Why do printer ink cartridges cost so damn much? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-05-2010, 07:45 PM
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Why do printer ink cartridges cost so damn much?



Seriously, I think it's ridiculous. I bought an HP ink cartridge at Rite-Aid several days ago; they charged me $43 (rounded off) for ONE single cartridge. I bought another one at CVS Pharmacy today; they charged me 45 dollars! My mother found a three-pack of them at Costco which cost about twice as much as what I paid for one cartridge, but not everyone has access to a Costco.



They can't be that expensive to make, can they? Is this basically an agreement between the ink cartridge manufacturers and the stores to rip off customers?



Both stores I was in sell a 10-pack of Bic ballpoint pens for about $3. Why can't ink cartridges cost what they're worth? I think 10 or 15 bucks is way more reasonable for something like that.



I was considering getting the old ones refilled as a way to save money, and I knew Walgreens would do it, but when I checked this out on the internet, there were reviews from customers all saying that the refilled cartridges didn't work and don't bother.



Sorry, this is a long time in coming. I just think it's stupid that stores charge so damn much for one single ink cartridge. Anyone else feel the same way?



/rant

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#2 Old 01-05-2010, 07:49 PM
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It depends on your printer. We used to have one that was way expensive for cartridges. Upon a recommendation we picked up a Canon Pixma 3000 and now we can get about 5 cartridges with shipping for about 8 bucks. Otherwise, you pay out the wazoo.

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#3 Old 01-05-2010, 08:05 PM
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They practically give printers away for free so they can make their real money selling you the ink cartridges. I buy my HP cartridges online at databazaar.
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#4 Old 01-05-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

They practically give printers away for free so they can make their real money selling you the ink cartridges. I buy my HP cartridges online at databazaar.



Yep, many companies actually lose money on the printers themselves. You could just get a dot matrix printer

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#5 Old 01-05-2010, 08:46 PM
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Their profit is in the ink.
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#6 Old 01-05-2010, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger View Post

They practically give printers away for free so they can make their real money selling you the ink cartridges. I buy my HP cartridges online at databazaar.



Wow! It's cheaper there! Thanks for the tip.

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#7 Old 01-05-2010, 09:14 PM
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I had a friend who bought an HP printer at WalMart (who are known for stupidly easy returns) and when the included ink ran out, he just returned the whole printer for a new one (with ink included). He did that repeatedly, and never paid for ink (until his conscience got the better of him).



There's always the option of refilling (messy and potentially damaging to your printer), taking empty cartridges to be refilled (some office supply stores offer the service. Some will give a recycling discount for empty catridges you bring in), buying off-brand replacement cartridges. But in the end, the printer ink business model is pretty solid. They create a need for a product, and make the product artificially expensive (http://www.cockeyed.com/science/gallon/liquid.html a bit outdated, but still quite revealing).

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#8 Old 01-05-2010, 09:16 PM
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I know what your saying...I usually stock up at Costco...or when the stores have a sale and in a pinch I get them at walmart or target.
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#9 Old 01-05-2010, 11:58 PM
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I refill my black cartridges with this kit. I've done it at least 4 times and I'm not even half way through with it! It's not really messy at all, just make sure you read the instructions. It's worth a shot to me. I've saved probably $100 by now. I use it for my HP printer. I know it works for a lot of different brands/models, though.



Also, I think costco has a refilling service. I think it's like $4ish a cartridge depending on what kind you need. I prefer to do it myself because I'll never get around to going to costco to get it done and I only paid $10 for the kit. Plus, it's even cheaper now.
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#10 Old 01-06-2010, 03:40 AM
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In the past I actually bought whole new printers instead of getting more ink. It was cheaper to buy a $20 printer with new ink instead of spending $45 for two cartridges. I also tried the refill yourself kits which didn't work out well for me at all. I made a huge mess and got ink all over myself and my computer desk/chair. It was a pain trying to make a little tiny whole in the plastic cartridge and then trying to squeeze ink into it. I like the idea of Walgreens refilling them but unfortunetly none of the stores around here do it. They send them away to be refilled and then you have to wait a few weeks to get them back.
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#11 Old 01-06-2010, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderRandy View Post

I had a friend who bought an HP printer at WalMart (who are known for stupidly easy returns) and when the included ink ran out, he just returned the whole printer for a new one (with ink included). He did that repeatedly, and never paid for ink (until his conscience got the better of him).



There's always the option of refilling (messy and potentially damaging to your printer), taking empty cartridges to be refilled (some office supply stores offer the service. Some will give a recycling discount for empty catridges you bring in), buying off-brand replacement cartridges. But in the end, the printer ink business model is pretty solid. They create a need for a product, and make the product artificially expensive (http://www.cockeyed.com/science/gallon/liquid.html a bit outdated, but still quite revealing).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebie_marketing

razor plus blades



of course i tend to buy the generic blades.

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#12 Old 01-06-2010, 06:29 AM
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Printers and cartridges use the "Freebie Marketing" model, a concept of King C. Gillette the inventor of the disposable safety razor.



From Wikipedia:



Freebie marketing, also known as the razor and blades business model, is the concept of either giving away a salable item for nothing or charging an extremely low price to generate a continual market for another, generally disposable, item.



P.S. eBay is the place to go for cheapest prices from my research.
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#13 Old 01-06-2010, 08:12 AM
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EDIT: I swear I didn't see Yamato's post before posting my reply....





Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

Why do printer ink cartridges cost so damn much?



Seriously, I think it's ridiculous. I bought an HP ink cartridge at Rite-Aid several days ago; they charged me $43 (rounded off) for ONE single cartridge. I bought another one at CVS Pharmacy today; they charged me 45 dollars! My mother found a three-pack of them at Costco which cost about twice as much as what I paid for one cartridge, but not everyone has access to a Costco.

/rant



It's the "Gillete business model", being used by the printer companies.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebie_marketing

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#14 Old 01-06-2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

EDIT: I swear I didn't see Yamato's post before posting my reply....



It's the "Gillete business model", being used by the printer companies.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebie_marketing



I swear I didn't see otomik's post either.
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#15 Old 01-06-2010, 03:30 PM
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your best bet for lost cost printing is to buy the brother printers and get the cartridge refills on ebay. i do this and it's dirt cheap. that 30 dollar cartridge is maybe 5 bucks this way.
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#16 Old 01-06-2010, 03:59 PM
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Just buy generic compatible cartridges. If you use a lot, then consider fitting a CISS system
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#17 Old 01-06-2010, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderRandy View Post

I had a friend who bought an HP printer at WalMart (who are known for stupidly easy returns) and when the included ink ran out, he just returned the whole printer for a new one (with ink included). He did that repeatedly, and never paid for ink (until his conscience got the better of him).



There's always the option of refilling (messy and potentially damaging to your printer), taking empty cartridges to be refilled (some office supply stores offer the service. Some will give a recycling discount for empty catridges you bring in), buying off-brand replacement cartridges. But in the end, the printer ink business model is pretty solid. They create a need for a product, and make the product artificially expensive (http://www.cockeyed.com/science/gallon/liquid.html a bit outdated, but still quite revealing).



i have an extremely rich neighbor who does this sort of thing all the time. if she wants to use a tool or a piece of equipment, she buys it, uses it, and returns it. according to her, "home depot or lowe's can afford it". she recently had a pressure washer out of warranty with a problem. she went to lowe's and bought another (same model), then put the old one in the box and returned it for a refund. i find that to be pretty sleazy. these people are easily multimillionaires.
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#18 Old 01-06-2010, 05:01 PM
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Laser printers are great. A new name brand toner cartridge for my printer is like $40 and lasts 2,500 pages and the quality IMO is better compared to inkjet. If you can deal with the potential for getting toner all over the place (I can't), refilling is ridiculously cheap, too. The times I need to print stuff in color (I can't remember the last time) I print it at a copy store for $.25 or so a page.



Kodak claims to sell cheaper ink for their printers, but monochrome laser printers are only $100 these days and are still a much better deal.

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#19 Old 01-07-2010, 07:13 AM
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I bought a printer back in 2004 and have yet to buy new cartridges because they are SO EXPENSIVE. It's an Epson and back when I got it, I was looking at $40 EACH and mine requires 3 (black, color, and photo quality). I was at Target the other day looking at printers and there were a couple brands that had reasonable priced refills (like Kodak).



I'm going to check ebay, hope my printer still works
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#20 Old 01-07-2010, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

I bought a printer back in 2004 and have yet to buy new cartridges because they are SO EXPENSIVE. It's an Epson and back when I got it, I was looking at $40 EACH and mine requires 3 (black, color, and photo quality). I was at Target the other day looking at printers and there were a couple brands that had reasonable priced refills (like Kodak).



I'm going to check ebay, hope my printer still works



You should check out the Canon Pixma series. We have the 3000 and it should be pretty cheap on ebay. Ours uses 4 colors and it's about 8 dollars with shipping for a full refill on the Ebay.

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#21 Old 01-07-2010, 08:40 AM
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You should check out the Canon Pixma series. We have the 3000 and it should be pretty cheap on ebay. Ours uses 4 colors and it's about 8 dollars with shipping for a full refill on the Ebay.



I'll check into it if I can't get my old printer to work. Later today I'll track it down and search ebay for ink.
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#22 Old 01-07-2010, 08:43 AM
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Found my printer, but the cords are nowhere to be found. Damn.
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#23 Old 01-07-2010, 08:43 AM
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I print everything off at uni because black and white A4 is free
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#24 Old 01-07-2010, 08:47 AM
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If you find printer cartridges expensive, you're not looking in the right places.

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#25 Old 01-07-2010, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papayamon View Post

i have an extremely rich neighbor who does this sort of thing all the time. if she wants to use a tool or a piece of equipment, she buys it, uses it, and returns it. according to her, "home depot or lowe's can afford it". she recently had a pressure washer out of warranty with a problem. she went to lowe's and bought another (same model), then put the old one in the box and returned it for a refund. i find that to be pretty sleazy. these people are easily multimillionaires.



When I worked in retail this was a daily occurances by repeat offenders.
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#26 Old 01-07-2010, 03:53 PM
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The small metropolitan area city ( as the Feds call it) where I work has issued a new "no inkjet printer cartridges will be purchased" policy and the entire city will now print to networked and leased Xerox copiers. Last fiscal year, the city spent $50,000 on inkjet cartridges.
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#27 Old 01-07-2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Eleven View Post

The small metropolitan area city ( as the Feds call it) where I work has issued a new "no inkjet printer cartridges will be purchased" policy and the entire city will now print to networked and leased Xerox copiers. Last fiscal year, the city spent $50,000 on inkjet cartridges.



WOW...

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