There is an alarming practice growing in the service industry today - the practice of selling used or “pulled printer parts” under the title "refurbished."
The process starts out with the parts vendor purchasing used and defective whole unit printers in large lots. Next they will disassemble, test, package, and sell these components. Some companies even warranty and market these parts under the "refurbished" title.
Of course, with the better part of their life cycle already spent, these parts cost much more in the long run. When a part fails prematurely, the cost is not to the company that supplied the part. It's to the service company that has to pay labor for the service technician to replace the warranty item. Even a warranty plus payment for return shipping hardly offsets the cost to the service company for labor.
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The indirect risk - and potentially the most damaging - is the customer dissatisfaction that this practice creates. The service provider's most important attribute is the confidence the customer has in their ability. The erosion in confidence has an immeasurable price tag.
And for the parts vendor, the lure is the windfall profit. It can be as much as 500 percent. With such margins to be made, it's obvious to see why this problem is growing at an epidemic rate. When a company can buy bulk used printers for under $50, the potential margins are extremely high without a guarantee on the part itself.
Printer service organizations need to be on guard for this rising problem. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
· Ask Questions. Know your vendor. Ask for DOA, NTF and warranty rates? A company that knows itself will monitor and measure its quality.
· Define refurbished. There are degrees, since "refurbished" has various definitions. Is the part partially or completely refurbished? What does the vendor do beyond “fluff and dust" If the claim is that the part is tested, how is that done? What parts have been replaced? For a fuser, 100 percent refurbished means gears, rollers, lamps and picker fingers. Refurbished means "like new," both cosmetically and functionally.
· Inspect the parts received. Check the part and see if it is clean and is a near match to OEM quality. Is there toner buildup, paper dust or general wear and tear on the components? Do they chemically clean or use an abrasive method? Cosmetic appearance could be a good indicator as to the origin.
· Monitor to determine if it's a good vendor. Monitor the overall product quality throughout the life of the business relationship.
· Use a reputable vendor. Most of all, check your future partners out - from your own basic instinct to their reputation. For a service company, it's goal is to establish a relationship with a vendor. As one service professional says: "Price is nice., but a reliable partner is priceless."
If you make the decision to purchase pulled parts, certainly that option is available. Just make sure you are paying the pull part price. Typically, you will pay 80 to 90 percent less than the 100 percent refurbished exchange price.
Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hp printer parts, printers and printer repair training. Parts include hp printer parts such as printer fusers, printer maintenance kits and other hp printer replacement parts. The company's, customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide. Metrofuser has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies five consecutive years.