Is buying a reconditioned Zebra label printer a good idea? Are used thermal printers worth the money or is it be better to buy a new one?
Zebra thermal label printers, available from Amazon, save time and ink for those who print a lot of shipping labels or other 4×6 labels, and in many cases, a used or reconditioned one is just as good as a new one. There is very little that can go wrong with them.
These durable printers are perfect for shipping labels and a variety of other label types. And since they print by applying heat to heat-sensitive labels, they don’t use ink. That means no cartridges to change.
Amazon offers a variety buying choices for reconditioned Zebra printers. While these printers can cost $300 to $400 new, used printers cost a fraction of that.
I bought my Zebra LP 2844 thermal label printer used and couldn’t be happier. For several years, I printed dozens of labels several times a week. My usage has slowed now, but I still use it more than once a week and I have never had to make any repairs of any kind.
What’s even better, these printers are completely compatible with Endicia, the Internet postage printing outfit that is a popular choice for many sellers and that I was already using with my earlier printer anyway.
You may have some problems if you want to print labels with USPS Shipping Assistant, and any kind of thermal label printer can be a bit cumbersome to use with PayPal’s built-in shipping system.
I print 4×6 labels, the industry standard for shipping labels. My Zebra LP 2844 will not print anything wider than four inches, but it can also print smaller labels if necessary.
Be aware that you may need to buy a new cable if you buy an older printer. Most LP 2844’s can be connected to your computer using modern USB connectors, but some older printers come with a different kind of cable.
Some computers will not automatically recognize a Zebra thermal printer, so be ready to visit Zebra’s website to download the driver you need to make it work on your machine. Note that on some computers, you may have to download a special, more compatible ZDesigner driver from Zebra even though other drivers may also be listed for your operating system. All of these drivers are free, however.
Zebra thermal printers are a great alternative to using sheets of labels in an inkjet or laser printer because the labels feed automatically, so you don’t have to fumble with the sheets or remember the next printing position.
While there are a few wasted labels on each role due to wrinkling toward the end of the roll, you can choose to use flat labels that feed in through the back of the printer instead — as long as you have adequate room on your desk or printer stand for them.
A Zebra printer is also a great alternative to some other thermal printers like the DYMO LabelWriter because they do not need special labels. The labels for many other printers are available from a limited number of sources and often cost much, much more. Remember to compare the cost per label, not per package or roll.
Of course, purchasing a new Zebra LP 2844 printer gets you factory warranty to guarantee its reliability, but I’m happy with my used one, and I think a used or refurbished Zebra label printer will be perfect for you too.