Cost of Cartridges

  segul111 12:39 03 Sep 2006

Maybe the Forum editor can answer this one, but tell me someone, how does Epson or HP justify the cost of cartridges?

I'm fortuante I do a lot of work on my computer for the company I work for and get the odd cartridge for free, but I got a shock when I looked at the price of a set of cartridges for my HP Professional printer, it'll cost as much as the printer did to replace the cartridges.

In these days of 'saving the planet' are the printer companies not contributing to the problem because I can see a huge montain of dumped printers as we all head out and buy a new one, because it's cheaper than replacing the cartridges!

  1minute 12:51 03 Sep 2006

The old saying was Cheap Printer=Expensive Cartridges, Expensive Printer=Cheap Cartridges. I try to use compatable ones either staples own or get them re-filled if possible.

  segul111 12:55 03 Sep 2006

'cept my printer wasn't what I considered cheap, it's an A3 sized printer, becuase I have to print out technical kind drawings, so had no real choice in what I bought.

I have looked at alternatives too, but the ink doesn't seem quite as good as it messed up the print heads which cos as much as the cartridges to replace.

I think it sucks!

  johndrew 12:55 03 Sep 2006

`how does Epson or HP justify the cost of cartridges?`

The companies concerned must make a profit or go out of business hence as 1minute says......

I prefer to refill my own but the choice is always yours.

  1minute 13:40 03 Sep 2006
  namtas 13:55 03 Sep 2006

If I was a PC printer manufacturer I would know that the most profitable way to sustain cash flow in my business would be in the sale of the propriety items such as cartridges, not printer sales. My main object therefore would be to get as many of my products to the market. I would look at very aggressive marketing and possibly sell the printer at cost or cost+ to achieve this.

I think this explains why printers dead cheap, but cartridges expensive. It doest just happen with printers, for example some Japanese and possibly other car makers have used this to advantage.

However this copied today implies that all is not well in the environment camp

New proposed legislation is aimed to grapple with the mountain of electroscrap which the EU says is increasing as consumers discard obsolete PCs, peripherals, mobile phones and other electronics. It arrives as mobile phone makers said they would back a programme for recycling handsets, which often contain hazardous substances.

But the electroscrap law could have a negative impact on printer makers, which depend heavily on sales of proprietary ink cartridges to subsidise the cost of their printers. These proprietary cartridges make up about 90 percent of the $30bn (£19bn) annual global printer market.

  €dstowe 14:09 03 Sep 2006

If you really object to paying out for printer cartridges, does your printer accept CISS devices?

Have a look click here for an example of one for Epson printers.

  jakimo 17:06 03 Sep 2006

For CIS-Systems click here are popular with professional photographers & short run poster manufactures (up to 44inch wide printers)

  Forum Editor 17:21 03 Sep 2006

or the manufacturers of anything else, come to that, don't have to 'justify' the cost of their products. They offer them to the market, and the market either buys them or it doesn't.

The printer cartridge debate must be about the longest-running one of all, and there's never a conclusive answer. Picture yourself as a printer manufacturer; you've made a printer that will (with care) probably go on doing its job for four or five years. For a few years (maybe ten) you sell these machines like hot-cakes - everyone wants one. Then, suddenly you find that you're not selling quite as many - all those people who want a printer have one, and the market has shrunk - you're now selling the same people replacement machines, but there's very little market growth. Your shareholders look to you to provide their company with a steady (and profitable) revenue stream.

What you do is innovate - design new printers with extra gizmos in an attempt to stimulate impulse purchases by people who already have a perfectly good printer, but are attracted by say, photo printing, or CD printing, or whatever.

You do all this, and above all you make absolutely sure that each printer model has to have a slightly different ink cartridge to all the other printers in your range - and you make very sure that no other manufacturer's cartridges will fit your printers. They (your competitors) all do the same.

That brings us neatly to where we are today - a world in which there are as many different cartridges as there are printers; and where each manufacturer tells us that use of third-party inks might damage the print-head in some way.

The cost doesn't have to be 'justified' - it's a product of the state of the market. Most printers are dumped long before the end of their useful life, and we all move on to the next nice little earner for the manufacturers. I'm not blaming them - I would be doing exactly the same thing if I made printers.

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