Pros: Excellent Value. Many features for the money. Canon reliability. Quick start-up time.
Cons: I haven't found any yet.
I recently purchased a Canon Copier Model PC 980. I have been very happy with it.
For features, I will simply state that the Canon PC 980 I purchased has reductions/enlargements from 70%-141%, a 500 page paper source tray, ability to select from 1 to 100 copies, a production rate of 13 copies per minute, a 30 page document feeder, a very short warm up time, exposure choices of automatic, manual, photo, toner saver, and dimensions of approximately 20" wide, 18.5" deep (including cover wire harness), and 15" height. It makes very nice copies.
I purchased this Canon Copier Model PC 980 to replace my ten plus year old Canon PC-20.
I am friendly with my local authorized Canon repairperson. He sees machines come in for repair from all manufacturers, and recommended my buying another Canon and nothing else. My experience has told me the same. My older model ran reliably for over ten years. During that period it needed very minor servicing twice, around years four and eight, mostly a tune-up and a few inexpensive parts for a very low cost. The low life cycle cost of my old Canon and its reliability were reasons I chose to buy another Canon as my replacement machine.
In purchasing a Canon PC 980 to replace my old machine, I looked at prices from all sources. Dealers, Office Supply Stores, auction forums like e-bay, local classifieds, and local live auctions.
The authorized low volume, non-chain store dealers had the highest prices. More than one should pay.
Next in line were the multi-store office supply and electronics stores. For best prices at this type of store, check out www.mysimon.com and http://www.pricegrabber.com, although the PC 980 may soon disappear from these sites as it has been replaced by a newer machine the PC 1060.
There were several PC 980's available on e-bay and in the local classifieds. Machines selling on ebay typically had a $30-$40+ shipping charge added, which I found made the prices there somewhat non-competitive, and not worth the risk of buying a machine unseen and without having the option to check it out in person. The local classifieds had very few PC 980's advertised, but I imagine with time more used machines will be available through the classifieds distribution channel.
I got very lucky when I spotted a local auction listing a Canon Copier PC 980 as part of a lot of office equipment to be auctioned from local business that was closing. I had an opportunity to test the machine the day prior to the auction and all appeared to be in good working order with low use, no scruffs or scratches. The machine still had the original "starter cartridge" in it. These cartridges come with a brand new, in the box, machine and have less toner than the full E-40 cartridge, but it told me the machine most likely had a limited number of copies on it.
I ended up being the high bidder and paid just under $150. That included my high bid, the auctioneers 10% premium, and the local 7% sales tax. The machine I bought was missing the paper exit tray, as were most offered on ebay, and this makes me wonder if there has been a problem with the exit tray. No problem though. I called Canon's 800 number, gave them the model and serial numbers, and within a few minutes they identified the correct part numbers, and entered my order for a replacement paper exit tray for under $10.00. I also found Canon's customer service to be friendly, knowledgeable, efficient, and the replacement part reasonably priced. All considered, I paid less than $160.00 for a few month old, very clean, low use, Canon PC 980. I have been using it for a while and it has run flawlessly. I got a great deal and feel lucky.
Now, for those of you that don't like auctions and want a brand new copier in a sealed box, there are still good deals around. If I was not the high bidder, my alternate plan was to buy one at Staples Office Supply. The regular price at the local Staples stores for the PC 980 had been $549.98 until mid-August 2002, and was recently reduced to a great price of $399.50. Staples no longer plans to offer the PC 980, due to its being replaced by a newer digital model, the PC 1060. As of the date of this write-up, September 4, 2002, Staples and other multi-store office supply stores are selling Canon's newer digital personal copier, the PC 1060 from $550.00 and up. It is a very nice machine too. I could not justify spending $550.00 for a personal copier to use at home. However, if you are willing and have $550 budgeted for a personal copier, the PC 1060 is a really nice machine with all the PC 980 features and a bit more.
Summary -- If you can still find a Canon PC 980 at Staples for their reduced price of $399.00 it's a great deal! They are still selling Canon's lower featured model, the PC 940 for $499.00. I have also seen the PC 940 selling for $399.00 at other stores. So, if you can still find a Staples store with the Canon PC 980 in stock for their reduced price of $399.00, it will be hard to get a better value! If a store wants $550.00 or more for the PC 980, take your money and go elsewhere and get the newer model, the PC 1060 for your $550.00
Be sure to check www.canon.com for model features and thenwww.mysimon.com and http://www.pricegrabber.com for the lowest prices.
The Bottom Line:
Buy the Canon PC 980 if it's features meet your needs.
Pay no more than $399-$450 for a brand new machine.
If you're spending $550 or more consider Canon's newer machine the PC 1060.