The dark side: How printer manufacturers get you to buy expensive ink

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  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2012 12:52 a.m.


    While I'm not so sure I'm too happy to hear that being my 'most' reasonable moment, I'm glad someone sees the sense in Laser Jet printers. lol


    No no, it's official now. Mars-harvested Ink, by HP!

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    What I don't think the article ever actually answered is the burning question of WHY (in the heck!!!) does printer ink COST SO STINKIN' MUCH in the first place???

    Is inkjet ink made from special dust collected from the surface of Mars (at a cost of $1 billion per pound)?!!

    I mean.... REALLY!! WHY is the stuff SO expensive??

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 3, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason

    "One word:

    Laser Jet


    The most reason I ever heard out of this guy! I agree!

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    One word:

    Laser Jet


  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 3, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    I beat the system:

    I use an Epson Artisan 710 color photo printer for my home based business. I have been using it for at least three years and have never purchased any ink from Epson. I use a Continuous Ink Supply System from Amazon (buy from Amazon because they require their sellers to take returns and not all CISS systems are created equally).

    A CISS is a ink system with a tank and small ink tubes leading to the print cartridges. Mine lasted for two years before I had to refill it and it only cost me $64.00 including shipping and handling. It has never given me a problem. When I did run out of ink I refilled it from the CISS I bought from another company (bad idea, don't ask Straight FFFF rating at the BBB).

    I have printed the labels on over 1500 CDs and DVDs and more than 400 letter size full color glossy photos, plus thousands of regular letter size pages. I figure the ink costs me less than $.01 a page and about the same to print a full color label on a DVD.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 3, 2012 4:51 p.m.


    "I just quit buying printers altogether! How many other consumers are taking this path with ust print at the office!"

    I'm with you. Just print at the office! : )

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    Capitalism at its best, consumer beware anything is fair when trying to make a buck.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    I just quit buying printers altogether! How many other consumers are taking this path with me?

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    I thought it was common knowledge that the ink in a new printer wasn't full?

    As far as using 3rd party ink... I guess if you just printing casual stuff it probably won't matter, for anyone looking for accurate color fidelity and consistency/quality 3rd party ink usually won't cut it.

    Here is a real secret no one seems to know. The bigger the printer you buy the more economical the ink becomes. Step up to a 13" wide printer and the ink drops in price per/ml. Step up from that to a 17" wide printer and the ink drops even more per ml, then go up to a 24" wide printer (okay the 24 inch printers are HUGE)and the ink drops even more per ml. It's not just a little bit either, the ink per ml is astronomically cheaper in the larger printers. If you do much printing run the math and I think most people would realize it's actually cheaper to buy the more expensive/larger printers in the long run, the cheaper ink offsets the initial expense of the printer, plus you get all the benefits those printers provide.

  • Calif granny PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 3:44 p.m.

    I was having mine refilled at Costco (HP printer) and then the printer wouldn't take them saying they were 'expired'.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Oct. 3, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    My suggestion? Buy an older printer.

    I own an HP 1220c which has huge cartridges and seems to printer forever. The resolution isn't quite as high as the newer printers, but it does an excellent job of printing virtually anything I ask of it. Best of all, I can use the inexpensive after market inks. My costs are 1/10th of what a new HP cartridge would cost me.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    The world is full of conspiring men who just want to make money any way they can. They will sell a half full cartridge and giggle. Nice scam they have going.

  • Dr. Doug Littleton, CO
    Oct. 3, 2012 3:07 p.m.

    Once you have the ink cartridge(s), just refill it/them at Costco!

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    Nothing wrong with free enterprise. Manufacturers can choose to do whatever they want. I'm just not stupid enough to fall for it. Companies eventually reap what they sow.

    I buy after-market ink and it works fine on my Epson Workforce printer. There are multiple choices for doing that too. You can buy replacement cartridges or you can acually get large reservoirs that attach to the outside of the printer that have hoses running to the cartridges inside. They would last for years all for the price of what the OEM cartridges would cost to purchase once.

    I think the market/consumer should get educated and make wise decisions. What comes around goes around...which is exactly why there is a plethora of after-market options for purchasing ink.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    HP seems to be the worst. Their toner and ink is hideously expensive, and they have always seemed to be able to keep aftermarket manufacturers from getting in on the market, unlike some others. Not only that, at least with my printer, if you get a refill cartridge from one of the aftermarket places, the printer refuses to accept it and you have to find a cheat online to make it work. What a rip off to the consumer, let alone encouraging people to ditch their printer for one cheaper to operate.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 3, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    Ah, Free Enterprise. Don't ya love it?

    I have a friend who worked for HP before moving on. He told me that WalMart required HP to fill cartridges less than half full but HP refused and threatened to expose the WalMart scam if WM raised a fuss.

    Whatever happened to honest business practices? Now it sounds as if even HP isn't standing up for consumers. I know I've paid more than a small fortune for HP printer ink. They've even rigged it so I can no longer take cartridges to the mall for a refill.

    I'll bet that if just one person started an HONEST business making these things, they would blow all the other manufacturers completely away. Why doesn't someone try it?