Cheap ID Card Printer Considerations

Purchasing a photo ID card printer makes a lot of sense for many industries. We often get asked questions like “What is a good, cheap ID card printer?”. When looking for a card printer should price be the only concern? There are a very things to consider along with ‘Cheap’

Many companies are discovering that security for their business is now more critical than ever. With the increasing need to protect businesses from theft, impersonation, and unauthorised visits, security ID’s are an important part of the employee uniform.

Photo ID cards do more than just protect, they also help managers keep track of employee’s time with electronic access and time management systems. Cards are often also given to customers as a way to offer perks or memberships. Since there are many important uses of photo ID cards, more companies are looking towards investing in ID card printers. However, with the range of different ID card printers available on the market, businesses may wonder which one is best for their needs. Some businesses may not have a big budget for photo ID printing and they need to minimise costs. So, what is the best route for a business in this situation?

Here are 4 things to keep in mind when buying a cheap ID card printer.

1. The Cost of Consumables

One factor for you to keep in mind when purchasing a photo ID printer is the cost of your consumables. The price of your card printer ribbons is important for your overall investment in a printer.

You may invest in an inexpensive printer, but what about the cost of the printer ribbon. The type of card printer you select determines the cost of your ink. It will affect your overall price. Understanding how much replacement printer ribbon and film is, and how long it will last will let you evaluate your total cost of ownership.

It’s important to get the proper photo ID printer to match your needs, whether you have high or low volume, and then ensure you pair it with the best corresponding printer ribbon to be most economical.

You may be able to save up to 30% by making the right choices in both printer and ribbon.

2. Maintenance and Support

When considering purchasing a cheap plastic card printer, even though you’re only printing small volumes – you want to think in terms of longevity. It may be tempting to think in terms of it’s cheap so i’ll take the risk. 

You still need to consider the reason you’re looking to purchase a printer in the first place. If you actually do need to print cards – How frustrating is it going to be if you need to send your printer away (potentially overseas) for support or repairs?

You want to take into consideration the printer’s build, its quality, and its reliability. How long is it likely to last? If you do a higher volume of printing than just a few hundred cards, how long will it last?

Is it going to break down or require maintenance? If so, what is the service, maintenance and ongoing support offered on a cheap ID card printer?

In other words, you may buy a cheap card printing machine now, but if you must keep purchasing these lower-end models every couple of years, then you’re not really saving money after all.  

3. The cost of time

Lower-end models typically do not have the same automated feeds and software capabilities as the higher-end printers do. This means it may take more time and require much more of a manual process to issue your cards.

How much is your time worth? Maybe you have the time to put into the extra labour that it will cost you. However, if you are like most businesses, you would rather invest your time in other business endeavours and have staff attending to your customers needs or generating business rather than printing cards.

4. Cost of Poor Print Quality

If you compare the quality of a cheap plastic card printer with that of a higher-end printer, you will see the difference!

How important is quality to your business?

Will a substandard ID card be worth the cheap price you paid for the printer?

Often cheaper ID printers don’t produce the same quality of card, and are more susceptible to mis printing and overall wastage. Again, extra wastage and re-prints are going to increase your overall costs to print cards.

These are questions to consider when thinking about investing in a cheap photo ID printer.

Looking at all the factors involved in purchasing a new photo card printer is the first step in making an informed decision.