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Why Most Offices Overpay For Printer Ink

2011-03-29

Printer ink can seem to be one of the most expensive substances in the world, worth more approximately than imported caviar, judging by the cost per milliliter. Offices are paying dearly for the amount of paper that they print, being a large contributor to the estimated $30 billion printer refill industry. However, many have come to realize that office printer ink should not actually cost as much as it does.

The main reason that most offices pay the almost ludicrous prices for even black and white ink (around $30 for an HP black and white cartridge of undisclosed ink quantity) is that they simply have no option. HP, Epson and other leading producers of printers have a business model which relies on sale of cartridges and toner (rather than actual printers) to make profits. This has proved very successful, as they are able to lower the cost of printers dramatically, thus ensuring sales, while at the same time making several billion dollars annually through selling ink refills.

There are several ways to counter this and ensure that an office is not over spending its budgetary allowance for paper and office supplies. One way, which is also very environmentally friendly, is to reduce the amount of paper printed. This, however, does not solve the actual problem of expensive ink refills, and many companies and businesses simply must print a certain amount of paper.

That is why many of the leading brands offer 'XL' printer cartridges, which conserve ink usage and last for a longer period of time. Hp claims their 'XL' cartridges last two to three times longer, although customers provide varied opinions on the product. Combing these two methods may significantly reduce the strain on an office budget, but the downside is lower quality print results, as well as the inconvenience caused by reducing the amount printed.

Many offices have come up with a solution to reduce their office printer ink costs while at the same time not restricting the quality and quantity of paper being printed. Their alternative is to buy third party ink refill kits which work with their office printers. The use of such third party ink refill kits has sparked protest from the leading printer brands, who claim that the ink is inferior and can lead to hardware damage. Most of these issues can be solved through purchasing quality third party refills as well as installing them carefully. Leading brands also claim that such refill kits do not last as long as the original cartridges, although most consumers are tending to disregard the claims of clearly motivated 'findings'. Despite this, a large number of home and office printer users are still overpaying for ink.

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