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Popular Printers are Wasting Ink

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A 2013 Consumer Reports study revealed that, when a printer is used infrequently, as many small business and personal printers are, a significant percentage of ink is not making it onto paper in many popular models. Instead, the ink is being wasted on printer maintenance chores such as cleaning printer heads.

According to the Consumer Reports article, at $13 an ounce for the lowest-priced ink and as much as $75 an ounce for the highest, printer ink is among the most expensive liquids a person buys. Even the cheapest ink costs more than a fine Champagne, and the most expensive printer ink options run higher than most designer perfumes.

“This study highlights the fact that businesses and consumers hoping to save on printing costs are in a frustrating and challenging position. The best advice for stretching your dollar is to seek efficient printer models and to make sure they can use refillable and eco-friendly ink cartridges,” said Tom McLaughlin, marketing director at Cartridge World North America. “The home and office printing pros at Cartridge World can help local shoppers make a printer purchase that won’t break their budgets over time.”

Unlike most printing studies in the past, which involved printing pages continuously in large batches, Consumer Reports studied intermittent printer usage, which more closely imitates actually printer use. About 30 pages were printed in batches of two or three pages, once or twice a day, for three weeks. Weekends were skipped during the testing.

“In intermittent use, plenty of models delivered half or less of their ink to the page, and a few managed no more than 20 to 30 percent,” Consumer Reports concluded. While the report found that most printers used the majority of ink on printing, only a few came close to using it all.

“Printer manufacturers make their money from ink and toner cartridge sales,” said Mark Pinner, Cartridge World’s chief technical officer. “Part of their business model is to force consumers to replace cartridges on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the high cost of new ink cartridges hurts both the checkbook and the environment.”

Pinner adds that, over the past 10 years, ink levels in some inkjet cartridges have decreased by as much as 90 percent. “This systematic reduction in ink volume, along with the introduction of ‘starter’ cartridges packaged with new printers, is simply aimed at making the end user purchase a replacement cartridge as soon as possible,” Pinner said.

According to the Consumer Reports study, only Brother printers were “consistently frugal when ink was used intermittently” during the testing. Other manufacturer results varied widely depending on the printer model.

Luckily for budget- and environmentally-minded consumers, most Brother printers also use ink and toner cartridges that can be easily recycled and refilled, saving up to 30 percent off the cost of a new cartridge and reducing waste in landfills. Over the life of a printer, eco-friendly printer cartridges at Cartridge World can save businesses and consumers hundreds to thousands of dollars.

With more than 1,400 stores across the globe, Cartridge World is the world’s largest specialty retailer of ink and toner printer cartridges. The company sells printer cartridges for home and office printers, copiers and fax machines. Each Cartridge World refillable cartridge also is backed by a 100-percent guarantee.