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Factors That Drive Up The Cost Of HP Printer Ink Cartridges

2012-03-21

A recent Internet search for information about expensive ink cartridges and the high price of name brand ink could have led to an article comparing the cost of HP printer ink unfavorably to imported Russian caviar. The kicker: the article was written in 2003. If ink cartridges were already expensive almost ten years ago, perhaps consumers have become accustomed to paying high prices for printer ink. But that doesn't make it hurt any less at the office supply checkout. It might help to understand some factors that contribute to the continuing high cost of purchasing name-brand ink cartridges.

The last decade saw the average retail price of a milliliter of ink rise 360 percent, so that is a definite factor in the rising costs. But buying printer ink cartridges means more than paying for just a few teaspoons of ink. In fact, with HP printer ink as with most ink cartridges, the actual amount of ink in the cartridge is not even quantified - only the estimated page yield.

Part of the price of expensive ink cartridges often goes to paying for the incorporation of the printer head into the disposable cartridge. The purchase of the printer itself was probably cheaper because this necessary precision component must be purchased each time the ink cartridge is replaced.

When it comes to photo printing, one of the most common uses of modern printer technology, the costs are even higher than for document printing, both for the cost of the ink and the technology. There is a higher volume of ink required and a more precise technology needed to obtain consistent results. Printers that offer both choices, document and photo, provide flexibility to the consumer but it comes at a price as the level of ink capable of printing high-resolution photos may be more than is necessary for text.

HP is a company that stresses development and quality control, as well as the need to adapt to advances in printer technology. The expense of running these departments figures into the cost of its products. The purchase of HP printer ink cartridges designed to be compatible with HP printers is the company's way of guaranteeing against inferior print quality. HP's product customer support service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is another factor that figures into the high cost of HP print cartridges.

The introduction of high yield cartridges is perhaps a small attempt to address the growing concern with expensive ink cartridges. Awareness of what exactly the consumer is paying for is not going to change the cost of ink. But it may lead customers to make different decisions the next time they purchase a printer.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on PrinterInk.com does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.