Printer inkjet cartridge prices comparasion?

Quite a few years ago bought a Lexmark Z43 inkjet printer. This cost about $80 and came with a black and a color cartridge. The replacement black runs $35 or so and more for the color, so it is cheaper to buy a a new printer than two cartridges. Pretty idiotic, eh? I never did this, as did not want to add to the earth’s pollution.

Anyhow, later got a good multi-function printer, but still handy to use the Lexmark for quick envelope, card or single sheet printing.

I wanted to get another because just recently bought two new black cartridges, and hate to waste them as they won’t work in any other. Found only a handful of printers on eBay, and not worth risking a used one which might not ast long anyway.

So, finally, the question. It seems difficult to find out what inexpensive printers have the least expensive cartridges, if indeed any do. I use this mostly for black text printing, so I’d like to find a cheap printer that has relatively inexpensive black cartridges.

Any idea how to do a search of this? Trying to search cartridges for price, you pretty much have to pick a brand. Searching for printers can be done, but for each one you have to spend an inordinate amount of time finding out what cartridges cost.

I’m sure somebody has gone through this before. Any suggestions?

In cruising the aisles of Costco and Staples I haven’t seen much variation in prices among manufacturers for OEM ink. I have had Epson, Lexmark, and Canon inkjet printers and pay pretty much the same across the board. There are a lot of companies that sell after-market ink cartridges, although my only experience with one of those was very negative; the jets were constantly clogged.

There was a funny article in a magazine (maybe PC Week) showing all these printers that, when you subtract the cost of the ink that comes with them, are like $2.50. Clearly these companies are making the bucks on the ink so there don’t seem to be any killer deals there. (Although many new printers now come with “trial” ink cartridges, rather than full ones.)

Even though I love the quality of the ink jets I sometimes reminisce about the days when I could buy a ribbon for my dot matrix printer for about $5.

If you only use it for black printing, not color, get a laser printer.

Much cheaper than any inkjet (about 1/3 the cost per page), generally better print quality, and toner can sit for months without drying out like ink cartridges do.

Couple of mostly tangential things:
-Inkjet printers are very often priced at a loss, particularly those that incorporate measures to deter the use of OEM cartridges; it’s like the drug dealer giving you the first hit free, to ensure your future custom.
-Although the price of Printer+welcome ink pack is often lower than the price of a standard set of ink cartridges, the cartridges in the welcome pack usually contain a smaller volume of ink than the regular ones, so buying another printer just to get the ink would hardly ever be a cost-effective option anyway, even thought it might look like it.

Cartridges that are supplied with the printer are starter cartridges and are typically labeled as such. Instead of having cartridge model BJ-50, it will say something like BJ-50(d) and contain 1/2 to 1/4 of the ink of a regular cartridge.

Oh, yeah, and a Dell, which was bundled with a computer. The only way to buy Dell ink is to order it from Dell and wait for it to be shipped. When I run out of ink for any other printer I just drive 1 mile to Staples. I will not ever get another Dell printer.

It’s a classic marketing ploy - the razor model. So called because Gillette came up with it to market the safety razor at the turn of the 20th century - give away the razor and sell the blades (actually, I think he sold the razor at a loss, like the printer manufacturers are doing with their printers). As long as the manufacturers can make it difficult for you to use anything but their OEM cartridges in their printers, it will go on.

I was also thinking this as well. And even color laser printers can be obtained for under $500.

Ah, yes, them was da’ days! Actually, I wish I had kept my last dot matrix, noisy as it was. Probably would not work with current Windows, though.

Thanks to all for the input, very interesting comments. Damn printer makers!

May just look at a b&w laser printer, good idea. I remember years ago when laser printers first came out, they ran about $5,000.

I just have to say that I have used remanufactured ink cartridges in 2 printes so far, an EpsonCX5200 and a Canon MP390, both multifunction machines that print very high quality (in the canon’s case, near photo-quality).

I have not noticed a difference, except in the amount of money that comes out of my checking account.