I run any real risks? Seems like a great deal. Here is the printer -

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/used/1043489/hp_cz183a_bgj_laserjet_pro_m127fw_all_in_one.html
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,823
3,708
B&H Photo has this used HP all in one laser printer for $109.

Remember that a cheap laser printer really consists of a toner cartridge with a free printer thrown in. When it comes to replace the cartridge, it will be touch-and-go whether its better value to just buy a new printer.

Yes, third-party and recycled/refilled cartridges may be cheaper than the official cartridges - but they're still not cheap.

Probably, the previous owner has just printed a few pages before returning it, but if they have used a significant amount of toner they've also used up a significant part of the value.
 
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Remember that a cheap laser printer really consists of a toner cartridge with a free printer thrown in. When it comes to replace the cartridge, it will be touch-and-go whether its better value to just buy a new printer.

Yes, third-party and recycled/refilled cartridges may be cheaper than the official cartridges - but they're still not cheap.

Probably, the previous owner has just printed a few pages before returning it, but if they have used a significant amount of toner they've also used up a significant part of the value.
So you're saying you would spend more on a better printer? I'll be using it very infrequently, only for the occasional school paper or resume.

I was going to buy a $70 inkjet but was told here that infrequently used inkjets are prone to drying out so I jumped up to an inexpensive laser.
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,396
7,236
OP wrote:
"So you're saying you would spend more on a better printer? I'll be using it very infrequently, only for the occasional school paper or resume."

Buy one of the "lower-level" (price-wise) Brother lasers, which can sometimes be found for $70 or less on sale.

They are B&W (greyscale) only, and may have only a USB connection (as distinguished from having an ethernet connection and wifi support).

But they are almost bulletproof, and for the jobs you mentioned above, will serve you well...
 
Comment

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,173
733
Remember that a cheap laser printer really consists of a toner cartridge with a free printer thrown in. When it comes to replace the cartridge, it will be touch-and-go whether its better value to just buy a new printer.

Yes, third-party and recycled/refilled cartridges may be cheaper than the official cartridges - but they're still not cheap.

Probably, the previous owner has just printed a few pages before returning it, but if they have used a significant amount of toner they've also used up a significant part of the value.

The toner for that printer lists at $64, just about 1/4 the MSRP of the printer IF they include a full-capacity toner with the printer (some don't). I will say HP's LaserJet units are SOLID. I work at a large office campus that had over 450 units around the facility and it's VERY rarely that we had to call HP in to repair one. That said, none were in the same class as the MFP linked in the OP but HP makes some of the better small/medium network printers out there from what I saw. I wouldn't lump a $220 (MSRP) laser printer in the "do I junk it for a new printer or buy a new toner" category when the MSRP of the toner is $64.

BTW, Lexmark makes some of the WORST. They make (or were but it may have changed) Dell's laser printers, we had to service the 5-10 of those we got more than any of the HPs.

As for the 3rd-party/recycled toner, DON'T GO THERE! While it may save money up front, you risk print quality and overall longevity of the printing device and it WILL cost more in the long run. I had to replace one on an HP because of a line down the print outs. Through troubleshooting, it was determined the black cartridge was causing the problem, swapped in a new HP one and the prints cleared right up. The 3rd-party cartridge was only ~10% consumed, waste of money. HP has a cartridge recycling program, they usually include a label in the box with new HP cartridges. They grind them up and make new ones from the recycled plastic. (Link)

@TH55 , if you're THAT interested in the unit, B&H should be more than happy to print out a config page for the printer, it'll show the number of cycles. If they do that, they can also print a supplies status page showing how much toner is left. They could then scan those and email them to you.
 
Comment

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,823
3,708
So you're saying you would spend more on a better printer?

Not for light use, no - I'd fully agree with the advice that a laser is better for infrequent use, because inkjets dry up and waste lots of ink cleaning the head. Toner cartridges are expensive, but last for ages in a home environment.

All I was pointing out is that the toner cartridge represents a significant fraction of the value of the printer, so, if you're buying used, do double check that the cartridge is nearly full and that some joker hasn't bought it, printed 10 copies of their PhD thesis and then returned it.
 
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Not for light use, no - I'd fully agree with the advice that a laser is better for infrequent use, because inkjets dry up and waste lots of ink cleaning the head. Toner cartridges are expensive, but last for ages in a home environment.

All I was pointing out is that the toner cartridge represents a significant fraction of the value of the printer, so, if you're buying used, do double check that the cartridge is nearly full and that some joker hasn't bought it, printed 10 copies of their PhD thesis and then returned it.
I don't know how I could possibly check that
 
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Not for light use, no - I'd fully agree with the advice that a laser is better for infrequent use, because inkjets dry up and waste lots of ink cleaning the head. Toner cartridges are expensive, but last for ages in a home environment.

All I was pointing out is that the toner cartridge represents a significant fraction of the value of the printer, so, if you're buying used, do double check that the cartridge is nearly full and that some joker hasn't bought it, printed 10 copies of their PhD thesis and then returned it.
So upon further investigation the printer does not come with a toner cartridge, as most printers don't. The salesman informed me that most printers come with a test cartridge that doesn't last very long and that you almost always had to buy a full one.

With the cartridge it comes out to $160 and some change for a printer that is over $215 new, and their "used" printers are all returns, meaning they have had little to no use. Is this still a good deal for an all in one HP laser?
 
Last edited:
Comment

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,823
3,708
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Well, not quite - lasers often come with 'half-full' cartridges. AFAIK, the "introductory cartridge" on this printer (http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/printers/hp-laserjet-pro-mfp-m127fn#!&TabName=specs) is still rated at 700 pages (c.f. 1500 for a 'full' cartridge). So, that's still quite a lot of pages for home use.
Well in any case, it's still a lot cheaper than it would be new even with a full cartridge. Now that I think about it actually, wouldn't I get a good discount on a cartudge working at Best Buy?
 
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Comment

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,584
6,841
Do I run any real risks? Seems like a great deal. Here is the printer -

I have no idea if this is a good deal or not, but I want to mention some of my experiences because they may be things you haven't considered yet.

1) You will be risking that this printer was returned for an intermittent problem, and that the problem did not show up when B&W tested it out. That means you will inherit the intermittent problem (this actually happened to me with an Apple refurb). Not a big deal with an Apple refurb because they provide a full-length warranty. But this printer only has a 90 day warranty instead of the full year.

2) Just about everyone forgets this--but anything you buy with a major credit card likely has the benefit of doubling the manufacturer's warranty, up to one year additional. But this benefit is void for used/refurb products. So you're actually losing out on a 2-year warranty. (Real life example: My iPhone 4 failed about 1.5 years in. This is after Apple's warranty expired, but before VISA's extra year expired. I got it swapped at the Apple store for $200, filed a claim with VISA, and was refunded the repair amount in less than a week.)
 
Comment

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,380
208
Austin, TX
Why so little? Brother printers come with 2500 page "starter" or 3500 page toners. 700 and 1500 sounds quite small to me. Look at the Brother (2370DW I think) usually can be found on sale for $99. Duplex printing WiFi and USB.

Well, not quite - lasers often come with 'half-full' cartridges. AFAIK, the "introductory cartridge" on this printer (http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/printers/hp-laserjet-pro-mfp-m127fn#!&TabName=specs) is still rated at 700 pages (c.f. 1500 for a 'full' cartridge). So, that's still quite a lot of pages for home use.
 
Comment

TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,192
135
Why so little? Brother printers come with 2500 page "starter" or 3500 page toners. 700 and 1500 sounds quite small to me. Look at the Brother (2370DW I think) usually can be found on sale for $99. Duplex printing WiFi and USB.
Its not all in one though is it?
 
Comment

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,040
12,197
Its not all in one though is it?

I don't believe this one is an all in one. I have the 2360DW, and that is just the printer. In fact, I'm thinking of selling it (I've had it for less than a month) to get the 2380DW, which is the 3-in-one, but monochrome laser. The same toner cartridge for the 2360DW and 2340DW fit that, so for the extra $80, it's worth it.

I've gone through 4 HP printers and 2 Canon 3-in-1s, all inkjet, and all of them have broken down on me. So far, I'm impressed with the Brother, to the point where when my mother-in-law was selling her Brother sewing machine, we swooped on it.

BL.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.