Money

Kevin Milne: Ink Issues

By Kevin Milne

Why is computer ink so expensive?

Our family spends nearly $200 a year replacing cartridges.

Is there any problem with buying refilled cartridges rather than new, leading brand products all the time? I can’t remember having to pay a ludicrous amount for ribbons in the days of typewriters!

Manufacturers claim that the high cost of printer ink is because the technology is so expensive, reliability is paramount and you’re being delivered amazing image quality.

While I can’t disagree with those points, I think the price is unnecessarily steep.

Of course it’s impossible to prove, but I’ve read that printer ink, supplied by firms such as HP, sells for the equivalent of around $6000 a litre.

These firms will hit back by saying they spend around a billion dollars a year on research and development, but I still reckon it’s overpriced. One day soon someone will introduce real competition into the market. As for refill products, I don’t have any problems with them.

Computer manufacturers issue threats about them annulling your warrantee, etc, but I’ve never spoken to anyone who has experienced this. I have occasionally found that they seem to affect the instructions given about your printer, but I’ve managed to work my way round that too.

There’s also something worthwhile about refilling cartridges, rather than just throwing them away.

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