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Why Should You Buy An Expensive Writing Instrument

Why would you buy an expensive writing instrument (pens)

Pens are an absolute must to write on paper. It is necessary for every person, irrespective of the profession or trade they may be into to buy good quality pens that are not only functional and offers flawless writing, but also feel good to hold and can enhance the user’s personality. There are available pens from different brands and prices. The best ones are sure to have a great feel while you’re writing

Ink pens

Today, pens are regarded to be a combination of chemical, mechanical engineering and ergonomics. You can find one for every type of writing, style and occasion. There are many who are interested in getting the best quality writing instruments right from their school days. The fountain pen has always been quite popularly used across the globe for a very long time. Although ball pens are considered to be the most used, fountain pens still are quite popular with those who prefer style and grace in their writing. There are available expensive ink pens from different brands that do appear appealing for giving signatures on documents.

Why own an expensive fountain pen?

People in huge numbers and from all walks of life are ready to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a good quality writing instrument. Some of the reasons to buy expensive fine fountain are as follows:

  • Gold nib: You can easily find fountain pen nibs that are made from gold. You can feel a unique writing experience that is smoother, softer and much more satisfying. Moreover, gold is much costly than steel.
  • Collectible: There are hundreds of collectors who just love to have limited edition pens that are quite expensive.
  • Quality: With a good quality expensive pen, you are sure to get what you actually pay for. By spending more on the expensive fountain pen, craftsmanship and materials used are likely to be far more superior. It can be similar to that of buying jewelry created from gemstones and genuine gold, when compared to purchasing costume jewelry.
  • Filling system: Piston styled ink filling system is preferred by many writers rather than the converter/cartridge filling type. Such pens are quite commonly found among the expensive variety.
  • Family heirloom: Good quality pens can last for a life time and can be handed over to several generations. Many writers are known to treasure writing with the fountain pen which was used by any of their forefathers. It is possible to pass on fond memories by passing the fountain pen to children and grandchildren.
  • Design: Apart from being functional, few fountain pens can be treated as compact art work.
  • Status: There are places where status does matter a lot. It is here that classy pens tend to convey the right message of success. It shows impeccable taste of the owner, something that is not achieved with those cheap ballpoint pens.
  • Less waste: It is only a good quality pen that will write for several years. If ink is exhausted, then it does not have to be tossed out in the trash. Instead, it can be refilled with choice of ink.

The above reasons should be good enough for you to invest in good quality expensive pens. And on top of looking first class, you’ll feel first class too.

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Do You Really Need That Color Copier?

copier, office, scanner, fax machine, office equipment, color printer, are color printers worth the cost, printer costs, printer ink

Copiers have evolved dramatically over the past 15 years and while that may sound like a good thing, it’s not really so good for the copier manufacturers. This may mean that it’s also not so good for you – the user.

As background, 15 years ago, copiers were just starting to evolve from the older analog models to digital platforms. What’s the difference? Analog units worked by reflecting light off of a document and then ‘bouncing” it through a series of mirrors to a drum where it would “charge” the drum to attract toner that it would then transfer to paper. Pass the paper through a heat roller to bond the toner to the paper and you had your copy. To make multiple copies, you had to scan multiple times – “Scan many, print many.”

Copiers were traditionally sold on a three year lease with a “click charge”. There was a monthly charge for the lease and then a charge per copy for every copy run. That charge per copy (click charge) includes both the cost of the toner, which the vendor supplier as well as the maintenance of the unit by the vendor’s service people.

These units were never going to be as reliable as other office equipment because of the high use and the repetitive mechanical action. Vendors could easily upgrade customers to the next great thing because people grew tired of their unreliable old copier. Leases were written for three years and were easy to “roll over”.

The industry then began to evolve to Digital Copiers. These would scan the copy, store it in memory and print it out as many times as needed. These were the “Scan once, print many” generation. They were inherently more reliable because of the fewer moving parts and they allowed the vendors to build in many optional features that would help increase the cost.

These features included using the copier as a shared printer, a fax machine, and a scanner to both email and to storage. Print volume went up, vendors were happy and customers enjoyed the new reliability. And that then became the vendor’s problem.

Because the units were more reliable and had so many features available, buyers and users were reluctant to upgrade as often. Vendors began to run out of new features to incent upgrades. To keep the revenue stream going, they turned to color.

Color copiers had been around for years. They produced high quality “glossy” copies at a high price and a very high click charge. This was usually kept down in the copy room and required approval to be used. What the vendors came up with now was “business color”. This color was great for graphs, bar charts and power point presentations with more of a “matte” finish, and was at a much lower cost than the big color printer.

To build the revenue, they started making it standard on a full line of copiers. Now everyone could have color. But, while the color pricing was much lower than in the past, it was still higher than the black and white cost. And, because the printer could print both black and white and color, the black and white cost was slightly higher. Win-win for the vendors. A higher black and white cost and the potential for still higher color cost that they never got before on the basic office copiers.

Today, color is common and is driving the revenue for the vendors. The question you need to ask as users is, do I really need this? If yes, do I need to control it somehow? Imagine all of those little league schedules and apple pie recipes that everyone uses the office copier for, now being printed in color. It can be controlled by using passwords to access the color capability or by having software to charge each department for the copies they print. In the end though, the best control may be to still only have black and white copiers for the floor use and just a few of the business color copiers that are controlled. In the end, color costs money.

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IS THERE STILL VALUE TO POSTAGE METERS?

postage meters, postage, shipping, shipping costs, stamps, stamp prices

Before looking at the meters you have to understand how today’s postage rates are set up.  The recent reduction has moved the cost of the basic one ounce stamp back to 47 cents.  The cost for the oversized envelope is 94 cents for the first ounce.  Now here’s the price that might make the meter worthwhile – the cost of the second ounce for either is only 21 cents.  Think about how many times you’ve just put that second forever stamp on an envelope when you weren’t sure how much it weighed.

So, does your office need a meter?  Of course the answer depends on how much you mail.  In a very low volume mailing situation, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Just make sure you buy the right stamps.

Once your volume goes up however, there can be some great savings with a meter.  Savings can come in different ways.  First, you can save the hassle of going to the Post Office that gets more understaffed every day.  Today’s meters by law are all digital and postage can be downloaded electronically.  You just need an account with your meter providor.  And running mail through the meter is a lot easier than peeling and sticking the stamps on.  (And much easier than printing out postage on your printer from one of the dot.com postage companies.)

The second savings comes from putting the accurate postage on each piece.  Years ago, I attended a sales convention of a large postage meter company.  Their entire presentation was built around “the sale starts with a scale”.  The real value comes from having an electronic scale that ties into the meter to accurately weigh and meter each piece.

The entire financial justification of a meter (and scale) is that your savings from putting the proper postage on the piece will offset the cost of the hardware.  Now, understand the costs.  By law, you can only rent the meter from the meter companies.  That’s USPS money that sits in those meters and they want to keep control.  You can however buy or lease the scale.  Figure the cost of the meter rental (less than $30/mo) and the scale lease (maybe $20/mo) versus the savings in both postage and convenience and the more professional appearance of metered mail.
Every business is different and you have to take a look at your situation to see if metering makes good business sense.  Hopefully, this blog post has explained some of the basics you need to make a decision.

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Are Fax Machines Still Useful? Part One.

Are Fax Machines still useful? Part One. 

Of course they are. While fax machine usage has dropped significantly in this email age, businesses still can’t let them go.

Why?

-Ease of use. It’s still the easiest way to get a copy of a document from here to there.

-Reliability. When’s the last time you had a fax problem?

-Urgency. They deliver a printed document in just seconds.

-Legality. Most states accept a fax copy as a legal document. Most don’t accept a normal email.

Accepting this, the next question is, how can I save money on these machines I need?

-Step one: Get rid of the machines you don’t need. Fax machines were all over the office 10 years ago. Identify the few you still use and get rid of the rest.

Many were actually rented from the dealer. More were purchased. You should try to cancel the rentals immediately. The dealer will try to offer a buyout price but if you don’t use them, they have no value.

Donate or trash the machines you own. Before you do, check to see if the toner or ink cartridge has any life left. If you are keeping the same model, saving and using these cartridges can save you money.

 

Once you get the fax count down to a useful level, check your phone bill. If you have a digital PBX or switchboard, many of these still required an analog line for the fax. That is a plain old voice line. You still pay for that every month. You may have been paying for phone lines for years that have never been used.

Finally, check your maintenance bills from your fax dealer. You should cancel the maintenance contract on machines you get rid of but also check to see that you’re not being billed for machines that you took out of service long ago. If you don’t tell the dealer they don’t know.

Watch this space for Part Two – more money saving tips for your office – coming soon.