Buying Ink Cartridges – Is it Cheaper to Just Buy a New Printer?

Come on, be honest: you thought you got a great deal on that computer printer until it was time to replace the ink cartridges. Now, you will understand how companies like Hewlett Packard, Epson, OKI and Canon make such a large amount of money.

These companies are glad to sell canon printer for cash at or below the amount of money it costs to make the printer, knowing that they are going to more than make up for it by selling you replacement cartridges for years to come. Believe it or not, ink and toner sales worldwide total £40 billion per year.

The vast majority of us don’t think to ask the salesman two key things when we are purchasing a printer. The first of which is ‘how long will the cartridge last?’ and the second one is ‘how much does it cost to replace?’. Many people do not know that it is possible that a new cartridge could set you back £75, which is nearly the cost of some inkjet printers! The high replacement cost of ink cartridges has created a huge demand for low cost ink cartridges and ink cartridge refills. There are now a number of alternatives to purchasing a new cartridge from the printer manufacturer.

One way that a large number of people are managing to avoid the high cost of replacement cartridges is by refilling their ink cartridges at home. There are quite a vast number of in-home kits available that contain the ink you require, in addition to an ink syringe for completing the refill. While you can save a great deal of money this way, it can be very messy to do the job at home on your own. There are stores like Cartridge World in the UK, or Walgreens in the US which will refill cartridges for you for a small fee (which is much less than the cost of a replacement cartridge).

If – like many people – you don’t want to go through the laborious process of refilling your ink cartridges, there are now several discounters who are offering either remanufactured or compatible cartridges for sale. Remanufactured ink cartridges are ones that have been recycled and then refilled with ink. Compatible cartridges are often unbranded or third-party brands which will work with probably all of the top brands of printer. The amount of money you can save on remanufactured or compatible cartridges can total 50-75% less than the brand name alternative.

Even though printer manufacturers will always try and convince you that you have to use their replacement cartridges, independent experts say that is not the case. For the vast majority of uses, low cost ink will work just as well as the ink in the much more expensive branded cartridges like those created by Hewlett Packard, Epson, OKI and Canon. The one big exception is if you are wanting to print colour photos. Research has shown that in some cases, low cost ink could fade over time and the image won’t appear to be as sharp.


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