Printer cartridges … don’t get me started!! LOL!

I was reading my WindowsSecrets Newsletter this morning (here’s the complimentary version of the issue to view) … and I was already intrigued by Brian Livingston’s article entitled, “SkipRearm doesn’t work, activation still broken,” then I started reading Scott Dunn’s article entitled, “Epson’s claims of cheaper ink are empty” and this hit a sore spot with me.

Cost per page is a very slippery slope.

Depending upon what type of “picture pages” (credit to Captain Kangaroo on that one) – meaning not the different types of pages, but the various colors that those pictures will include – will determine true cost effectiveness with print cartridges at any given time.

In an ideal world (without massively overstated copyright and patent laws), since the printer companies can make the cartridges for pennies, they should sell them for much less than they currently do, IMHO.

Elsewhere, I was reading about Apple’s iPhone costing twice what it cost to make it. LOL! And this is bad. Yes, it is. But not nearly as bad as the print cartridge percentages!! Some have done costing with printing, but has no one ever REALLY questioned this oppressive problem with printing costs/cost of printer cartridges??

We have an HP Wireless All in One printer, very nice printer in many ways. Since they charge about $10 per color cartridge, and about $18 for a black cartridge, it can be an expensive proposition with 5 or 6 cartridges in a printer. Less so, to some degree, if you replace each color only as needed, since that would be $10 instead of $36-56 or more per cartridge).

On the other hand, replacing an entire color (all colors in one cartridge) cartridge ($36-$56 or more) depending upon the printer, for ONE color that is out is totally ludicrous.

Many times you run out of one color long before the others. If you could have replaced that one color for a fraction of the cost, it is certainly better than throwing away a cartridge with maybe as much as 1/2 of the other colors still in the cartridge, because you happened to print a page or pages that use more of one color than the others consistently. This actually happens quite frequently. Even so, $10 a color is still highway robbery, IMHO. How many actual prints do you get for that $10??

Compare that with the cost of film developing a few years ago? Seeing any correlation?

And God forbid that your ‘intelligent’ printer decides that today it will have a superiority complex, and won’t except your new cartridge this time for some unknown reason, and says it’s still out of ink after putting in a brand new cartridge. Believe me, it does happen! It happened to us a couple months ago.

In our older HP printers, there is no choice but to replace the entire cartridge to the tune of $36 because we ran out of red or blue or yellow, that is until we found a surplus store online that sell them for considerably less.

But there aren’t many options for the newer printers to get them at major discounts like the older printers. You will still pay 6.99-9.99 per color (more for the slightly bigger black cartridge) in the Wireless Photosmart FOR EACH COLOR – and there are about 5/6 cartridges in there. But that’s better than paying the cost of some of the other newer printers with less cartridges and some colors together in one cartridge for the $35-$50 or more range per cartridge.

The problem is not so much whether the printer has one cartridge or many, the problem is that the printer companies are sucking their customers dry. It’s like highway robbery. They hook people in with these very inexpensive printers (sold at a discount so they can make it up later on the cartridges, over and over and over) .. So they nickel and dime ya to death till the printer dies and they try another one from that company or another company that is just as inexpensive.

Throw away printers … that’s gotta be good for the environment, right? With all the electronic boards inside, etc.? I can just see them stacking up in the landfill.

Sometimes it’s almost less expensive in the long run to get a really cheap printer on sale, install the drivers, print till you run out of ink and then go buy another $49 printer … it’s cheaper than replacing the cartridges!!

This is the crazy world we live in. And hardware/electronics companies love it! Particularly printer companies.

Instead of seeing that they have the golden goose and if they would just treat customers fairly they could keep their golden goose happy and healthy, they get the greedy company syndrome, they do the same ‘ole, same ‘ole that other greedy companies seem to get themselves into….burn customers on every purchase and keep them over a barrel. It’s what I like to refer to as the ‘laundromat syndrome.’

Sometimes I think people get so fed up because they really have no choice if they like the printer they have, or maybe they don’t want to have to go through the annoyance of time and frustration installing over 300MB of drivers and software for yet another printer (and of course they all want to do that). Not only that, will they uninstall the old one first … likely not if they are not that savvy of a computer user. What a registry and hard drive and potentially compatibility nightmare over time.

I don’t know; it’s a real quandary. No matter what anyone says, you can’t seem to change the printer companies’ mentality because they are just that greedy! And amazingly enough, it is working for them! Why? Because they are ALL doing it! Every single printer company is price gouging, IMHO…Except maybe this Kodak one that Corrine is talking about in her blog posting…not bad really. Is that only for photo paper or normal pages too?

It’s that “dollar down and a dollar a week” mentality that started with the ‘ole ‘company store’ … “St. Peter don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go; I owe my soul to the company store!” (credit to Tennessee Ernie Ford and his song Sixteen Tons). Except of course now in today’s society, it’s more like $100 down and a $1 a day or more!!

Every bank/credit card company, music and movie CD/DVD subscription services, magazine and book club, satellite/cable company, as well as printer and other hardware/electronics companies are trying to get you hooked on them for a dollar down and a dollar a week forever.

And why not, it worked for the utility companies and insurance companies, God knows the debt monster is working really well for the banks and credit card companies. Sheesh, it even works for charitable organizations, right? It’s only 50 cents a day, less than a cup of coffee….

But, it’s their golden goose and don’t you mess with their golden goose … they may not treat the goose well, but don’t you try to make life better for the goose by pointing out the futility.

The worst problem with so many of the “dollar down and a dollar a week plans” is that you don’t really own anything for that money. You pay, errr, overpay for the cartridges, then it’s gone. It’s hard to know what to spend all your dollar down and a dollar a week things on. If you are not careful, you will have no money to live on while you pay for everyone else’s livlihood.

Don’t get me wrong, many are very worthwhile, but even then you have to be cautious right? You can’t afford every subscription you think is worthwhile, can you?

But some ‘dollar down and a dollar a week’ things are totally gone before you know it (consumables like printer cartridges, etc.). Sad because then both the item and the money are gone forever.

I am not saying we need to cut out all consumables from our lives. If we did that we couldn’t eat now could we? 😉

I am saying we need to be cautious and we need to point out when things don’t make sense … like the cost of printer cartridges which are probably in the hundreds of percentages of mark up over cost of production … It has been said, that mark up of 45-50% is reasonable over cost. But some companies think that mark ups in the hundreds of percent are reasonable!?! Especially when the ‘consumable’ will be gone VERY quickly and they will have to feed the beast if they want to print.

Comments on: "Single and Multi Color Printer Cartridges and Other Futility" (3)

  1. PaperJammer said:

    Your irritation with printers is understood. I share your frustration. Printers are the bane of my existence. Check out this site and unleash your anger:

  2. LOL! PaperJammer … that was great! I feel vindicated now! Thanks!

    Such fun!

    Thanks PaperJammer and Samsung … I needed that … three levels and name on the list but there are too many others with better scores LOL! 😉

  3. “Except maybe this Kodak one that Corrine is talking about in her blog posting…not bad really. Is that only for photo paper or normal pages too?”

    The quality of the printed pages is excellent in draft mode, so for $9.99, the black ink cartridge can last quite a while. Even if you are printing black & color, the color cartridge is only $14.99. If you do heavy printing of both black & color, you can get color + black for $21.99).

    I print more documents than I do photos and the price per “mono page” is still cheaper than all the other vendors listed:

    I needed to replace my old ink jet printer that I got with my Win95 machine. This was a perfect match for me. I was particularly pleased when I needed to make a photocopy of a paper before mailing it the other day. Saved me a trip to a copy center.

    Like you, I hate the “throw away” mentality. And, yes, I am biased since I work at Kodak. However, my experience so far has been great. You may also be interested in knowing that the EasyShare printers are not only Windows Vista compatible but also Mac compatible. I understand that the lady who wrote the drivers for the Mac was called upon to go to NYC for the printer introduction. Nice kudos for her contribution.



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