Printer People (PP) was established in 2004. From the outset PP has been a real innovator in the field of printer consumables, printers, multi-functions and facsimile machines for business and home use.
Having been involved in computing since 1987, then the re-manufacture of laser toner cartridges and the repair and refurbishment of laser printers in 2003, the passionate founder of PP saw a market for a specialist retail model for the printer and consumable industry – but with a real difference. PP staff are technicians and PP is NOT a franchise.
The background of the founder and his experience in IT and management and his partner’s customer service experience really developed the concept. In 2003 our vision was inspired by the the digital camera craze and the potential growth of home printing. We had also come to realise there are many fly-by-nighters in the printer consumable industry which is highly unregulated. PP’s point of difference from the very start has always been honesty and integrity.
The PP concept was further developed from consumer input and personal experience over the years. PP found that consumers were tired of buying expensive genuine consumables, which was almost monopolised by the OEMs. They also disliked many of the alternatives on offer like: messy refill kits, poor quality generics and non-technician refillers that damaged their printer. Over the last few years, foreign on-line stores and large electrical chains have made it more difficult for consumers to get specialist printer and consumable advice. It can be costly when a sales person sells a printer based on their commission. PP analyses every clients needs through usage patters.
Whilst there were many reputable refillers, there were just as many bad ones (drillers & fillers) in what seems to be an unregulated after-market industry. Basically, there were too many amateurs and websites out there just waiting to rip users off and/or damage their printer (cartridge savings can be a false economy when you have expensive printer repairs down the track). You may save “up to 50%” by refilling but PP will “save your printer and your $$$ !!!”
PP research also found that most consumers have on more than one occasion bought the wrong printer, fax or multifunction for their needs. Some simply did not consider running costs and/or their usage patterns before buying. Many did not know the differences between various ink and laser systems and did not know the differences in cartridges types. But most had been caught by an unqualified sales person who was just keen to make a sale and/or get a commission. We reckon that buying a specialist printing machine from a non-technician is like buying meat from a greengrocer – risky.
Hence Printer People became a reality in July 2004. Consumer feedback since then has confirmed the PP concept. Hence the remarkable success of Printer People, which has grown mainly from word-of-mouth, sponsorship of local community organisations and schools and with minimal direct marketing.
The trust of PP from manufacturer’s and distributors within the industry saw PP become an Authorised Warranty Centre for Brother, Konica-Minolta and Samsung Print (now HP Print). PP has also performed Extended Warranty work for National Warranty Services. By 2017 we no longer did much warranty or repair work due to the low cost of printers, however we remain as Authorised Resellers of Brother, Canon and Kyocera.
Due to popular demand, PP began servicing Windows-based PCs and laptops within a few months of commencement. Indeed, this quickly became the majority of our service work and remained like that for many years. Although PP intended to specialise in printers per se, too many locals knew PP’s MD and his IT background.
Again, feedback revealed most consumers were dissatisfied with most mobile IT technicians as they were unqualified and uncertified. Getting a mobile IT technician to return to rectify shoddy work is near impossible so they felt more secure bringing their IT work to a shopfront with a physical presence. Until IT technicians require a Gold Licence or licence like tradespersons, this will unfortunately continue. But with our “no fix, no fee” policy our clients are even more comfortable – and we had never had to not charge (unless the hardware was totally dead).
In early 2010 we agreed with our landlord to voluntarily relocate to a new store within our current centre, Helensvale Plaza, to make way for Bendigo Bank – a Helensvale Community Project. Without financial gain but with a lot of hard work, this enabled us to create Techs In Black Computers (TiBC) which had previously operated within Printer People since 2004. So, from 1st July 2010, we operated two centres of excellence – one for printers and one for computers.
This new TiBC concept really took off and both businesses were rewarded for all their hard work. Indeed, our community spirit in relocating has been appreciated as the Helensvale community really got behind us from day one and we are now constantly run off our feet. A win-win-win-win for everyone. TiBC was sold in August 2014 due to health reasons of the founder. Unfortunately the new owner closed TiBC in November 2015 due to personal reasons.
The good news is that in 2018 we opened our online store www.printerinkpeople.com.au to give our customers the option to shop in-store or online. This can be accessed via the large pink button at the top centre of our home website www.printerpeople.com.au. The online store is linked to eBay but buying direct from our online store is cheaper due to eBay and PayPal fees.