A thermal ribbon printer costs between $500-$1,800. There are dramatic differences in product offerings so make sure to do some research. This way your purchase will match your needs. While portable ribbon printing machines are relatively new to the market, you do have choices when selecting a machine and the company you'd like to work with.
Here are some things to consider:
Software Quality - These printers run off a software program on your computer. Just like your paper printer. If you want to print words with simple fonts and no images, you can go with a basic program. If you'd like to add graphics and logos, look for a program that has been designed specifically to work with a ribbon printer in this manner.
Consumable Availability - The only consumables needed are the ribbon and the "ink rolls" that transfer the print onto the ribbon. Different companies call these different things. They may be referred to as foils, films, or printer ribbons. Check out the selection, turnaround, and ordering procedures for these products. If it's important to you ... Does the company have an online shopping cart? Do they offer colors over and above just black? Can you order ribbon from them also? How long does it take to receive your order?
Printer Support - If you are technically inclined and computer savvy, you may not need any support at all. The printer is relatively easy to operate however, there is a learning curve involved. Think about what you will do if you run into a problem. Will want help? Make sure the company you purchase from provides this. Remember, any company can say they will assist you. Do your research and make sure this is actually true!
Printer Maintenance - This is one thing you really don't have to worry about. Unless you are going to be throwing the printer at the wall, these machines hold up like workhorses. Check to make sure there is some type of warranty on your printer but a year will suffice. Once you've made your selection, purchase and enjoy your new ribbon printer. It's a great piece of equipment to have for branding your products, adding customization, and bringing in new business.
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