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HP Tries to Explain Why Printer Ink is So Expensive

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May 30, 2010 9:47:34 PM

Everything is too expensive, not just printer ink.
May 30, 2010 9:52:16 PM

tip to save ink: change printing options to fast draft. (I personally can't even tell the difference)
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May 30, 2010 9:52:35 PM

the problem lies not in how much you get, but in how much is left after it is "empty". Has anyone ever cracked one open? Over half the ink is left, its unbelievable.
May 30, 2010 9:53:20 PM

It really is kind of sad when buying a new printer is cheaper than purchasing new ink for that printer. Of course it's ridiculous that print manufacturers put "Start Cartridges" in to begin with. To the average customer it looks like a great deal but in reality you'll get 20+ pages before you're going to the store spending more on ink than you did for the printer.
May 30, 2010 9:59:39 PM

I like my Inkjet printer, its reliable and iv'e had it since 2006, still runs like new and prints the same as it used to.

I think the price justifies the quality.
May 30, 2010 10:06:33 PM

I simply do not buy this explanation. This reminds me of my son who is a diabetic. His glucose testing meter was actually given to us by his doctor, but the test strips cost $80 for a month supply. The doc says they make little off selling the machine, but make tons more on the test strips.. Its the same with printers. The machine is expected to last a while, but the ink "will" need replacing.
May 30, 2010 10:09:24 PM

Don't you refill the used cartridges in USA? Refilled cartridges cost 1/4 the price of a new one in Brazil. Almost everybody do it here and it works well.
May 30, 2010 10:13:10 PM

R&D includes how to restrict using refills on their printers.
May 30, 2010 10:19:09 PM

i think its all marketing strategies to increase revenue, since once u are enticed to purchase a cheap printer your stuck with the obligatory expensive ink cartridges.

i'd like to think of it as a free dose of heroine without the side effects.
May 30, 2010 10:20:13 PM

The worst part is when you can't print in black and white if the color cartridge runs out. And now, with the integration of the 3 primary colors, if any ONE color runs out, you need to replace the color cartridge even if the other two colors are at higher levels.

What would I like? Separate cartridges for each color (and not more expensive) and the ability to print if even one cartridge runs out.
May 30, 2010 10:21:34 PM

Interesting. Here we buy the refilled cartdriges at shops. There's refilled cartridges for almost all printers at very low prices and not only HP printers. There's also Epson and Canon that sell their ink cartridges with costs very lower than HP. Those who don't like to use refilled cartridges usually buy their printers. We have also kits to mod the printers to add bigger cartridges that are refilled by hand that are even cheaper for those who print a lot. And that for allmost printers too.
May 30, 2010 10:28:55 PM

6 years a go I bought a Kyocera 1010 laser printer. I'm still using the toner cartridge that came with the printer.
May 30, 2010 10:32:22 PM

Paperless office.
May 30, 2010 10:36:06 PM

I'm not sure why they spend $1 billion a year in ink research and development when the existing ink technology works great. What really is a problem though is different types of ink toners that are required for hundreds of different models of printers.

Why can't ink toners for laserjet printers be standardized so that the market is not flooded with hundreds of models? Same goes for deskjets. I'm sure that would save a lot of money for HP (from a manufacturing standpoint) and make toner purchasing for businesses easier and less painful.
May 30, 2010 10:38:15 PM

Ink jets aren't worth it. They create way too much e-waste, as most people see that a new printer is less expensive than a replacement (or whole replacement set) of ink jet cartridges, so they get rid of their old printer a buy a whole new unit. The old printer is "recycled" by being shipped overseas and dumped in a foreign landfill.
May 30, 2010 10:40:00 PM

If you want cheap ink for inkjet printers, you can fit a continuous ink system. Just look up "CISS" on ebay. The CISS ink for my Canon Pixma iP1800 costs about €22 per 400 ml. In other words, a volume equal to one black cartridge's worth of ink costs about 75 cents (instead of the €18 it costs in the shop).
May 30, 2010 10:44:55 PM

Inkjets are total scams for people too dumb to spend the upfront cost of a laser printer. I get 3000+ black and white pages out of my $80 laser for $30 a cartridge (generic) way any inkjet can compete with that.

FYI to some saying "refill your cartridges". It's not worth the effort. They design their cartridges on purpose such that they won't spray down any more ink once you get past X pages printed, regardless of the amount of ink left.
May 30, 2010 11:23:33 PM

Another thing that almost everyone overlooks, and I can't ever remember seeing an article about, is that cheaper printers often use more expensive inks. But it doesn't look that way at first glance.

For example, a $30 printer will probably use the cheapest cartidges on the shelf. Look like a great deal... cheap printer AND cheap ink. But the reality is, those cheapers cartidges are about half the price for less than half the ink. So they are ultimately more expensive.

A $200 printer uses the more expensive cartridges but the cartridges cost only about twice as much but have nearly 3 times the ink.

In the end the more expensive printer with the more expensive cartridges ends up being the better deal assuming you keep the printer for a few years and print a moderate volume.
May 30, 2010 11:35:22 PM

Its all a scam the same as the razor blade company's have been doing for years.
May 30, 2010 11:36:50 PM

I'd rather see HP drastically cut their research and price for the ink because of it. It's not like existing inks are so bad, nor that we've seen big advances in ink technology.

The money seems poorly spent, and a cost consumers aren't benefiting from.
May 30, 2010 11:56:29 PM

I got a big aftermarket tank attachment for my Epson Artisan 810. So far I can't tell the difference between the ink it has in it to the original epson ink. Glossy photos, professional documents, printed cd's, even iron-on stuff. It's indistinguishable. I think HP and Epson are both blowing more than a little smoke up folks' buttocks here. Ink cartridges a money making scam, plain and simple.
May 30, 2010 11:59:31 PM

Not surprised know that HP ink cost more by volume than human blood which says a lot, like gas this to is a scam!
May 30, 2010 11:59:33 PM

Anyone not using a laser printer for everyday black and white printing is rather stupid. The cartridges might be expensive but they have ridiculously large yields.

I actually picked up a Samsung Color dual sided laser for $250 AU (after cash back). Now that was an awesome deal.
May 31, 2010 12:34:51 AM

Same here Wraith556. Got my laser printer back in 2003-2004. Using the same toner. Problem with laser (at least at the time I bought mine) was that the printers were expensive as hell. The plus is that the toner is cheap and lasts forever.

Need photos printed? Go to Walmart.
May 31, 2010 1:07:43 AM

For $38 my laser printer will print 2,600 pages in black and white. I don't understand why people even use inkjet any more.
May 31, 2010 1:08:58 AM

I don't even understand why people buy inkjet any more. For $38 I can buy a new high yield OEM Brother toner that'll print 2,600 pages for $38.
May 31, 2010 1:17:40 AM

no HP this is why it costs so much.... From Top Gear

Jeremy: And it's a good job your car doesn't run on bull semen.
Richard: Well it is, yes. But why?
Jeremy: Because you know how much bull semen is?
James: Do you know? I can't remember off the top of my head.
Jeremy: 24,000 pounds a litre.
Richard: No way!
Jeremy: I filled my car up with petrol a couple of months ago, do you know how much that cost?
Richard: Well no...
James: 90 pounds.
Richard: ... big car, 85 pounds.
Jeremy: No! 35,000 pounds.
James: You filled it up with bull sperm you idiot!
James: I reckoned you spent it on bull sperm.
Richard: Did you not notice the pump was different?
Jeremy: [laughing, with the audience laughing as well]
Richard: [imitates a bull noise]. It keeps moving! Now it's chasing me! I don't want it any more.
[audience laughs]
May 31, 2010 1:22:46 AM

One other thing ppl havnt commented on. Not sure about other companies, but my semi new hp printer actually gives me warnings if i dont change the printer ink by SAID date or that using refilled or generic ink will also VOID my warranty, which is BS.
May 31, 2010 2:40:08 AM

What's worse about HP is that now they're marketing their business inkjet printers as "cheaper than laser". What does that say about their existing laser printers though? I have an HP Laserjet 2605dn (duplexer and ethernet), and it works great. Problem is, should I stick with laser, or replace it with an inkjet when it gives up? I know the toner cartridges cost a lot, but I've only replaced the toners twice in the 3+ years I've had the thing, and I've gone through several thousand pages. It doesn't have a user-replacement drum unit, so I'm wondering what's going to happen when I reach 10,000 - 25,000 pages on it (which is usually the cutoff for drum units on printers that need to have them replaced).

I love the printer. I've been looking at other models in case I need to replace it, but I got it for a good price too. I don't see any current models with the same specs that are as cheap. I don't want an all-in-one (I have a flatbed scanner that gets turned on maybe once a year), but I'd rather have network printing, and the duplexer.
May 31, 2010 3:22:08 AM

hp should look for other ways to minimized cost for their ink. I have a lots of bad experience with hp printers, since then I never thought of buying one but maybe in the future hp can change that.
May 31, 2010 3:32:29 AM

i use a laser printer now but toner is still expensive but they last longer
May 31, 2010 4:11:18 AM

generic refill kits ftw !
May 31, 2010 4:12:32 AM

drownedInkjets are total scams for people too dumb to spend the upfront cost of a laser printer. I get 3000+ black and white pages out of my $80 laser for $30 a cartridge (generic) way any inkjet can compete with that.

Actually I don't think I'm dumb at all for using an inkjet - I got through 2 semesters with one pack (1 b/w and 1 colour) replacement and I had to print 30+ pages per week of powerpoint presentations, various text documents, a few personal stuff I needed printing off - oh and ya, I can scan with my printer, and while I'm not claiming that inkjet and laser are on the same playing field, I would die if I had to drop $100 for ONE laser toner. Canon all the way!
May 31, 2010 4:31:13 AM

Buy Brother Printers. Those printers use a really cheap refill cartridges to where you can find a pack of 4 for about $15 on many ink refill websites. Becuase the cartridges also don't use electronics or other expensive ....., you can literally use any refill kits without having to "Reset" the cartridge.
May 31, 2010 4:39:17 AM

Printer Ink - It super Expensive!
it's $3000 per liter of ink! imagine that.

May 31, 2010 4:45:39 AM

$1 Billion a year on "Ink Research"? Give me a break, who the hell is going to buy such utter ....... Give or take there is some legitimacy but I think its only because all Printer manufacturers want to create a new goddamn cartridge for every damn printer making them PURPOSELY incompatible with one another. I mean, they are still the same freaking colors right? Come on now get real. I'd rather pay $300 for a printer if it meant $5 cartridges and probably would print more. As it is I hardly print unless I have to. Oh and I buy those resold ones online for about 1/3rd the price and its the same quality as far as I can tell.
May 31, 2010 4:59:48 AM

I like how he states that showing the amount of liquid in the ink cartridge would confuse the consumer because of how much liquid is used on different models, blah blah blah. Then two seconds later contradicts himself by saying the cartridge does contain approx page yield. Ummmmm...
May 31, 2010 5:06:44 AM

This was a really poorly written article
May 31, 2010 5:07:07 AM

Oh yeah, great point Bison88! We are hitting a threshold of how good inkjet technology can get soooo. Why not start using the same ink across all new models and start lowering the price. I remember back in the day HP used to say well our cartridges are so expensive because there are new heads with cartridge. I bought that hook line and sinker, but the new 88 models have separated ink and heads. So why are the inks still so freaking expensive ($1 billion a year in R&D, how much do they sell a year?)
May 31, 2010 5:32:35 AM

HP are clearly on the defensive on this issue.

Thus the ads running on this site claiming that 3rd party refills actually cost more.

Thus the interventions on earlier threads like this by HP's Public Relations consultants.

There is no excuse for deliberately increasing the waste by artificially limiting the lifespan on the cartridge. No excuse for producing dozens of different cartridges for different printers. No excuse for different manufacturers each producing unique cartridges. No need to go on refining this technology -- finer print just means smaller nozzles which means more blockages -- inkjet worked quite well as a low res black and white technology but it's reached the end of the road.

This issues requires Government intervention, giving the industry a couple of years to get honest or imposing penal duties on the import of printers and cartridges. This would either save inkjet technology or (as I suspect is overdue) consign it to the dustbin.

If you want correspondence printing go mono laser. If you want spot colour go colour laser. If you want photo quality go to a pharmacy kiosk or internet process house.
May 31, 2010 6:20:30 AM

i never go by from the manufacturer when it comes to ink, the only exception is if i were to print photo but u know what? its better to go to a store to do that and not bother with good ink just to print a few photos :p  so i refill my own cartridges and reset them :p  i will eventually have to by new cartridges and i know the printer head is not as good and im almost forced now to use hi setting to keep it printing fast the ink just doesnt work well on draft or fast, but i dont care its so cheap its not even funny and how fast the ink goes isnt funny either...

i dont care about there RnD that is a bunch of BS just cause a company decides to throw money literally into the air doesn't explain why ink is expensive in general, this article failed to show anything tangible besides a company trying to pass on the costs that they could easily cut back if they desired to...
May 31, 2010 6:47:28 AM

HP gives away printers to companies who buy their toner. They simply have a ploy in doing so. See, they are aware that most people who work in offices of large corporations are lazy, fat people that simply MUST have their own printer for some obscure reason related to confidentiality yada yada yada, and their boss doesnt want to make the clucking hens use the big printer that takes the code to process a job because its down the hall. So you end up with tons of smaller printers all about. So as a loyal HP customer and have purchased plenty of ink and toner for the various printers you earn points, which can be used for anything BUT toner. So the purchasing clerk buys person A a new printer, which is a LITTLE bit different from person B, requiring a different type of cartridge. And in the laser world, forget about it. Every printer HP makes thats < 700 bucks has been crapped out and reinvented and needs a new cartridge. All said and done, all these people must now buy ink. To me its obvious where the money is made on the printer industry. they are a bunch of greedy scoundrels.
May 31, 2010 7:47:24 AM

They simply can't justify the high cost. They can't even explain how their ink is superior to refill ink and that how refilling itself is bad for printer. Pure sophistry.
May 31, 2010 8:20:18 AM

Dot Matrix are great and dirt cheap - if you are printing only text with low clarity.

Lasers are value for money - if you are printing crisp text and occasional graphics.

Inkjets are like Greedy wives. New cartridges always burn a hole in your salary, and always dry up even before your monthly pay-check arrives. And they will stop working if you feed them with cheap inks. You can't live with them.

After suffering a lot from inkjet printers and those annoying awful startup noises they make - "dam,dum" ,"tok-tok", "dumk-donk-donk", I ended up buying a laser printer. I then realized how much I could have saved in the past.

May 31, 2010 9:47:22 AM

Corporate lies !

Printer makers simply try to hook people by selling under-priced printers (sometimes cheaper than the replacement cartridges, while a set of cartridges are already sipped with the printer), and then making the money on the cartridge, by selling them at an insane price... In fact, it sometimes costs you less money to buy a new printer than to replace the cartridges !

They also try to develop technologies (built-in chips to "certify" the cartridge) to prevent people from using third parties cartridges: why HP and others would do that if the price of the cartridge was so close to the development cost of the ink ?...
May 31, 2010 9:54:56 AM

i only use a basic pinter and it has got to the stage where i just buy a new printer when the ink runs out . i can usualy find one on special for less than the price of new ink
May 31, 2010 10:45:50 AM

yeah, bullwack....its expensive cause they want it to be....i hate all all printer manufacturers...
May 31, 2010 10:46:13 AM

Tesco's do printers for £20-30 Its cheaper to buy a new printer than to get new ink. I use an Epson now which has a decent selection of "cheap" alternate brand refilled ink at least, when we had our HP we would just go down to the shop and buy a new printer, until Tesco stopped stocking them =( If I printed my photos then maybe I would invest in good quality ink and a photo printer but since I only print notes for university I usually just use draft quality anyway.