We all know how expensive the ink for our
desktop printers can be. We also know that we are at the mercy of those who
sell their expensive cartridges to us, simply because they know we need
them. Many cartridges depending on the brand of computer that you have, can
be extremely expensive
to replace. Top brands such as HP, Cannon and Epson lead the pack with their
high prices. There is rarely a sale on these printer cartridges and it is
also difficult to find a bargain on the net.
The worst part that you may not
be aware of is that some of these ink cartridge manufacturers also program
into the printer preset warning to tell you that the cartridge is getting
low and should be replaced. Many of these warnings are give prematurely as
there is still plenty of ink to carry us over for awhile. But we tend to
change the cartridge when we see this warning, this can be quite costly not
to mention a waste of ink. At today’s replacement prices, this can cost a
great deal. So what is the alternative, well let’s consider a few things
that you can do to combat the high price of printer ink.
First, you could search for
generic brands of ink cartridges on the net and in retail stores. They are
genuine clones of the top products on the market but at a fraction of the
cost. There is no visual difference in the quality of the ink or the printed
Secondly, you could ignore the
warnings that the printer cartridge is running out of ink and keep using it
until the print quality is bad, then replace it with a generic brand. Or you
could buy a refill kit, which you could use to refill your existing
cartridge at a much cheaper price than buying the name brand cartridge.
Another thing to be aware of
concerns Epson’s line of printers. It is rumored that Epson embeds a chip
into its ink cartridges that stops the cartridge from dispensing ink when it
reaches a certain level. Sometimes this happens long before the cartridge
runs out of ink. The reasoning for this “cut-off” system is to prevent
customers from running out of ink or getting bad print quality. Both are
poor excuses. According to one researcher who wanted to test the level of
ink left in the cartridge after it stopped working, it was found that there
was approximately 38% more pages that could be printed with this cartridge.
This happened even though the cartridge said it was out of ink.
Consumers as a whole are
frustrated by the high cost of printer ink. When companies employ tactics
such as those described above, it adds to the frustration and eventually
will increase consumer outrage.
The good news is that the
Office of Fair Trading is investigating the price of printer ink and has
leveled accusations against manufacturers in regards to the transparency of
the cost of ink. It is also requesting that an industry standard for
measuring ink cartridge performance be created. So on the bright side, it
may not be long from now that we will have an accurate way to measure the
remaining ink in our printer cartridges, but don’t expect that it will come