Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

by : 
Kim Perkins
January 1, 2011

Question: I need a new copier for my store.
Should I buy it or lease it?

Answer: This is really a tax question for your accountant. Prices on printers that also fax and copy have dropped so low, they are automatically expensed on your taxes. If you need a larger copier and you can pay cash in full, you often can negotiate a very low price. Some companies also offer 90 days same as cash, which would allow you to make three equal payments. Leasing is another option, but be sure to read the terms carefully and make sure the lease rates are explained in actual interest percentage so you know how much you will really be paying.

Kim Perkins is co-owner of Elysian Fields Books & Gifts for Conscious Living (, an award-winning store in Sarasota, Fla. Send your retail questions to