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What Do You Do When Printers Cost Less Than Ink?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the buy-more-printers dept.

Printer 970

An anonymous reader writes "A family member recently asked me to pick up more ink for her Epson Photo RX 595. Unfortunately, replacing the black and color ink cartridges costs $81.92 + tax at the local store! That's so bad that I got a replacement printer that's just as good, and spare ink, for less. But now I have a useless piece of e-waste that I can't even give away. What can you do with a printer like that? I hate to just throw it away."

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ctrl+p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316400)

first post

buy compatible cartridges (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316408)

/thread

Re:buy compatible cartridges (5, Informative)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316626)

The ink cartrides that come with the printeres are never 100% full, they are only about 25% full. It's just starter ink, to get you to buy more in.

Re:buy compatible cartridges (2, Insightful)

AK Dave (1459433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316810)

This is the WORST bait-and-switch with new printers. You're absolutely right, those dirt cheap new printers are often boxed with sub-volume starter ink and then you have to turn right back around and get a set of REAL ink cartridges.

feeBay is the answer (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316412)

Find a sucker on feeBay!

KaBOOM!!! (1)

sheph (955019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316414)

You could take it to the firing range.

Re:KaBOOM!!! (4, Funny)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316498)

Make sure you put it far away, I had a bit of printer stuck in my leg for some time.

Re:KaBOOM!!! (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316540)

I thought to KaBoom something meant to build a park for it very quickly.

Cheap Printer? (5, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316416)

Make sure the new printer comes with FULL carts, not the half-or-less carts they often box with the printer.

Re:Cheap Printer? (2)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316510)

Make sure the new printer comes with FULL carts, not the half-or-less carts they often box with the printer.

What company actually sells printers with full cartridges?

Re:Cheap Printer? (2, Insightful)

frooddude (148993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316556)

What company sells full cartridges as replacements ?

Office Space (5, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316418)

All you need is a bat

Re:Office Space (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316668)

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Prevent. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316420)

The best course of action for this sort of thing is prevention. Keep consumables prices in mind when buying hardware in the first place, get a decent laser printer if you can, and give 3rd party consumables a try.

If you do end up stuck with a printer, or printers, you might want to see if you are, or if you know, any electronics/robotics hobbyists. Even cheap and ghastly printers contain a reasonable supply of motors(some conventional DC, some steppers) and gears and optointerrupters and other fun little gizmos. The larger and more sophisticated printers can contain pretty impressive quantities of such.

Failing that, you probably just want to find a recycler.

Re:Prevent. (5, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316460)

Ship it back to the manufacturer if you want to make a statement. Corporate HQ is probably the best since they don't have the on site means/processes for disposal.

Re:Prevent. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316592)

Yeah, and spend $20 for the postage there...

Re:Prevent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316678)

Hey, its way better than dumping it in the garbage!

Re:Prevent. (5, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316508)

If you do end up stuck with a printer, or printers, you might want to see if you are, or if you know, any electronics/robotics hobbyists. Even cheap and ghastly printers contain a reasonable supply of motors(some conventional DC, some steppers) and gears and optointerrupters and other fun little gizmos. The larger and more sophisticated printers can contain pretty impressive quantities of such.

Arrgh for the love of mod points, that's insightful.

Next - a series of combat robot competitions where the components must come from discarded printers. Who's game?

Re:Prevent. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316746)

ahahaa. I actually do have a pile of printer guts in my crate of outdated computer parts. I've been to busy to actually build anything with them. I was planning on tacking them onto my boe-bot somehow but never got around to it.

I Second this (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316614)

The best course of action for this sort of thing is prevention. Keep consumables prices in mind when buying hardware in the first place, get a decent laser printer

Indeed. Laser might have higher upfront cost, but tend to cost a lot less per page.
And also, tend to be much more compatible : they simply accept good-old PostScript. (PostScript over Network is the must in terms of compatibility).
Thus you don't need to hunt for drivers every time Microsoft decide to change driver model or when attempting to switch to Linux.

Re:I Second this (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316708)

The upfront cost isn't even that significant. I've been looking around and there are quite a few black and white laser printers at or below the $100 mark. Though I am not certain about the quality.

Re:I Second this (1)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316714)

Thus you don't need to hunt for drivers every time Microsoft decide to change driver model

Which has happened how many times? Oh and let's not forget how you can use XP drivers in Vista and 7.

Re:I Second this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316776)

He doesn't want a laser, he wants to print color, like 99.9999% of home consumers. The "photo" in the printer type gave that away.

Re:Prevent. (1)

sirket (60694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316756)

The basic Brother 4040CDN I just bought is a color laser with 4 individual toner cartridges, duplex, 21ppm and networking for $360- and it will last me a decade at least. It's not a photo printer, but if all you need is color it's a better choice than an overpriced inkjet.

The Time Has Come to Take Up Pitchforks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316436)

and cut the intenstines out of the CEOs of Hewlett Packard, Epson, Canon, and all the others that have gone the way of the razors/razor blade approach to printers.

Donate (2, Informative)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316440)

If you have something useful that you don't want anymore, donate it. Most organizations that take donations (Salvation Army, for example) not only spend money to help others, they also employ people that might not otherwise get employment.

It's the whole win-win thing.

Re:Donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316612)

That would be a win-lose, you get rid of the printer with ink that costs more than a new printer, they have to buy a ink that costs more than buying a new printer.

Re:Donate (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316636)

And what good is a printer with no ink, which will require expensive ink cartridges, be to the Salvation Army? Or to put it another way, what makes you think they will have any more use for it than the poster has?

This is like the folks that will give the Salvation Army their old 486 and think they are doing the Salvation Army a favor, when in truth all you are doing is making the Salvation Army pay for disposal.

Re:Donate (3, Insightful)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316750)

It's also a scanner. Donate it to a school, maybe they need a scanner but don't care about printing (at least from this device).

Re:Donate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316768)

Most charity organizations where I live will no longer take printers of any kind.

not a bargain (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316442)

The new printer you bought came with "demo" ink cartridges that are nearly empty, compared with full ones. You didn't get a bargain.

Personally, while I understand the business doctrine of "whatever the market will bear," I think it's time that Congress look into market collusion and racketeering. There's no way that a pigment can cost thousands of dollars per liter.

Re:not a bargain (3, Informative)

clong83 (1468431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316538)

I always thought the high price wasn't from the inks themselves, but because there are somewhat sophisticated microfluidic devices in each ink cartridge. Do they actually claim it's the ink that's expensive?

Re:not a bargain (2, Informative)

l3prador (700532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316618)

I always thought the high price wasn't from the inks themselves, but because there are somewhat sophisticated microfluidic devices in each ink cartridge. Do they actually claim it's the ink that's expensive?

Which are mostly in place to make it more difficult for people to offer 3rd party generic cartridges.

Re:not a bargain (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316684)

If that's the case, why is it not possible to create a system which separates the ink cartridge from those? Or a system which allows an ink cartridge to be refilled?

Re:not a bargain (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316766)

Or for a car analogy, like a hole to fill up your tank.

Re:not a bargain (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316814)

There is, google ciss - continious ink suply system

Re:not a bargain (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316584)

There is also no way that printer hardware can be so cheap -- it's called subsidized hardware. I would also urge you to look up racketeering: a racket is a way of (illegally) making money by selling a solution to a problem that the business itself created; however, the problem here is low ink, and the businesses don't have a way of forcing you to use up their ink.

Re:not a bargain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316610)

Then don't buy ink. Buy toner.

Re:not a bargain (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316642)

Personally, while I understand the business doctrine of "whatever the market will bear," I think it's time that Congress look into market collusion and racketeering. There's no way that a pigment can cost thousands of dollars per liter.

I believe that competition for ink products can't arise due to monopolies that Congress intentionally created via patents and the DMCA.

I think that the best one can hope for is that Congress didn't anticipate this.

Re:not a bargain (4, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316740)

There's no way that a pigment can cost thousands of dollars per liter.

It doesn't, but the cost to the company is not just the cost of the pigments, it is also the loss leader price for just about every printer they sell; especially true with the consumer grade laser and photo printers. The market has demonstrated, whether through ignorance or otherwise, that they prefer the razor and blades [wikipedia.org] model to paying what the individual items actually cost. This could happen even in the absence of any collusion.

send it back to Epson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316444)

and if you bought a different brand, attach a congratulation for a lost customer

Printers don't come with (much) ink. (3, Informative)

onion2k (203094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316446)

The printer that you buy with ink comes with cartridges that are, at most, half full. Usually it's considerably less than half. It might feel cheaper, but in dollars-per-print it's not, and that's the only metric that really measures the value you're getting.

Next time, don't fall for it.

repurpose, refill (4, Informative)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316448)

Well, you could use it for some DIY project. Printers have nice stepper motors and the guiding rod is pretty straight too.
But it doesn't have to be like that. You could just go buy an ink refill kit and refill existing cartridges

Re:repurpose, refill (3, Interesting)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316568)

Yeah my thoughts exactly. If you're a hacker make a fabber or CNC machine from it's parts (and some others of course). If not then donate it to someone that may want to do that. Local robotics clubs are usually filled with hackers that love to make such things. After all it's not too far from a typical robot in it's mechanics and electronics.

just toss it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316452)

I hate to just throw it away.

I learned this lesson awhile ago with inkjet printers - throw it away, get over it. Inkjets are disposable.

Recycle. (2, Informative)

Rickz0rz (831049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316454)

I've been using cartridge stores like Cartridge World. Overall, the ink there is much cheaper. However, the best thing you can do is call up your local recycling center and see if they take e-waste. More so, a simple Google reveals [earth911.com] that many manufacturers will take back their own product for recycling. Even if they're not listed, it wouldn't hurt to contact the manufacturer to see what programs they have in place.

Moral of the story: DON'T BUY AN INKJET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316456)

Inkjets have ridiculous per-page ink costs.

Get a laser printer instead. Even color lasers are very affordable. Per-page toner costs with a small b&w are less than 5 cents per page (with a great laser you can bring that down to 1 cent).

Office Space re-enactment (5, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316458)

Take it to a local field with a buddy

Set up a camera

Film yourself bashing it to bits

Upload to internet

Profit

Re:Office Space re-enactment (1, Redundant)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316712)

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

Re:Office Space re-enactment (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316812)

PC LOA

...oh the hell with it. KABOOM!

Well easy. (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316468)

Terrible business model. Blame your con-consumers.

Simple! (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316472)

Just put the old printer in the new printer's box, tape it up, and return it. Now that's what I call recycling your e-waste! ;)

Re:Simple! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316644)

Just don't return try it at Frys....I'd recommend CompUSA. Their customer service staff is usually so disgruntled you could return a box of bricks as a printer and they'd be happy.

Send it to the manufacturer (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316474)

Box it up and send it to the manufacturer. It's their business practices that cause this waste. Make them deal with it.

Re:Send it to the manufacturer (3, Funny)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316580)

You skipped a few steps: Smash it into tiny pieces with a huge hammer, screaming insanely/swearing/weeping. Mention the manufacturer's name a lot and why you are smashing it. Film this. Box up the shards of printer and mail it to the manufacturer. Film this. Post the video on YouTube. Wait for it to go viral. If the manufacturer replies, post this on YouTube. If it doesn't, rant and post on YouTube. Advertising revenue will pay for a new printer.

This is 2009..... (1)

Qwrk (760868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316478)

Hate to say this..... but we've been doing this for quite some time now at the MoJ. HP has been doing this for years.
We just toss them out. Don't need to replace them cartridges no more; just hook up a new printer. And you're done...

Just find an eWaste recycler (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316480)

If you're too cheap to pay the recycling fee, just put it in the garage and wait until someone is doing a free recycling drive. I personally think that recycling fees are bogus. In California they already tack on a waste fee when you buy electronic goods. It's ridiculous that recyclers charge to recycle at the end other end of the waste stream as well.

Indeed (2, Informative)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316674)

Just throw it away. Recycling in it's current form is a crock anyway.

Your local waste management company is well equiped to deal with bits of plastic and metal.

Put in the the drawer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316482)

We all have a drawer of old components that might some day be useful. SCSI cables, Ancient AC Adapters with weird voltage ratings, etc... A perfectly good printer sounds like a prime candidate for collecting dust. Who knows, maybe someday people will realize they're being ripped off and ink prices will drop to reasonable levels making it useful again?

Just Throw it away (2, Interesting)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316484)

Throwing it away is the only way to break this bad pricing model. The printer company will lose the potential revenue stream from ink on that specific printer and might eventually come to its senses and have a good pricing model. In fact doing this a lot of times will help. I must say that I've been tempted when I found a sale in which printer + ink was cheaper then ink alone.

Just throw it away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316488)

Believe it or not, some waste is just waste, with no real use, just throw it away. Keeping giant metal paperweights around just because you feel bad throwing away something potentially useful but that you'll never use just doesn't make sense.

Donate and claim a tax deduction! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316494)

You can donate at Goodwill or Salvation army and claim a tax deduction.

Some ideas (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316496)

What can you do with a printer like that? I hate to just throw it away.

Recycle it. Donate it to a worthy group. The Lupus Foundation (and others, I'm sure) will even come and pick it up (though, it's a bit of a white elehpant for them since the toner is so expensive).

Take it apart and make a sculpture from the parts. Take it apart and see if it will blend. Take the blended parts and stuff them into small balls of ground raw meat to feed to the neighbors dog that won't stay off your property.

Put it on freecycle.org.

I have a collection of 5-6 working printers in my garage. Someday I'm going to build a sculpture from them, if my wife doesn't make me give them away so we can store some useless junk instead (tongue fully in cheek).

Re:Some ideas (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316550)

it's a bit of a white elehpant for them since the toner is so expensive

Not to mention they'd then have all that useless toner since it's an inkjet printer!

Demo ink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316500)

You should be aware that new printers ship with less than full ink cartridges!

I got an HP printer an found that the full replacement cartridge had more than twice the ink of the cartridge that it was shipped with it.

Refilll (1)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316504)

You can get a refill kit. Those are rather messy and kind of a pain. I would suggest taking the carts down to walgreens and have them refill them.

Re:Refilll (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316726)

Are there any modern inkjets that don't have the chip in them that detects when the ink level goes back up and shuts off the cartridge? I don't know of any off of the top of my head.

Usually only 33% full (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316506)

The cartridges which are shipped with the printer usually aren't completely full. They are just the demo, basically.

Charity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316518)

Goodwill or an educational institution.

The old fashioned way (4, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316520)

I refill my 4-color printer with Blood, Sweat and Tears (4th bodily fluid "redacted" as this is a family site).

Re:The old fashioned way (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316774)

sounds like someone "left the ink out in the rain."

(yeah, I'm really old. can't help it, sorry). ..but bonus points if you catch the reference ;)

Convert it to continuous feed inktanks (4, Informative)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316522)

You can get a set of continuous ink tanks off ebay for about $50 that will give you enough ink capacity to print until the second coming.

If I ran my country (4, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316526)

If I ran my country (and I really think I should) it would be illegal to sell a device at a loss in order to gouge on the consumables. In addition, they would be required to accept the return of any hardware they sell for environmentally acceptable disposal, meaning it would need to built into the price. I think some countries may already do this on some products.

Re:If I ran my country (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316794)

That second point is a no brainer: every product offered for sale should have the anticipated cost of it's eventual disposal added into the purchase price, these fees going into a trust fund so that the inevitable disposal is free. Charging people for throwing something away just leads to people dumping refuse in the woods to "beat the system", and cleaning that up afterwards is much more expensive. The only questions are, who should administer these disposal fees, and should the fees cover the costs of hauling the waste products away? Making people pay for disposal up front also gives people an incentive to buy better quality products that last longer, or to buy from second hand stores.

When do printers cost less than ink? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316532)

When you don't use them.

laser ftw (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316544)

But now I have a useless piece of e-waste that I can't even give away. What can you do with a printer like that?

Don't get one....craigslist a cheap laser printer instead.

Don't Just Throw It Away... (1)

Stupid Crunt (1627025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316578)

...throw it away in someone else's yard, where you won't have to look at it.

Epson sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316590)

I have one of their photo printers and it is just as nasty about the ink. Worse the carts use some damn chip which prevents refilling. My advice is to just keep trying to get rid of it on craigslist. Eventually some clueless person will buy it and then it is their problem.

if you live in the Washington/Baltimore area (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316598)

Turtle Wings [turtlewings.com] is your best choice for recycling.

On a related note (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316604)

If you find yourself buying a whole new printer _with_ink_ for less than the cost of replacement ink, there's probably a reason for it.

The ink cartridges loaded in new printers are often a little bit less than full. Don't be surprised if they turn out to have less than half the ink of the full-priced replacements. There's a weasel term for this, something like "Value Express Promotional Economy Monkey-Spanking Sized Ink Cartridges", but the point is that you're often being sold a nearly empty printer at a cut price just to get you to buy more ink later.

Recycle It! (3, Interesting)

esten (1024885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316620)

Best Buy has recycling programs for E-waste. For most items Best Buy's service is free or minimal cost ($10) and you get a $10 Best Buy gift card. I would assume recycling the printer would be free.

Sales Pitches FTL..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316634)

It's interesting how many people here have succumbed to the tireless sales pitches of the electronic store salesman trying to get you to purchase more ink. The mythological "demo cartridge" or "starter cartridge" is pure sales pitch. IT DOES NOT EXIST. I worked at a certain Electronics chain with a large Yellow tag and we were told to tell our customers this in order to sell more ink.

Unless the cartridge is listed as a demo piece or the contents show less liquid oz/ml on the cartridge than a standard cartridge it is the same thing.

Hope it wasn't one of those Kodak Printers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316640)

...because from what I have seen they are garbage. YMMV, but the one I got was extremely loud and jammed (as in an entire sheet of paper bunched up behind the printhead jammed) literally every other time I tried to actually print with it. The ink may be cheap but the hardware is garbage. Got a Canon as a bonus on a Newegg purchase and haven't looked back.

Just yesterday (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316646)

I got called a /.tard for saying that individuals didn't need printers yesterday. That i would rather have a cheap chromeOS powered device with no local storage and use that when i needed to move documents around my home. That smart phones just don't cut.

Of course now I will get called an idiot for just such things.

Look on-line (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316648)

Look on-line 6 cartridges for your printer (black, yellow, cyan, magenta, light cyan, light magenta) would have cost you $30.

They would have also held twice as much as the "starter cartridges" in your printer.

Recycle... (1)

sllim (95682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316654)

Find a group that will recycle the printer for you.
Where I live there is a group called http://www.freegeek.org/ [freegeek.org] that will take the printer off your hands, break it down, recycle it and fund the groups activities with the money made from recycling.

Hack it into something inkless (4, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316660)

Either a paper cutter(replace ink with knife), a plotter(ink with pencil), or just steal the motor/belt system as one half/third of a homemade CNC.

Red Ink (3, Insightful)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316662)

Paper and Ink have been HP's bread and butter for a long time. They sell the printer at a loss, but keep the price of ink and paper high. Sadly because they give away the printers, the printer companies have also stopped investing in quality printer designs, drivers, software support, etc, and you can more or less kiss the printer goodbye once it starts to behave badly. Most printer related jobs have now been succesfully outsourced to Asia. Ten years ago when HP had its first lay offs, they didn't touch the printer divisions. Now they can't seem to cut employees fast enough. Printers have become a commodity in which innovation and quality are really no longer important.

Pfft, easy (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316676)

Put it back in the box and return it, of course! No, I'm not trolling; I'm advocating consumer protest.

prin-ter? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316682)

You still print stuff? Like, on paper?

Luddite.

Less ink, but replacement is cheaper (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316700)

Sure, the new printer has less ink than a new cartrage. BUT, I can get a new printer and a new cartrage for around $100 from best buy (cheaper if you go online). The replacement ink for that printer is only $13. So while this new printer has less initial ink, he will still come out ahead if he bought the printer with low ink replacement costs.

Printer: $79.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Deskjet+Multifunction+Printer/+Copier/+Scanner/9317429.p?id=1218084031435&skuId=9317429 [bestbuy.com]
Ink: $13
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+60+Ink+Cartridge+-+Black/8761912.p?skuId=8761912&id=1202650704918 [bestbuy.com]

And, as always, read the Amazon reviews before you buy.

did we miss the part where he said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316702)

he also got spare ink in the deal? He's not asking for purchasing advice, he's asking what to do with an old printer that still works.

That said, I don't know.

Simple: buy the ink (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316706)

New printers these days come with partial ink cartridges. Budget laser printers for example usually come with a cartridges that is only 1/3 the amount of ink as you get in a refill.

As such, if you keep buying replacement printers than you're going to be doing that VERY often. Instead, buy a decent printer - regardless of cost, and then when the trial period ink gets used up buy some more so you start working on the real life-cycle of the printer.

Or to put it pretty simply: a $75 toner cartridge for my printer that lasts me for 4500 more pages is a lot better than buying another printer for $50 and getting 1000 pages out of it.

Pages from new printer versus pages from new ink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316718)

Keep in mind that toner/ink cartridges in new printers aren't always "full" cartridges and hence won't necessarily last as long or do as many pages as a new cartridge. For example last week I I bought a new toner cartridge for my printer (Samsung ML-1640). For $10 less I could have just got a new printer with toner cartridge, *but* the toner cartridge contained therein is a 750 page one, whereas the new cartridge is 1500 pages, so on a $/pages ratio the replacement cartridge is still cheaper.

Laser printers are starting too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30316752)

I bought an HP CP1215 on sale for around $100 a year ago.
Came with 'introductory' toner cartidges.

Price of the black refill: $109

Fortunately, I can refill them.
I bought a toner refill kit, and the first thing it said is to set the printer driver 'override' in the HP toolbox, and just keep on printing.
So far, I am 250 pages past the 'out of toner' that the popup keeps warning me about, and no signs of fading.

False economy... (1)

BabaChazz (917957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316770)

As many others have pointed out, the new printer comes with "starter cartridges" which contain less ink; in the case of a donated Dell inkjet I recently reluctantly accepted for the school where I work part time, the starter cartridge contains 5ml, instead of 25ml of ink. So for your $81 you would have bought possibly five times as many pages as you bought with your new printer.

That said: you are, in fact, causing significant grief to the companies making these printers by discarding rather than reloading. The company has adopted the Gillette marketing model: give away the razor, overprice the blades. It is almost certain that the printer costs more than $50 to make, so if you toss the printer you are hitting them in the bottom line.

On the gripping hand, the ecological costs of discarding the printer and buying new are significant. How much petroleum did it take to make the plastic that you would be dumping in the landfill, and transporting it to you?

The only truly sound way to approach this, once you have one of these printers on your desk, is to buy a single round of replacement cartridges and a refill kit. (The starter cartridges may have something in them that prevents them from being filled above the starter levels. To get full life out of a refilled cartridge you may have to start with a proper cartridge.) This not only prevents the printer hitting the landfill, but removes you as a source of ink-cartridge revenue from the printer manufacturer.

My wife codes for a printer company. (1)

motherjoe (716821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316778)

My wife codes for a printer company who shall remain nameless. It's well known they make more off the ink cartridges than the printers. Thing is it's not a renewable resource, you'd think they would figure out how make that work.

Three words for you (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316790)

Monochrome Laser Printer.

Seriously, unless you're a professional photographer there's no earthly way it makes any sense to print your own photos. More or less anywhere will print them for you at practically the same cost per print, with the added bonus that you don't have the expenditure of buying the printer itself. Then you just have to live with only being able to print in black & white.

I intentionally do not mention colour laser printers because the cheap ones are heading in the same direction as inkjets - the initial cartridges are half-full, a full complement of all consumables costs about double what the machine itself costs.

Refill toner and/or ink yourself (1)

rabtech (223758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30316792)

I got tired of having to buy a new color laser printer every time the cartridges ran out, so I just buy toner refill kits now. The average drum can last 3-6 refills and the company provided replacement chips to fool the printer into thinking it was a new cartridge.

Inkjet refills are also fairly easy, or you can buy cheap replacements online. Just be wary of the vacuum-sealed carts (I think Epson liked to use those) that cause major issues if you try to refill them.

That's also why I generally preferred Canon printers back when I owned Inkjets: Their inks were in individual tanks so you could replace just the colors that needed it. The heads were also a separate assembly, so the tank only held ink. Official replacement tanks were about 10 bucks each, which is not bad when you compare it to HP's outrageous prices.

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