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Printer ink cartridges: why you're paying more but getting a lot less

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posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 03:04 AM
Printer companies have been accused of squeezing increasing amounts of cash out of the consumer.

The sky-high price of printer ink – measure for measure more expensive than vintage champagne – has been well documented. Less well-known is the fact that the amount of ink in the average cartridge has shrunk dramatically. Newer cartridges contain a fraction of the ink a similar product contained a decade ago.

A decade ago, the best-selling HP cartridge had 42ml of ink and sold for about £20. Today, the standard printer cartridges made by HP may contain as little as 5ml of ink but sell for about £13. Worst value, say the experts, are the colour cartridges. All three leading players, including Canon, sell single tri-colour cartridges – cyan, magenta and yellow – often with less than 2ml of ink per colour. They're very bad value because when one of the three colours runs out the entire cartridge stops working.

The big printer manufacturers have reduced the amount of ink in a cartridge, encrypted the chip technology, and used aggressive marketing tactics to discourage refills. The printer companies dispute that they are squeezing consumers to ramp up profits.

The Guardian

I had an old Epson C80 for years. It had printed out literally thousands and thousands of pages. I bought refilled cartridges. They lasted a long time.

I bought a new Epson printer about 5 years ago to replace it when the C80 finally gave up the ghost.

When the new printer printed, I could literally see the ink meter going down. Frightening and expensive stuff.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 03:55 AM
I didn’t think ink was such a scarce resource... Can’t say it’s something I’ve ever really given great thought to. Sounds like few extra players need to enter the market with greater ink volume and lower prices.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:50 AM
reply to post by BlindBastards

The chipping and eliminating refill kits is what has really done it too.... It's often cheaper to take a thumb drive to a Staples and print than using my own printer (for a big print job).

If you want to be economical, you have to invest in an expensive laser printer and the cartridges. They cost more, but you get way more economy out of it...but I don't print enough to justify it.

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by ollncasino

No doubt about it, ink is liquid gold...

"$10,000 per gallon of ink? OPEC, EAT YOUR HEART OUT! -- Currently, HP's Magenta ink for its Photosmart 8200 series sells for $9.99 at most stores along with the required Y, Lc, Lm, B, and C inks at the same price. However, HP only puts 3.5ml in the M cartridge, 4ml in the C, 5.5ml in the Lc and Lm, and 6ml in the Y. Do the math and the Magenta ink is $2.85/ml (compared to $1.15/ml for all colors in Canon's Chromalife #8 ink set and $1/ml for its #6 inks). Ok, HP's inks may produce prints that last longer than Canon's, but there are 3,785 ml in a gallon, making the final price for magenta ink an astronomical $10,788/gal! " I'm in the wrong business.

The ink business pulls in more profit than a high-end Cat House when a ship full of Navy boys pulls up to port.

Buy a good quality monochrome laser printer. It's the best bang for the buck out there. 1000's of pages per cartridge. As Gazrok noted, the carttridges are pricey, but you get a lot more in comparison.
edit on 2/25/2013 by Klassified because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 10:17 AM
I have an ink jet printer that I used about once every six months. The ink dries up during this time. So ink was costing $80 for every six months
which was only one print job....

The cost of black and white laser printers is now so low and the ink doesn't dry up. Perfect for how much I use it.
Mine cost $40, on sale, and came with a partially filled toner.
I've done lots of printing, and haven't run out of toner yet.
If the colour lasers come down more in price, I'll get one of them too.


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