(Paul Watkins 03/09/09)
Next time you run out of ink for your inkjet/photo printer and run to the store to buy new cartridges, take some time to do some pricing. A couple of weeks ago I helped someone who needed a new set of color cartridges for their inkjet/photo combo printer. This was the first time they had had to replace the color cartridges. So we went to the nearest computer/office supply chain store in the area and found that the cartridges cost about $80. That was really exciting! One of the sales people suggested it we could spend the same $80 to buy a new inkjet printer without the photo printing option and the replacement cartridges for that printer only cost half as much.
Printer manufacturers don't make their money on the printers (at least not much). Where they really make it is on the ink cartridges. I once read an article that printer ink actually costs more per ounce than gold. I'm not sure if that's true in our current economy, but I do believe the printer manufacturers have a racket going. They're happy to sell you a printer real cheap knowing you'll have to pay top dollar when you run out of ink. I call it a rip-off, but I'm sure they just call it good business.
So here are some tips to get the most for your money on inkjet printers and ink.
Next time you run out of ink, especially color, compare the price of new ink versus a new printer, just like the incident above.
Don't buy a photo printer if you don't need to. How much will it cost you with ink and photo paper to print your photos, compared to using Walmart's (or other store's) in store and/or online photo service?
When purchasing a printer (inkjet or laser) always see what the replacement cartridges will cost before you decide on the printer.
Instead of buying the name brand cartridges, buy generic or get them refilled at your local Walgreens or other store that refills ink cartridges.
Note: Printer manufacturers will always warn that generic cartridges or refilled cartridges may cause problems or shorten your printer's life. Hmmm ... I'm sure they're being totally honest about that, right? Even if it's completely true, if you get two or three generic refills, you may have saved enough to buy a new printer again. So what can you lose?
Buy your refills online at some place like printpal.com. (google "inkjet refills" for other places) Even their name brand cartridges are cheaper than most retail stores. And their generic cartridges are lots cheaper. (Be sure to factor in the shipping.)
Get your own refill kit. I've been refilling my own for years and have saved hundreds of dollars! Google "inkjet refill kits" for plenty of choices. It is hard to refill ink cartridges without making a mess. And spilled ink can ruin carpets, clothing, etc. Avoid this tip unless you are very careful, prepared, and daring!
Check out this report from Consumersearch.com on "Best Printer Ink" and don't let the Inkjet Racket take any more of your money.
Gnulife Technology - "new life for you and your computer"
(Computer training and repair)
(Windows and Linux expertise)