We Know: How to Buy a Fax Machine

Why buy a fax machine?

When looking for a fax machine, consider quality, price and special features. If you need to send faxes but not receive them, consider a fax modem as an alternative.

Things to consider before purchasing

Before buying your fax machine, keep these things in mind:

  • Unless you will be faxing quite a bit, you may not need a dedicated phone line for the fax machine. Some fax machines can determine if an incoming signal is for a fax or if it is a voice call.
  • Office supply stores will frequently offer rebates on popular items like fax machines. If you are not in a hurry to purchase your machine, watch for rebates or sales that may come up. Sometimes sales staff can tell you when the next sale will be held and if it will include what you are interested in buying.
  • Save your receipt. Some stores will promise to match their competitor's price or else refund you the difference on the purchase price. You may be able to take advantage of their offer.

When shopping for a fax machine

Here are some shopping tips:

  1. Decide what features you want. Among them decide if you need phone, copying, Call Waiting and/or Caller ID capability. The ability to store received faxes when the machine runs out of paper is a nice feature, as is being able to feed multiple pages, and broadcast faxing to multiple recipients.
  2. Compare the maximum fax resolution.
  3. Time is money. Compare the pages-per-minute printing speed, modem speed, and fax transmission speed.
  4. Comparing costs among fax machines is complicated by the machine’s price versus the paper and ink costs, plus the fax machine’s transmission speed. Depending on the type of paper and ink the machine uses, the costs for supplies vary. Some stores will provide each fax machine’s cost per page. This is especially handy for comparison purposes. Keep in mind that what you save overall can be offset by your phone bill if you are faxing long distance and the machine transmits pages slowly.

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