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Not even a major purchase price rise stops Ricoh SP C232SF being most economical 20ppm A4 colour MFP

Issue #0920/2 – A massive 47% price increase on the Ricoh SP C232SF, as units bought (by the supplier used as the price source in last week’s article) under a special purchase came to an end, demonstrates more clearly than ever before that the purchase price is almost entirely irrelevant to the long-term Total Cost of Printing of a printer, AiO or MFP.

Ricoh SP C232SFRicoh SP C232SF

Last week – the article showed the Ricoh SP C232SF as the most economical 20ppm A4 colour MFP on the market.

Last week – buyers lucky enough to buy one of the Ricoh SP C232SF from the supplier in question acquired one of the best printer deals they are ever likely to benefit from.

This week – they will still be buying the most economical 20ppm A4 colour MFP on the market despite having to pay £499 for the machine instead of £339.

Nothing has changed, except the scale of the initial capital outlay.

Comparing the two charts below, we see that the SP C232SF jumps from being the cheapest machine to buy to a position where its price is right around the average for the group (3.2% below average). Note that there have been minor price adjustments to several other MFPs in the group, both upwards and downwards, but none that change the comparative situation.

Hardware Purchase – 20ppm A4 Colour MFP

(Ricoh SP C232SF on special offer)


Hardware Purchase – 20ppm A4 Colour MFP

(Ricoh SP C232SF at normal price)


What we should also be aware of here is that this adjustment in position leaves the Kyocera FS-C1020MFP in the unusual position of being the machine with the lowest hardware purchase price!

Because there have been no changes to supplies pricing for any of the machines, the comparison of Total Cost of Printing remains entirely unchanged except for the initial hardware purchase price.

Therefore, we can make a direct comparison between last week’s chart (first chart below) and the Total Cost of Printing when the higher purchase price is taken into account (second chart below).

Total Cost of Printing – 20ppm A4 Colour MFP

(Ricoh SP C232SF on special offer)


Note that the mixed mono/colour CPP over three years shown in the accompanying tables is calculated on the basis of 70% pages in mono and 30% pages in colour; is based on the use of maximum capacity supplies; takes into account any standard, or starter, supplies shipped with the device; and also includes the cost of purchase. All prices are Street Price without tax, from a single UK supplier.

Total Cost of Printing – 20ppm A4 Colour MFP

(Ricoh SP C232SF at normal price)


What this shows is that the cost of the Ricoh MFP has increased by between 0.88 pence per page (17.7% @ 500 pages per month) and 0.15 pence per page (4.9% @ 3,000 pages per month).

In percentage terms this seems to be a large increase – and it certainly is not insignificant. However, at 3,000 pages per month, the Ricoh is still 21.8% less expensive in the long-term than the Oki and, at 500 pages per month, it is 2.6% less expensive than the Samsung.

There is just one brief point at which the SP C232SF loses out and that is at the 1,000 pages per month level where it just loses out to the Konica Minolta and Oki machines because of the high toner yield on the Konica Minolta and high life expectancy of the drums and belt on the Oki.

As both of these machines cost significantly more to buy than the Ricoh in the first place, the risk associated with buying the Ricoh and actually coming to end of life at the critical 36,000 pages (actually between about 28,500 pages and about 36,300 pages) after three years is limited to just a few percentage points on cost. In contrast, the benefits to be gained from owning the SP C232SF at higher page counts are considerable and, at lower page counts, the choice of closely competing machine changes again. The Ricoh SP C232SF is the only machine with a consistently low Total Cost of Printing.

As indicated earlier, this emphasises the importance of the supplies and the relative unimportance of the hardware purchase price in the whole Total Cost of Printing scenario. What it also underlines is the volatility in the market, where a model can be subject to a very significant price reduction as the result of a special purchase in the channel, but that it is essential to know that the device of interest is already one of the most economical in its class before jumping on a special offer simply because the purchase rice is so low.

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