geek rant

geek (gēk) n. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits.
rant (rānt) v. To speak or write in an angry, upset, or bewildered manner; rave.
geek rant (gēk rānt) n. The verbalization of a topic that really pisses off a geek.

Home Rants Technology Printer Ink

Printer Ink

  Written by The Geek on 2007-01-26PDF Print E-mail

Whats with the high cost of printer ink?  Why does my wallet run and hide when I want to go to the store to buy some printer ink cartridges??

I first noticed this problem a few years ago.  I found myself in need of a copy machine, so I puchased a Lexmark All-in-one printer, with a flatbed scanner.  The printer itself cost about $70.  I used to for alot of copies, and then, hooked to my computer, for alot of printouts.  When it came time to replace the cartridges, I was shocked to find out that the black in cartride was going to run me about $40, while the color one was about $50.  That was more than I paid for the whole printer!!

So I went online and did some shopping.  I was able to find both cartridges for $65.  BUT, instead of buying them, I ended up buying an EPSON printer, with all the same features as my Lexmark, for $45 (including, of course, black AND color cartridges).  To boot, the EPSON had newer technology, so it had a higher DPI, as well could handle more pages per minute in both black and white AND color.

So what's with the cost of ink cartridges?  Why does it cost more to replace your printer ink, than it does to buy a BRAND new printer??  Ive done some research, and it is ASTOUNDING what the cost actually works out to!  Ive seen comparisons that price 1 gallon of ink (by extrapolating how much ink you actually GET in an ink cartridge) to between $7000 and $8000.  Yes, thats nearly 8 THOUSAND US DOLLARS. 

Take a look at these items, priced per oz:

Printer Ink:  $60.88 / oz
Dom Perignon: $4.53 / oz
Milk: $0.03 / oz

I dont know about the rest of you, but if buying a new and better printer is cheaper than buying replacement ink, that's what I'll be doing.  But it seems like SUCH a waste!!

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# It's disgustingMark 2007-02-12 14:15
If you think about it, its kind of like getting a new car when you run out of gas! I think its quite disgusting how the ink cartridge manufacturers gouge the prices of these cartidges, turning thousands of perfectly good printers into junk each year, just by making new carts cost more than new printers.
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# RefillsRich 2007-02-12 14:15
On an interesting note, I saw just recently that OfficeMax now has a printer cardtridge refill machine. And today, I saw one in a walgreens!

I dont know how much it costs, but Ill be checking it out when the next refill time comes.
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# Anti-Trust LawsuitRich 2007-12-19 12:05
Now there's an anti-trust lawsuit filed, saying that HP gave Stapes $100 million NOT to sell cheaper generic ink cartridges. The latest numbers in that story point to ink costing in the neighborhood of $8000 per gallon. Nice, eh?
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# Just as frustratedktbob 2008-02-01 08:22
I fight back by buying refill kits.KRT kits usual does 5-10 refills for black crtg for $23
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# Try other offerterence 2008-05-14 08:38
well there other store or website which offer cheap ink cartridge. try, You can save up to 65% on toner cartridges, ink cartridges and printer supplies.
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# Ink WorkaroundRich 2009-01-16 09:13
So apparently PC World did an investigation on how much ink was left in an ink cartridge when the printer said it was empty. The did this test using a new Canon printer, bought off the shelf.

The printer stopped and refused to print when there was still 24% of the ink left. WHAT?!?

But, there is a smidgen of good news. Most new printers have a way (although secret) to override the printer settings and print anyways. Here's how to do it for the Canon:

1. Turn off the printer
2. Hold the Resume Button (red circle in the triangle), add a printer (click “Power”) an indicator light green.
3. Hold the Power Button, release the Resume Button.
4. Not releasing the Power Button, double click “Resume” and release Both Buttons.
5. Click “Resume” for Four times
6. Once you click “Power”, to confirm the selected action (reset counter absorber). To disable the printer “Power” button to click again.

Don't have a recent Canon printer? Use google to try and find a solution that works for you!
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# Another WorkaroundRich 2009-05-28 19:36
I have a BROTHER printer, and they have a little window that they shine a light through to see if there is still ink in your cartridge. Well, this little window sits about half-way up the cartridge. So when the printer says NO INK (and wont let you try to print anyways), it still has a bunch left.

Fix: Take a small piece of electrical tape and tape it over the little window, then you can print until actually BONE DRY. Whiteout may work, too. Havent tried it.
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