When you buy a low cost printer, don't look at the price. Instead, check out what the ink and paper is going to cost you.
Read on to find out why...
What Everybody Should Know about an Inkjet Printer: The One-Year Cost of Printing
By: Larry Andrew
You can purchase an inkjet printer for as little as $39. With a rebate, it may even be less. Not many people
would argue about the good deal they got when they purchased their printer.
However, the purchase price of an inkjet printer really doesn’t tell you much about your cost of printing. After
all, you do need paper and inkjet cartridges to keep your printer printing.
If you go to a local car lot and look at the sticker price of a car, you’d see some of the following items: the
base price of the car, the cost for each additional feature or package, the number of miles per gallon for both
city and road, and the cost of gasoline for one year under normal driving conditions.
What if you got this same type of information for your printer? Would you still buy the same inkjet printer? How
would you feel if you knew you would pay more for gas and oil in the first year you owned your car, than you paid
for the car?
Well the fact is, unless you do very little printing, you will pay more for your paper and
inkjet cartridges in the first year than you will pay for your inkjet printer.
This is especially true for the low cost inkjet printers. In some cases, the cost of one inkjet
cartridge is more than the entire purchase price of an inkjet printer.
If you look at an inkjet printer advertisement, you’d learn about some of the following items:
the number of pages printed per minute in text and color, the time to print a certain size photo in black and
white or color, the number of inkjet cartridges or tanks the printer holds, the near perfect quality of the
photo reproduction, the outstanding resolution you’ll get from (so many) inkjet nozzles and a packaging list
of items that come in the box when you purchase it.
However, in most inkjet printer advertisements, you will not see the cost of the premium paper
needed to achieve that outstanding photo reproduction. The replacement cost for a black or color inkjet
cartridge is nowhere to be found.
About the only thing you will see with a dollar sign is the low purchase price of the printer
and possibly the rebate. They also don’t tell you all the steps you have to follow to get your rebate and how
it may prevent you from returning the printer to the store if something unexpected happened… but that’s
Now, if you look at some of the most popular inkjet printers, here’s what you will find about
their inkjet cartridges.
On the average, a black inkjet cartridge costs between $22 and $30 to replace. A color printer
cartridge normally runs between $35 and $60, depending on size.
To get your inkjet printer to print out those outstanding photos that will last for years, you
will need to purchase some premium quality paper. Depending on the size, weight and quantity of the premium
paper, you can expect to pay from 60 cents to a dollar per page.
As a consumer, you need to know that the major printer manufacturers are selling their inkjet
printers at or below cost. They have adopted the marketing practice used in other industries, like the cell
phone or razor blade. That is, they sell their initial product at cost or below and expect to make their real
profits on the high mark up of their consumable supplies or services.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The quality of the inkjet printer photo reproductions is approaching
that of traditional photo processing. The speed of the inkjet printer is constantly rising. The crisp and
clear text from the inkjet printer is nearly equal to the quality of laser print. All these are wonderful and
The main point I want to make is this:
The real cost of printing is not the purchase price of the inkjet printer.
You, the consumer, should be informed of the on-going or real cost of printing. Then, you can
decide how much you really want to pay for your printing needs.
If major printer manufacturers were to charge a reasonable price (with profit) for their inkjet
printer and reduce the cost of their inkjet cartridges and premium paper, you would realize a substantial
A well-informed consumer is a wiser consumer. If you had a way to estimate the one year cost of
printing, depending upon your needs, you’d be able to make a much better informed decision on what inkjet
printer would best meet your needs.
Until the major manufacturers change their marketing practices, you can do something about the
high cost of printing. There are many reputable online merchants that provide compatible inkjet cartridges
and inkjet refill kits that can save you up to 85% on the cost of printing.
Five minutes of your time reviewing some of these companies could save you hundreds and even
thousands of dollars. That would definitely help you reduce your one-year cost of printing. I thought you
needed to know.
Larry Andrew is an educational consultant, author and publisher of http://www.ez-printer-ink.com. Purchasing printer ink, toner and inkjet cartridges on line
should be fast, convenient and cost-effective.