Report Printer ink cartridges: why you're paying more but getting a lot less

tom_mai78101

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It's a busy morning at Cartridge World in Aylesbury, part of a chain of almost 200 outlets across the UK that sell branded and refilled printer cartridges. It's a thriving business. The shop has seen turnover double in the past five years.

But store owner Martin Dyckhoff says customers come to him time and again with the same complaint: the branded inkjet cartridges they have bought run out of ink too quickly.

The sky-high price of printer ink – measure for measure more expensive than vintage champagne – has been well documented. Less well-known is the fact that the amount of ink in the average cartridge has shrunk dramatically. "Newer cartridges contain a fraction of the ink a similar product contained a decade ago," Dyckhoff says. "The amount can be minuscule."

For example, the Epson T032 colour cartridge (released in 2002) is the same size as the Epson colour T089 (released in 2008). But the T032 contains 16ml of ink and the T089 contains just 3.5ml of ink. It's a similar story with Hewlett Packard (HP) cartridges. A decade ago, the best-selling HP cartridge had 42ml of ink and sold for about £20. Today, the standard printer cartridges made by HP may contain as little as 5ml of ink but sell for about £13.

 
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Accname

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Thats why i dont use printers whenever i can. And if i really need to i use the printers at the university.

But seriously, capitalism failed with this industry.
 

FireCat

Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!
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There are still a "large number of people" who still use it. Well, don't they have a right to know or care about this issue? Just Wondering .
 

Jesus4Lyf

Good Idea™
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Still not too clear what the main difference is.
Toner is wax or plastic with a low melting temperature which laser printers heat up and use to print with. Ink is the old style stuff. Toner is much more efficient and people shouldn't really even use ink for black and white printing. Most people don't print colour regularly enough to have a colour printer. Ink is only really logical to use in colour printing, nowadays.
There are still a "large number of people" who still use it. Well, don't they have a right to know or care about this issue?
If I had the choice between telling everyone about how bad ink prices are, or telling them that they can use toner instead and its more efficient anyway, I'd tell them the latter.

Edit: To be honest, I'm not even sure if colour ink is still more efficient or effective than colour toner, either.
 

FireCat

Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!
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If I had the choice between telling everyone about how bad ink prices are, or telling them that they can use toner instead and its more efficient anyway, I'd tell them the latter.
But not everyone is aware about this.. So why not" Just tell both sides of this issue? Hmm
 

camelCase

The Case of the Mysterious Camel.
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See, telling them both is a bit like trying to talk reason with you.
It just isn't very worthwhile ;)
 

camelCase

The Case of the Mysterious Camel.
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Yes, "give up" is exactly what one does when one decides that a task is not worthwhile.
It matters because printers that use toner are faster than printers that use ink. This matters if you have to print out a shitload of magazines for your thousands of readers. This matters if you print your digital paintings or photographs often but don't want to use a slow ink printer. It matters because toner lasts longer than ink, too.

Ink is more user-friendly.
 

FireCat

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It matters because printers that use toner are faster than printers that use ink.
Don't forget... many people still have "super old printer's" Maybe some can't or want to buy a new printer. Just because "Toner are faster and Better?" So It does matter for them! Doesn't it?
 

KaerfNomekop

Swim, fishies. Swim through the veil of steel.
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Reliable source: my experience with an ink printer last night. Gonna get a shitload of toner refills this weekend.
 

Slapshot136

Divide et impera
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Don't forget... many people still have "super old printer's" Maybe some can't or want to buy a new printer. Just because "Toner are faster and Better?" So It does matter for them! Doesn't it?

guess what - those with super old printers (as in those with nice, big cartridges) will need to find a new printer anyways - why? because who would sell them those big cartridges when they could instead charge twice as much for a cartridge that is five times smaller, and also a new printer at the same time?
 

FireCat

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guess what - those with super old printers (as in those with nice, big cartridges)
It depends how"super old printers" you mean. lol Anyway , sooner or later "yes it will be smaller and smaller or whatever it will be" in the future. But still.....
 

camelCase

The Case of the Mysterious Camel.
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It depends how"super old printers" you mean. lol Anyway , sooner or later "yes it will be smaller and smaller or whatever it will be" in the future. But still.....
I can think of other things that are getting smaller and smaller..
 
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