No Bargain in “Bargain” Printers

Monday May 11,2015

For many consumers getting a brand new shiny printer for a low, discounted price feels like a great “win.” The new printer cranks out all kinds of nice things like, vacation photos, recipes, discount deals and hundreds of other items. Eventually, the ink cartridges that came with the printer become depleted, usually quicker than expected. “No problem” the consumer thinks, “just go back to the big box retailer (where the printer was purchased), and buy some inexpensive ink cartridges for the inexpensive printer.” Then, surprise: the cost of the cartridges for the bargain printer are not so inexpensive. Some consumers are well aware of the high-cost of replacement ink cartridges branded by the printer manufacturer. So, they simply walk that slightly used printer into the garage, put it on a shelf, give it to someone, donate it to a local organization, or worse, drop it in the garbage can. Now, imagine if that process is repeated several times a year. Eventually,  the number of people who will accept a cast-off printer will be depleted. So, at some point that bargain printer will cost all of us when it starts deteriorating in a landfill.

Why do some consumers do this? Well they think they’re outsmarting the system and saving money. These consumers reason that, for less than the cost of a set of printer manufacturer-branded replacement ink cartridges, they can buy a new printer that comes with a full set of cartridges. What these consumers don’t know is that bargain printers come with starter printer cartridges. These starter cartridges contain significantly less ink than the replacement cartridges from a Cartridge World store, or the expensive printer manufacturer-branded replacement cartridges the printer manufacturer wants consumers to buy.  On average, a starter cartridge will contain half the ink of a Cartridge World replacement ink cartridge, and with starter cartridges, typically 30 percent of the ink will remain in the cartridge when the printer indicates it’s empty.

The big printer manufacturers make their money by selling ink – expensive ink –not their printers. According to Consumer Reports, ink costs more per gallon than Champagne or Chanel No. 5. Enticing consumers with a low printer price, printer manufacturers recover the cost of the printer, and significantly more, when consumers continually buy their expensive replacement ink cartridges.

Beyond the higher cost of buying printer manufacturer-branded replacement ink cartridges, an additional long-term cost is that these printers become disposable like a plastic cigarette lighter that gets tossed in the garbage and ends up in a landfill.

At Cartridge World we are constantly trying to reduce our carbon footprint and pride ourselves on being a sustainable company. Helping customers to recycle their cartridges and promote recycling rather than discarding helps reduce the waste that spoils our environment.

Big box stores are typically incentivized by the printer manufacturers to push a specific brand, model, or worse, unload a slow selling or finicky printer line.

Your local Cartridge World store is staffed by a team of home and office printing pros that will provide unbiased advice on the best printers and supplies that fit customer needs,  and help them save time, and save money – all backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

So, the next time a big box store offers a temping “bargain” printer, do a little homework, and check with your local printing experts about the “true” cost of a low price printer. You’ll have the right advice and you won’t have to keep hunting to find someone to adopt a “gently used” printer.