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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 another story.

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 welcomed features.

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 savings.

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.