Third-party Fusers: Are They Good for Your Business?

According to Gartner, “Businesses looking to trim spending on print costs should turn the budget-cutting knife toward operating costs first”. Lower acquisition costs “are a tempting place to try to save money” but these savings “can be easily offset by increased labor and service”.

Recently, an independent testing laboratory ran a series of tests designed to objectively compare the performance of genuine fusers to that of third-party brands. The third-party brands sell their fusers as “having equal performance to that of genuine” fusers. After testing six fusers each from 6 different brands across 15 Lexmark printers and running nearly 6 million pages, here’s what they found.

3 thoughts on “Third-party Fusers: Are They Good for Your Business?

  1. Sounds like an ad by the Lexington, KY chamber of commerce. While I agree that third party fusers tend to fail more often, especially in Lexmark’s, I believe the results and conclusion in this article might be a little misleading.

    First off, how many customers put 300,000 prints on a printer in a year? Most machines would be lucky to see that in 4 to 5 years. Time, environment, and accidents effect fuser life. 100% of Lexmark fusers don’t reach their full life, just saying.

    Second, have you ever tried to sell a fuser that cost half the value of the machine? Doesn’t usually work out the way you want unless the customer is clueless and believes money grows on trees or has a secret love crush on their machine. On most Lexmarks my customers don’t buy OEM toner because of the cost so trying to sell them an expensive OEM fuser just justifies what they already thought. Time to buy a new, possibly, different manufactures machine.

    Third, like anything else, whatever your selling someone is selling it cheaper. In todays world money talks and even though you might be selling a better product the company down the street is probably telling people the same thing. Check out any third party toner company. They all claim to have the best toners that meet OEM quality. This article might help point out that fact but I typically don’t ask my customers to read a research report before buying a part.

    Fourth, most the MPS or contract vendors I deal with by third party Lexmark fusers and toners. So obviously they think the cost is worth the risk and they should know something about it because some of them are quite large MPS vendors. Again, customers are looking at the bottom line and half a cent per page on multiple machines doing thousands of pages adds up real quick to lots of savings.

    This article, while informative, reads more like a political add. Sounds good on the surface but not a real world example of how things usually play out.
    I will say that in the last few years I’ve been dealing more with Lexmark machines and most vendors offer at least 3 versions. The cheap, crap version which it sounds like they bought in this research study. The ones I choose to buy – A professional rebuilt, OEM parts version like what Market Point sells that tend to last longer and is your best buy for the dollar. And last, the OEM version which depending on the model and cost could result in a no sale.

    In my opinion the usage, cost, and the environment are what I base my choice of fuser on. If they are running 150,000 to 300,000 a year I would say OEM. If they do that in 3 to 4 years than Rebuilt OEM parts version. Most customers aren’t going to complain if your replacing a fuser every two to three years even if it doesn’t reach 300,000 prints. Most don’t even know that’s the PM cycle.
    Sorry, had to write this. I’ve waited for somebody else to point out the obvious but since nobody would I thought I would add my two cents. As always just my own personal experience and opinion. Your opinions and results may vary.


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