The High Cost of Inkjet Printer Cartridges (Peter Stroud)

Inkjet printers offer a print technology that offers professional printing for the home and small business user at a minimal cost, often for the cost of one or two hundred dollars. Unfortunately the exorbitant cost of the replacement ink cartridges soon brings the dreamers of d.i.y. high quality printing (which lends itself to the concept of savings) back to earth.

A set of ink cartridges often cost more than a new printer.

In fact at one stage in the evolution of inkjet printers, it was cheaper to buy a new Canon BJC210 printer which contained both a black and color cartridge, than it was to buy a new black, and a new color cartridge for the same printer from a retailer! It is obvious from this example to work out where the profit for the printer / cartridge manufacturer was.

With the high cost of replacement inkjet cartridges there are many developments in the market for reducing the cost of printing with desktop inkjet printers.

Options included:

* compatible inkjet cartridges
* refilling inkjet cartridges
* continuous inkjet delivery systems

Each of these alternatives offers ways to reduce the high cost of manufacturers inkjet cartridges while still producing quality inkjet prints.

Savings varied with the method employed and the type of cartridge involved.

Savings from as little as 10-20% are offered by some compatible cartridges. Other "simple" cartridges which contain very little technology often offer savings around 60%.

Refilling inkjet cartridges often saves of around 50% where the end user employs the services of a professional refiller, while refilling a cartridge as end user gives greater savings (and sometimes greater frustration).

The greatest saving can be achieved with many inkjet printers is by using one of the alternative continuous ink supply systems. Due to the investment of the ink supply system, a reasonable volume of printing is required to return the greater savings.

Continuous ink supply systems can offer savings of over 90%.

Peter Stroud has had a hands on role with the cartridge remanufacturing industry over a period of 10 years. The website continuous inkjet ink system references many of the ink systems and associated suppliers of continuous ink system components.

Epson printers have traditionally been a favourite of continuous ink system suppliers epson stylus photo 1400.

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