I hate to admit it, but I have more printers than I have computers. Why is that? Is it because I love printers? Not at all. It’s because it’s economically cheaper to buy a new printer almost every time I run out of ink.
For example, today on Amazon I can buy the Canon iP3600 Inkjet Photo Printer for $43.08. Don’t be fooled by the sale price, just do an Amazon search for printers in the $25-$50 range and you’ll find lots of printers in that price range. Many are cheaper than this Canon printer, I just picked it because the discount wasn’t as heavy as some of the other models.
Now if we look at the price of ink cartridge to replace it, what they call the value pack, to replace all the colors including black, it comes to $41.05. Yes, it’s actually cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy ink. And I get a new printer!!
I understand that ink is where printer manufacturers make their profits, and that more often than not the printers themselves are loss leaders, but this is a bit ridiculous. Is it just this one case?
Epson has a WorkForce 30 Color Printer selling for $59.99. To replace the ink requires a $16.49 purchase for black ink and a $32.99 purchase for color ink. Combined, that’s $49.48, just $10 shy of a brand new printer!
And it’s not just Canon and Epson that do this, pretty much all printer manufacturers are in the same boat. Too often the price of replacing the ink is equal to or greater than the price of a new printer.
I do understand that the ink packs they give you with new printers aren’t the same size as replacements, but most people don’t generally think about this when they’re in the store itself making the purchasing decision. What we’re thinking is in the first case I get a free printer. In the second, for $10 more we get a whole new printer!
With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why people such as myself have too many printers.
And don’t get me started on how shoddy most printers are built these days. How many printers have you had that lasted more than a year or two before they stopped working?
PS: The prices on Amazon have already changed from when I initially wrote this post.