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Printer ink cartridges why youre printer cartridge price pa     time :2018-04-11   The editor :admin  browse :time

Printer ink cartridges why youre printer cartridge price paying more but getting a lot lessBig printer companies are accused of squeezing ever-increasing amounts of cash out of the poor consumer

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The printer companies dispute that they are squeezing consumers to ramp up profits. Focusing on any single ctor such as the point of purchase, the up-front cost of the cartridge or printer, the cost per page, or the millilitres of ink in a given cartridge is not an accurate way to measure the cost of printing, HP said in a statement. It says consumers should focus on the cost per page of printing. It claims that on its Officejet Pro models, ink costs on a per-page basis have been maintained at the same levels since 2009.

In addition, aggressive competition from new entrants such as Kodak, which threw itself into the market in the mid-2000s offering cheap plastic printers and even cheaper cartridges, has eaten into their bottom line. (Kodak said last year that it was pulling out of the inkjet market.)

Critics accept there have been improvements in technology and modern print heads are more efficient. But these improvements cannot justify a five-fold decrease in the amount of ink in a cartridge, Brooks says. The cost of printer ink is the lowest its ever been, a few euros for a litre. Many cartridges cost less than 50p to make. The mark-up is enormous. The consumer is paying r more pro-rata today than a decade ago for cartridges containing very little ink.

The response has been to sell cheaper printers and recoup the money on low-ink cartridges, which consumers have to replace more often. A decade ago, the average household printer cost upwards of 150, but today they retail for as little as 30.

But store owner Martin Dyckhoff says customers come to him time and again with the same complaint: the branded inkjet cartridges they have bought run out of ink too quickly.

The big three have seen a year-on-year erosion of their market share, Brooks says. They had to do something drastic.

The sky-high price of printer ink measure for measure more expensive than vintage champagne has been well documented. Less well-known is the ct that the amount of ink in the average cartridge has shrunk dramatically. Newer cartridges contain a fraction of the ink a similar product contained a decade ago, Dyckhoff says. The amount can be minuscule.

Of the leading manucturers, Canon has been the least aggressive in its ink reduction, but volumes have still shrunk. Its recent PGI-525BK inkjet cartridge, for example, contains 19ml of ink compared with its 26ml BCI-3BK issued in 2005. The company has also introduced standard and XL cartridges.

Sat 23 Feb 201306.59 GMTFirst published on Sat 23 Feb 201306.59 GMT

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XL cartridges are an insult to the consumer, says Patrick Stead of cartridge recycler Environmental Business Products: HP sells half-full cartridges, then sticks an XL on, fills them up, and sells them for even more money. The difference in manucturing costs is pennies. Its a shocking rip-off.

Printers with refillable tanks set to revolutionise home printing

Its a busy morning at Cartridge World in Aylesbury, part of a chain of almost 200 outlets across the UK that sell branded and refilled printer cartridges. Its a thriving business. The shop has seen turnover double in the past five years.

The shrinking amount of ink in cartridges has enabled manucturers to offer a remarkable new product called XL (extra large) but almost exactly the same size as the standard cartridge. For example, HP makes the HP300, which contains 5ml of black ink and sells for about 13. It also makes the HP300XL, which has more ink about 16ml and sells for around 20-25. But both are nearly identical in size. Indeed, some makers XL cartridges may contain less ink than standard cartridges issued a few years ago.

Chris Brooks, technical director of industry group the UK Cartridge Remanucturers Association, is more forthright: The big printer companies do all they can to squeeze ever-increasing amounts of cash out of the poor consumer in exchange for less ink.

For example, the Epson T032 colour cartridge (released in 2002) is the same size as the Epson colour T089 (released in 2008). But the T032 contains 16ml of ink and the T089 contains just 3.5ml of ink. Its a similar story with Hewlett Packard (HP) cartridges. A decade ago, the best-selling HP cartridge had 42ml of ink and sold for about 20. Today, the standard printer cartridges made by HP may contain as little as 5ml of ink but sell for about 13.

Printer ink cartridges: why youre paying more but getting a lot less

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Cut open a HP inkjet cartridge and youll find what is going on. The size of the sponges inside, which hold the ink, have progressively reduced over the years. The rest of the cartridge is now simply empty space. In Epson cartridges, meanwhile, the ink tank has been systematically reduced in size.

There is an intense battle between manucturers (HP, Epson and Canon) and remanucturers, represented by Brooks, who refill cartridges to sell at a discount. Remanucturers have grabbed a third of UK sales, at the same time as counterfeit cartridges from China are flooding into the country.

What is the most cost-effective way of keeping running costs low?

The strategy has been to nudge the consumer towards a high frequency of purchases, says David Connett, editor of The Recycler, a trade magazine covering the remanucturing industry. The big printer manucturers have reduced the amount of ink in a cartridge, encrypted the chip technology, and used aggressive marketing tactics to discourage refills.

Many new printers come with start-up cartridges that contain tiny amounts of ink so the owner has to buy new cartridges almost immediately. Others have embedded technology to block cheap refills. The logic is , Stead says. Once a consumer buys a HP printer they have to buy HP cartridges, no matter what they cost.

Printers with refillable tanks set to revolutionise home printing

We need a new printer but dont want to spend a fortune on ink

Epson, meanwhile, argues that print heads are more efficient compared with 10 years ago because of advances in technology. They are able to produce a greater number of pages with an equivalent amount of ink, the company said in a statement.

With the standard inkjet cartridge now producing a measly 200 pages, we look at whether laser printers represent a cost-effective alternative for the home consumer

Worst value, say the experts, are the colour cartridges. All three leading players, including Canon, sell single tri-colour cartridges cyan, magenta and yellow often with less than 2ml of ink per colour. Theyre very bad value because when one of the three colours runs out the entire cartridge stops working, Dyckhoff says. We always recommend people buy a printer with a separate cartridge for each colour.

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