Why is Printer Ink so Expensive?

Interesting article here, which claims that printer ink is the equivalent of $8,000 per gallon, which makes petrol look cheap.

Reasons Printer Ink is So Expensive

  1. Printers are sold cheaply. The market is very competitive. On selling printers the profit margins are very low. Therefore, the firms need to make money in other areas.
  2. Ink provides a way to get an improved profit margin. Once you have a printer, the firm has a captive audience – you will be reluctant to buy a new printer just because the ink is expensive.
  3. Vertical Restraints– Big printing companies like Hewlett Packard, allegedly, have been preventing other 3rd party firms from selling ink. This is essential to maintain their monopoly power. To prevent other firms selling ink cheaply big printer firms can use:
    • Technology – electronic chips make it difficult for other firms to provide replacements.
    • Deals with Big Shops. It has been alleged that Hewlett Packard have been paying Staples to stop selling alternatives. Staples gets a bonus from Hewlett Packard, and Hewlett Packard can sell their cartridges at a high price.

Tips for Buying Printers

I like this article because recently I bought a Hewlett Packard printer for £50. I then realised a set of ink cartridges was over £20. Furthermore, they made the cartridges very small. And, there was no option to buy alternative cartridges.

Choose a printer where you are able to get cheap ink as well.

By on December 19th, 2007

One thought on “Why is Printer Ink so Expensive?

  1. Just been to my local tesco’s and found them selling genuine Epson ink for Epson Stylus R220 (5 colours + black) – Price…£59.?? Yes!!! £59(can’t remember the pence, as I was so shocked at the amount of pounds).
    Thankfully there are other companies out there making ink for this printer and I can get a full set of non-epson ink for just under £10.00 online.

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