Why Are Ink Cartridges So Expensive?

Let’s start with a few startling numbers. If you were to fill up the petrol tank in your car with the printer ink that comes in HP, Canon or Lexmark replacement ink cartridges it would cost over £3,000 – more than 42 times the price of petrol or diesel! Several recent newspaper reports have found out that it would be a vast amount cheaper to fill up the name brand replacement cartridges with vodka, penicillin or human blood than it is to use the ink that manufacturers charge a premium for – unfortunately you wouldn’t get the same print quality, if anything at all! Seriously though, the truth is that the ink isn’t that expensive, but it is just that this is where printer manufacturers like the previously mentioned HP, Canon or Lexmark make their money.

It was estimated that last year in the United States such printer manufacturers made a whopping £10 billion more in the sale of ink and toner cartridges available at sites such as need ink than from printer sales. These companies are content to sell the printers cheap (often below the cost it takes to manufacture them) to keep you coming back again and again for replacement products. It is speculated that some manufacturers have even been known to program the cartridges to stop working after a certain number of copies even if the ink has not been used up.

There have been a number of successful legal cases challenging certain printer manufacturers over such practices. There have also been a number of lawsuits filed by the manufacturers over patent infringement to try and stop generic replacement cartridges from being produced. There are now available across the world, a large number of replacement cartridges that are not made by the manufacturer of the printer. Remanufactured ink cartridges are ones that have been recycled and filled with new ink before being resold. There are also several compatible cartridges for sale which are built new to work in many of the most popular printers in service today.

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