The voice of baby boomers, the silenced majority. Rants and reflections on lifestyle, fashion, current events, books and more . . .

Someone has some ‘splainin’ to do


Could someone please tell me why printer ink cartridges are so expensive? I went to Staples today to get new replacement cartridges for both our printers and the bill came to $232.14. It would have been cheaper to buy two new printers.  And, the manufacturers threaten to void our warranty if we don’t use brand name replacement cartridges. The original cost of the printer probably justifies buying off-market cartridges, making the warranty issue moot. With colour printers now available for less than $100.00 are they amortizing the cost of the printer into the cost of the toner? It’s a shameful scam right up there with the cost of Ontario Hydro/Alectra/OPG or whatever they call themselves these days.

Once upon a time colour printers cost the equivalent of week-long vacation in the tropics. As with all evolving technology however, manufacturing efficiencies soon brought the price down to a level any household could afford—until you run out of toner. When I look back on my working days, our department alone printed thousands of colour pages each month for proposals, presentations and reports. The monthly cost of toner for that volume of work would probably offset the national debt of Greece. Thank goodness I wasn’t paying the bills then. Although I could have been more cognizant of its effect on my profit sharing.

I thought there were laws against price-fixing. The cost of restocking my printer cartridges has seriously jeopardized my budget for wine this week and by anyone’s standard, that’s cause for alarm. While the printer cartridges last just slightly longer, they’re not nearly as satisfying. What is it about barely a thimble-full of coloured powder in an ink cartridge that warrants such usurious prices? How is it any different from the pressed blue power pigment in my eye shadow compact, which if I shop at Walmart is only $1.99? If anyone has the answer, I’d be grateful to know.

Hewlett-Packard’s printer ink runs at a premium cost of $4,285 per litre.

That exceeds the cost of Channel No. 5


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Author: Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

4 thoughts on “Someone has some ‘splainin’ to do

  1. I fight this too, particularly because I have a very old HP inkjet which I absolutely love. Two things: I use COSTCO to refill my cartridges at less than a quarter of the cost. They work beautifully. Secondly, Santa’s elf has informed me that I am shortly going to replace my old HP with an EPSON Ecotank. These guys are using the concept that Kodak tried to push through about a decade ago: pay the full price for the printer but have large tanks that use cheap ink. My Dad’s got one and he’s broken even after just a year. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  2. Hi Lynda……loved your “Broadcast”. Like you I am continuously shocked at the cost of things like a “printer cartridge”. With Christmas upon us I am likewise shocked at the cost of gift giving. With a large extended family it is stretching my pocket book to unthinkable lengths. I remember in years gone by we would draw one name and buy for that person only. I am thinking Dollarama will be my outlet.


    • I’ve come to an agreement with family and friends to not exchange gifts at all at Christmas. We all have enough already and gifts just end up at Goodwill. It’s a wonderfully freeing feeling.

      Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: Social commentary on life from a Boomer Broad’s perspective e-mail:

      For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link:  or


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