Printer and Ink Prices - anyone got the truth?

  PaulB2005 13:32 29 Jan 2006

I've always used genuine inks for my Canon S630 (with two exceptions when i tried compatibles) and I'm not about to change. I know where to get them cheaply so I'm happy.

The problem is there does seem to be a battle between the consumer and the manufacturer over the price. It seems the consumer wants cheap printers and inks but it seems the manufacturers have pumped millions into developing these printers and inks and so want to (quite rightly) recoup the R&D costs and make a profit.

Along come the compatible inks and cartridges (with their amazing low R&D costs) so the manufacturers start chipping their cartridges and employing all sorts of tricks to stop you using non-originals. Epson are suing companies in the US and Canon are now chipping their cartridges. All this must add to the manufacturers costs so it could be argued that the compatible market is actually raising prices of the original cartridges instead of allowing them to come down. Thereby feeding the price difference.

However the compatible manufacturers have set a price president where it's now common to hear people call the price of originals "a rip off" and "over priced".

Well does anyone KNOW if they are either of those?

I know there are stories of printers that cost the same / less than the cost of a full set of cartridges but I've also heard this is because the manufacturer makes a loss of the hardware and then gain from your ink purchases. A bit like tax, you get a cheap but high spec printer and then pay more if you use more ink. Less if you don't...

Does anyone know what the real situation is?

Anyone got an industry contacts?

Is it likely in the future we might see expensive printers with cheap genuine ink?

  Forum Editor 14:13 29 Jan 2006

that the cost of some manufacturers' original cartridges can be anything else than an attempt to make as much money as possible, so they can recoup printer development costs.

Having said that, I'm not sure how much money goes into printing technology now - inkjet printing can't have that much further to go in terms of innovation.

Another aspect of all this interests me, and I wonder if I'm alone.....

I've noticed that over the last couple of years my office has done far less printing. Whereas in the past I might have sent hard-copy files to clients via courier I find that we're now sending most of our stuff via email as PDF files. Our printing consumables purchasing has reduced enormously as a consequence, and I wonder if other people have noticed the same thing?

It certainly seems to me that we don't get nearly as many printer-related problems in the Helproom as a we did five years ago, but maybe that's because printers are just better than they were then.

  recap 14:34 29 Jan 2006

The question on the price of ink cartridges has been going on for some time now click here

  Totally-braindead 15:02 29 Jan 2006

One of the points I wish to raise is that printer manufacturers are selling the printers in some cases below cost, the printer might cost £100 to make but they sell it for say £75 making a loss of £25 which they intend to recoup from the replacement cartridges being purchased. In the case of a friend of mine he has nearly 20 boxed printers because he discovered that it was cheaper for him to buy a new printer with new cartridges included than to buy a set of original cartridges. I have to stress that if there were compatibles on the market for his make/model of printer at the time he probably would have bought them.
I think PaulB2005 raises a valid point, if the inkjet manufacturers raise the prices of the printers to the point that they would make a reasonable profit then they could save the money they spend on R&D trying to prevent compatible manufacturers from selling cheap cartridges and thus reduse the price of there own cartridges thereby increasing the sales of the originals.
I would buy originals if they weren't three or four times the price of the compatibles. Looking at the printouts I get I personally see no real difference between a picture printed with the originals and one printed with compatibles. Now the original manufacturer in my case Epson say that their ink is better, it will not cause damage to the printer which compatibles may and the ink is of a higher quality and will resist fading for much longer.
Now regarding the fading claim, that may be true but if in 5 years time or whatever the picture I had on my mantlepiece is faded due to being in the sun I can just reprint from my CD picture disk so it doesn't bother me. The claim that using compatibles may damage your printer claim seems to me to be total rubbish, I have an Epson 680 here which I bought perhaps 5 or 6 years ago when it was PCAs best buy printer, its always been run on Choice Stationery compatibles and the prints it gives now are as good as they were when I first got it.
I have to say I agree with PaulB2005, printer manufacturers may be cutting there own throats by the actions they are taking. Cartridges do not cost that much to make, if they did then compatible manufacturers couldn't sell them so cheaply. Admitedly they will have additional costs due to R&D and setting up to manufacturer a new range of cartridges. But do the originals have to be up to four times the price of the compatibles? No wonder people believe they are being ripped of.

  Stuartli 15:09 29 Jan 2006

Last August I had a problem with my Canon BJC600e (nine years old at the time) and it went back to Canon's third party repair centre.

The cost of repairing it was more than I could buy an equivalent modern Canon model, so I eventually decided to let the company bin it and there was no charge to me.

I didn't get a replacement printer until just before Christmas and, to my surprise as the Canon had been used regularly, I didn't miss it as much as I would have thought.

Even now the new printer (an Epson R300) has only been used to print a handful of sheets of basic text overall on about four occasions since I acquired it.

  Stuartli 22:23 29 Jan 2006

By the way, a certain consumer magazine will reveal next week a test of some original and compatible cartridges.

One of its findings includes the fact that some photo prints using compatible inks actually resist fading better than the originals.

  kash19 00:01 30 Jan 2006

Hi everyone i see that every body is talking about ink prices, i work in retail which i cant say whare, with my contacts at lexmark i can tell you that a 24 or 25 pound ink cart cost the manif 50pence after pakaging, and when it leaves the factory tax and vat is added on, and when it reaches the market or the shops so to call, we personaly in our company make about 22 to 25% profit on these things this is how the price goes up and up,

  PaulB2005 09:18 30 Jan 2006

"we personaly in our company make about 22 to 25% profit on these things this is how the price goes up and up,"

Interesting. I didn't realise the mark up was that high.

  rmcqua 10:14 30 Jan 2006

I have had some poor experience with "compatible" cartridges (from the perspective of print quality), so I tend to avoid them and try to find original Epson branded cheap on EBay.
However, I notice that Novatech, a company that I trust for quality, have recently started selling their own brand ink cartridges. Has anyone had any experience with them?

  Stuartli 11:29 30 Jan 2006

>>in our company make about 22 to 25% profit on these things >>

Then those before you are making an even more substantial profit...:-)

  PaulB2005 13:42 30 Jan 2006

I was quoting from kash19's posting.

So how much profit does everyone make down the line typically?

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