Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive? – Printer Specific Inks-And How It Works

Last Updated on March 18, 2023 by Jordi Hilpert

Explaining the Price Tags on Printer Ink

Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive? Having a printer is almost a necessity in today’s society. Every day, thousands of people have the need for printed documents, and the simplest way to access them is at home. However, as many of us know all too well3, printer ink can cost almost more than the printer does.

You may wonder why this is so. Why would you be able to purchase the printer for so cheap, just to spend a fortune on the ink? Below we have the answer to your question, why printer ink is so expensive.

Printer companies have the ability to make their printers only compatible with their ink cartridges. What this means for you is that they can raise the price of the ink as much as they want, and you still can’t change to another brand of ink. The only way to stop using their brand is to use a completely new printer. They know you won’t want to do this, so they are free to raise the cost as they wish.

A lot of times the way the companies accomplish this is by using a chip inside both the cartridge and printer. The machine can sense whether or not the cartridge is compatible, and can refuse to use the cartridge if not, even if it fits perfectly inside. This gives you no choice but to use the brand that the printer company wants you to use, which is always going to be their company at their prices.

Quality Printers, Affordable Cost

Another reason printer ink is so expensive is due to the cost of the printer itself. Most of the time even high-quality printers are sold at a lower price than they should be. In fact, sometimes they are sold at so low a cost it’s a loss for the company. That, however, is only a temporary loss.

Once you purchase the printer for much cheaper than you should be able to, you’ll have to get ink for it to work. What this does is allows the company to make sure you go with them before they stick you with a large price tag.

This is the way many of the most popular printer companies are set up. A printer that costs the company $120 to build may only cost you $70 in the store. This may not seem to be a smart business practice, but when you consider the upcharges they place on the printer ink, everything begins to make sense. The profit doesn’t come from the initial purchase of the printer, but the need to replace cartridges later.

Quality Printing Ink has a Downside

On many different brands of printers, to change the cartridge doesn’t mean just add ink. A lot of times, you’re changing the printhead as well. On the bright side, this can help to ensure your printer is always printing with the clear, crisp lines you want. However, the cost of replacing a printhead is going to make the price of the cartridge go up significantly.

This, however, has its pluses. You do not want to ever put a leaking ink cartridge into a printer. This can cause damage to your printer that is irreversible. Besides, the printer ink that would be leaking out is extremely messy. It’s sure to stain anything it comes into contact with, leaving you with a huge mess to clean up. To prevent this, most cartridges have an expiration date coded into them. After this date, your printer will refuse to print with them, instead insisting you replace the cartridge before continuing.

On the bright side, you’re not just paying for a name when you buy a printer, though there are some brands that we all tend to have a fondness for because they may be easier to use, faster, or have the quality that we demand our printers to have.

There are times when you’re truly buying quality ink in those cartridges. These quality inks are designed to print clearly and dry quickly no matter how much you print. Due to the technology it takes to make a printer work so well, you may see a price increase in the cartridges.

You want to make sure your printer works well. This has to involve thousands of droplets of ink being in the right place on the paper each time you print. Not only that, but the color has to be right, along with the alignment on the paper. This makes it difficult to make a printer work properly, which can help to drive up the price tag.

Final Thoughts

Printer ink is not expensive because of anything special in the ink. It’s also not expensive due to any complicated technique used to build the cartridges. Printer ink is expensive due primarily to supply and demand needs.

A lot of people believe it is cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to buy a new cartridge of ink. Sometimes that is entirely true. However, sometimes it’s just not worth it to go out and buy a brand-new printer. We may enjoy a program that comes with this brand of printer and it may not work well when you change the printer. Therefore, you keep the one you feel most comfortable with. Companies know this, and so they can price ink accordingly.

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