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Why are printers cheap and replacement ink cartridges so expensive?

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My three year old inkjet printer, scanner and copier attached to the computer in my study recently ran out of coloured ink, so I switched to using black ink only.  A few days later that also ran out, so I looked on the Internet for some replacement ink cartridges.  I don't actually print a lot, but when I do, I want photograph quality results.

I was somewhat horrified to discover that I could buy a replacement printer, scanner and copier for only 45 pence (yes £0.45) more than the cost of replacement ink cartridges for the old printer.  If I returned the old used cartridges to a supplier of refilled ink I would be credited with 75 pence for them, leaving me a net 30 pence in profit!  And replacement inkjet cartridges for the newly purchased one will be cheaper than those for the old one.

Old printers The upshot is that I now have a new printer, scanner and copier, and an old printer, scanner and copier in excellent condition that only needs more ink but is totally valueless, I can't even give it away!  The local council I am sure will take it away for a fee, or I can take it several miles away to a "civic amenity site" and dispose of it there.  This is such a waste though, because it is a perfectly usable machine.

I appreciate that there must be some logic to this situation, but being a bear of very little brain I cannot work out why these companies sell their printers for so little and then hope to sell the ink at an exorbitant cost.  Worse still, whatever I do with my old printer, scanner and copier will just increase the amount of scrap material in the world, which needs to be recovered and sorted into usable raw materials.

By: Charmbrights


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Printer Crooks

Printer Crooks

Willum08 you have directly addressed the fact that the consumer is a sitting duck in this mafia-run world. We expect those institutions we appoint to protect us from this. They don't!!! Why not?

Printer Crooks
18th Aug 16 11:08

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Willum08

Willum08

The answer is fairly simple... They sell the printers cheaply - possibly even at a loss - and get their money back by more or less forcing you to buy THEIR replacement cartridges. Assuming you buy a couple of sets of THEIR cartridges after the initial supply with the printer purchase, they will probably have recouped their 'loss' on the printer. There is no way that the exorbitant prices they charge, relate to the true manufacturing cost of replacement cartridges, so most of the price charged is pure profit.

I used to have an Epson printer and used so called '100% compatible' cartridges, which despite the printer 'complaining' that they were not genuine, worked well for many replacements. However, eventually the printer started producing poor copy due to clogged print heads. No amount of cleaning solved the problem - even using cleaning cartridges - so the Epson was consigned to the tip..... I'd used it fairly heavily for about 4 years, so it really owed me nothing.....
I now use a Canon MG 4100 Printer/Scanner/Copier and I much prefer this device. The nice thing about it is that every time a new set of cartridges is fitted, they come with a brand new Print Head. (HP printers also use this type of cartridge and probably others do too.)

I extend the use of the Genuine Canon cartridges by using a refill kit and have been able to get 3 B&W and Colour refills so far, without any problems. If the cartridges eventually show problems, then I'll just buy a new Canon set and continue refilling until they start to show problems.

Net result is that I can effectively get my cartridges for around one third or less of the cost of the Genuine Canon ones...... even taking into account the cost of the refill inks! -:)
Willum08
13th Aug 16 11:08

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grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

Well said Maxwell! I have an Epson printer which is basically scrap because it refuses to use any cartridges other than the genuine ones; even compatible ones, which are supposed to work, only work for a short time before it takes against them. Of course I refuse to pay the extotionate prices charged for genuine ones.

Now I'm using an hp printer which tells me that the cartridge (re-filled) is used or counterfeit, but at least after telling me it does carry on printing.

Your last paragraph is the thing we should all do!

grumpyoldwoman
5th Aug 16 03:08

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Maxwell Printer Ink Demon

Maxwell Printer Ink Demon

The reasons are many and several. The principal reason is that make of ink cartridge and make of printer are a monopoly once you have bought the printer: only my cartridge will work. BAH! The EU Commission, the World Trade Organisation, the European Parliament, the British Government have all conspired with the manufacturers and failed to protect the consumer.

Complain bitterly to your MP and your Euro MPs [useless bunch of gits] about this. Why weren't the manufacturers told/forced to make ink-jet printers with standardised cartridges? Just think if you bought Audi cars which required Audi petrol to run it. Or a Citroen which could only use Citroen oil cartridges. BAH! None of that would be acceptable in any economy.

What can you do?

Not print anything. Use the/a Print to PDF feature. My Kindle can read PDFs, so can my Mobile Phone. Reduce the need to print anything to the absolute minimum necessary. If anyone wants a copy, send them a PDF as an attachment in an email.

If you need hard copy, print to PDF and copy it to a USB drive, and take the file and USB drive to be printed at a Print Shop. We have three near us - 10p a page. Here abroad the Print Shop in our holiday town charges €0.07 a sheet, including the paper. This ends up cheaper than buying your own ink cartridges and paper.

If you have print print in Grayscale or B&W. Only ever replace the Black ink cartridge.

A full set of Fox ink cartridges for our Epson printer costs £30. Total rip-off. BAH!

I once tried buying "Genuine" equivalent Epson cartridges via Ebay. They did not work. Will never make that mistake again.
Also I will not refill at a ink refill store. All this can void your printer manufacturer's warranty.

Also the many organisations that insist on a hard copy of your online purchase for theatre or cinema tickets, plane tickets, bus tickets, check beforehand if any or all are required as hardcopy. Complain if this is an absolute requirement. Booking.Com hotels and B&B guesthouses never seem to want to have the hardcopy of the bookings just a reference number. Organisations like Easyjet are so wasteful with their airline tickets requiring full A4 pages. Scream and complain to them like mad about this. Ryanair's fold up nicely. Some thought has gone into this.

Above all when you do not get your way complain loudly and bitterly. Turn yourslef into an awkward customer. When in the store buying the printer, if it doesn't use standard cartridges, refuse to buy it then and there. Waste the store's and saleman's time. If everyone did this the store would force the manfacturers to comply with customers' wishes.
Maxwell Printer Ink Demon
4th Aug 16 12:08

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boblet

boblet

Many moons ago A salesman offered me a Perles angle grinder for free. All I had to do was sign a contract to buy X amount of grinding wheels. Do I have to explain any further?
boblet
2nd Aug 16 06:08

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