I pit the disposable printer business model

Went to get replacement cartridges from WalMart for my wife’s inexpensive Canon Pixma printer.

Two cartridges: $39. New Pixma printer (slightly newer model; ink included, same volume of ink…): $40.

Last time this irritated me so much I just tossed out the old printer and bought the new one.

But even the Pedant’s black heart has trouble with a business model that makes the printers themselves disposable. It seems like such a waste. I get the revenue-stream-cheap-printer-expensive-ink business model. I get it that I can buy generic ink and mess with refilling myself–I’m basically too rich to make the savings worthwhile, and the manufacturers have made it increasingly annoying to do so, anyway. HP and Epson etc no different as far as I know.

My condolences at your adequate financial situation. I hope things change for you soon.

Actually, that barb was only directed at the “too rich to bother” comment. I’m board with your hatred of the printer/ink racket.

Get a laser printer.

You won’t believe the markup on lasers.

Probably not. I don’t know about that specific model, but most inkjet printers ship with a cartridge that has considerably less ink than the replacement cartridges you buy.

Well, I do dislike the printers are cheaper than their ink cartridge model, but I have the same printer and it is a workhorse. I keep expecting it to die, because I bought it three years ago as a cheap little at home printer, and it ended up being a main printer for our business last year. (We were undercapitalized and planned to buy a better one when “things got better”. Instead things got worse, and in retrospect I am glad we never spent more on fancy printers.) We printed 20 page programs, usually with print runs of 100, we printed tickets, flyers, office forms, etc and for six months it was very busy daily. It gets barely any use these last few months, but that will probably change again soon.

I also refilled all the black ink cartridges myself with a bottle of ink. (Being a nurse Im good with a syringe) getting maybe 10 fills for $20.00. The colour ones I let the store do, since it was a several colours in one cartridge kind of thing, and I think it cost around 15 for them to fill it.

I don’t understand the distain for re-fills. But, again, a little workhorse, so despite it being the cheap unloved printer, give it a chance and don’t trash it.

That’s usually the case with the Canons.

With the HP’s, you might get the same impression, except for a few dollars more, you can get an ink cartridge with double or even triple the ink. That’s the real scam.

I’m in the business of selling printer supplies, but I don’t stock the “standard yield” cartridges except in the case of the ones that are required in certain printers.

In that case, the cheaper printer won’t accept the XL cartridge, so you’re forced to buy the standard yield. Pay $20 more for the next model up and you get to use the high-yield cartridge.

See, that’s why I post here. I learn a new barb every day. Thanks for bringing me a smile. Good news for you: I just checked my stocks after this past week. I am poor again.

I should have been more honest and said “I am too lazy to refill and can usually find just enough discretionary income to buy new cartridges.”

The original cartridges are exactly the same size as the refills. And I am not complaining about this dirt cheap excellent workhorse printer. In fact, that’s sorta the point. I can buy a brand new (slightly newer model) one with cartridges for the same price as replacement cartridges. That makes the whole kit and caboodle completely disposable and I never risk buying new cartridges for a printer that is going to crap out before the cartridges because it’s always a new printer.

But as I said, even my black heart finds it distasteful to dispose of the prior printer.


A few years ago, we got sick of inkjet ink prices and decided to get a cheap mono laser printer. The printer was $50, and is still working. It came with a “starter” cartridge that did about 1000 pages. New toner cartridges are about $70, but do 3000-5000 pages, making for far cheaper per-page costs than an inkjet.

We had no need to print color, and at the time we wouldn’t have sprung for the ~$500 necessary for a color laser printer, but you can now get decent ones for under $300. If you really are “too rich” to worry about whether or not you save a few bucks, it seems to me that it would be well worth the investment.

Our printer is fairly modern (bought it two or three years ago), and it doesn’t like refilled cartridges, either. I put refilled ones in and they didn’t print right and the printer software didn’t recognize them as full and good. It really is a huge marketing scam - I hate paying the same price for cartridges as a printer, but I also hate wasting a perfectly good printer.

I have a Canon Pixma MX700, and I get my black ink cartridges at $5 each, and refills for my color cartridges at $15.99. Shipping’s $5. Seems reasonable to me. Order online, that’s the ticket.

(I do miss my old canon laser printer, though. Those laser cartridges lasted me a year, and the speed of a laser printer is hard to beat. Alas, it’s too old to have a Vista driver, so I had to upgrade. Still, the Pixma is a nice little all-in-one and so far, trouble-free.)

My black stingy heart also finds it distasteful. I have an HP deskjet that just ran out of black ink, and I’m wondering whether I should even try to refill the cartridge or just buy another one for $15. I know that’s fairly cheap for ink carts, but I really have to wonder at the markup on them.

The reason we got a new printer last time was because I hated paying around $75 for a cart, which I regarded as nothing short of highway robbery, fraud, mopery, dopery, and possibly white slavery.

Maybe an easier solution would be to print less!

It could be that you need it for something worthwhile, but I am pissed at my colleagues who print stacks of reference documents just to have them collect dust in their cabinets. :slight_smile:

Heh. The disposable printer is really the lesser evil.

What is the greater evil, you ask?

“You can not print this black and white page because you are low on red ink. Instead of a print button, or a ‘damned the consequences and print it anyway in black and white’ button, we are providing you with a button you can press to purchase more of our wonderful ink.”

Fuck you epson.

I have one of those $39 HP printer/scanner/copiers from WalMart’s Black Friday deal a few years back. It works great, still, and I print a good amount. I tried several different types of replacement cartridges from InkStop, Cartridge World, Office Max…nothing worked well. They either ran out of ink exceptionally fast, or they jammed up the printer so it refused to work, or they had plenty of ink left but just refused to work. I finally just went back to the HP ones, which I get a small discount on through a program through work…and I don’t think I’ve had to buy ink in almost a year. They work great and last much longer…I’ve actually saved money. I’m thinking it’s time to buy a second set, just to have on hand, so I have to check the sales and the discount program…it’s not always cheaper than sales at Office Max. In the meantime, InkStop has gone out of business, as has SwapInk…don’t know about Cartridge world because it’s too far away to drive past.

I hate that a set of black and color inks cost me $50 for a $40 printer…but I’m pleased they lasted so long.

Or hire a scribe. It’s an employers’ market.

My main complaint about inkjet printers is that the ink nozzles dry up and then require multiple head cleaning (ink wasting) cycles to clear.

A couple of years ago I purchased a B&W laser printer, put it on my home network, and threw out the Epson photo inkjet printer that had been causing me such stress.

I might have accidentally beaten it with a hammer before it reached the trash; that part is a bit fuzzy.

My solution to printing:
o Print all B&W on the laser printer for pennies a page
o Upload all photos to Winkflash for pennies a print
o Upload all color print jobs to Fedex Office or Staples and pick up the prints at my convenience.

Indeed, it is possible to live without a printer these days if you don’t mind driving to Fedex (formerly Kinkos) or Staples to pick it up. And they provide very convenient tools to submit print jobs directly from your computer.

I just bought a Pixma last Nov, but it was more like $120. Now it’s come down to $95 or so. Not sure where and what model you’re getting for $40, but that seems really too low to be true. Not that I’m doubting you. (I have the MX 330). A search on CENT says the Amazon marketplace has some PIXMA iP3600 model for $39, but I’m pretty sure that’s used, so we’d be talking apples and oranges.

As for the business model; seems to me that more stuff will go this way in the future. I was just talking to a buddy of mine last night about those old daytime commercials, aimed at the unemployed, “Go to school to learn VCR Repair!”. How’s that working out for those folks? Who fixes a VCR, when you can buy a new one for $25 or so? Same with DVD/bluray players, and pretty soon (if not already), many TVs and even stuff like weed wackers.

And Chief, even though you got some snark for it, I completely understand the ‘too rich to refill’ stuff. Obviously the hassle, mess, risk, etc of refilling, doesn’t outweigh the benefits to just buy new.

That is the best line I’ve heard all day! If I were into taglines I’d ask to use it, but I’m not, so I won’t…but thanks for making me laugh today!