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The High and Hidden Cost of Cheap Printers

The High and Hidden Cost of Cheap Printers

It’s no secret that printer companies make most of their profits off of consumables, not the device itself. But it may shock you to learn that, with many entry-level inkjet printers, it costs more to purchase replacement ink than to buy a new printer with the free starter cartridges included in the box.

To illustrate my point, check out the HP DeskJet 1010. On HP’s site, this is currently being sold for $29.99. Located under the ‘Specs’ section there is a field entitled ‘What’s included.’ Here, you’ll find everything that comes in the box, including two HP 61 cartridges- black and tricolor. These are standard yield cartridges, not starter cartridges. Currently, the standard yield cartridges are being sold for $14.90 (black) and $19.99 (color) when purchased separately. Again, the printer only cost $29.99. You’d actually be saving money by buying a new printer rather than paying for replacement cartridges!

Obviously, nobody (hopefully) would be so wasteful as to purchase a new printer after their free cartridges expire just to save a few bucks. The glaring price discrepancy between device and consumable does, however, highlight what printer brands have been doing successfully for years: setting a high price on the consumables so they can make up for the money lost on the printer and then some. Actually, ‘some’ isn’t the right word. It’s a lot.

So be wary of low-costing inkjet printers, typically ones below the $75 range. Even if the cost of replacement cartridges don’t quite exceed the price of the device, you’ll still be paying more than you should for consumables.

What if a printer of $100 or more isn’t within your budget? Try ditching printer brand ink. Independent suppliers of print consumables, like 123inkjets, specialize in providing name brand results at affordable prices.

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