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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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