Why is Printer Ink So Expensive?

A recent report by Businessinsider.com showed that the HP Envy 4520 printer retails at $70 but costs a total of $120 to manufacture. Such statistics provide the perfect perspective for you to realize why printer ink is so expensive.

However, there are various other factors that contribute to the average printer’s ink price. Luckily, this guide offers a quick rundown into these factors and a few suggestions for using your ink correctly.

Reasons Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive Anyway

Buying printer ink is a considerably hefty investment due to the following reasons:

Ink Production is Complex

There is more to the traditional ink production process than you would expect. For instance, the production of ink requires extensive research and development techniques. A recent report showed that companies such as HP use up to $1billion each year for research and development procedures for printer ink.

The company also has thousands of patents over various products, including cartridges, laser printers, and toner cartridges. There technical expertise and technology required to produce cartridges are immense.

Furthermore, brands have to develop printing ink based on a type of printer and the expected budget of consumers. Remember that printers work well with OEM cartridge products. Therefore, these factors have a considerable impact on the price of ink replacement.

Printer-making brands also have to struggle with the ever-increasing demand for quality printing products. Finding the right balance required to address all these needs places pressure on ink-making companies, resulting in high costs.

Printer Ink is A Complex Resource

Drawing through the use of ink has been a common occurrence since the 4th century BC. The ink has been behind the functionality of computer printers over since their debut in history. Most of the ink production procedures are complex, and so is the technology required for its use.

The structure of most printers is also unique. For instance, flagship printer brands often use resources such as the Piezoelectric process, which involves an electrical charge. The role of the electrical charge is to adjust the shape of the material which exists in the cartridge.

It then causes an increase in pressure, which sends out the ink onto the printing head structure of the printer. Regardless of the machine, you want to use, remember that cartridges are the most crucial. And the use of such technology involves much more than you would have expected in the past.

Consumers Want Quality Products

While you want to invest in genuine OEM ink for quality purposes, it’s still a costly venture. It’s expensive if you have to print out documents regularly. You are likely to come across printer ink that is almost as costly as the printer unit you own.

While you can go for other similar or remanufactured cartridges, such products often have various faults. These cartridges seem affordable but are also famous for breaking down fast or leading to low page yield issues.

Using low-quality ink is similar to using the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle. The result is that car will sputter all along your journey and eventually break down due to overheating. The same applies to your printer – using low-quality ink will ultimately compromise the functions of your unit.

If you plan on going for after-market products, be careful because these cartridges, especially if your printer is still on warranty.

Specialization Has Been an Issue in the Printing Industry

Ink cartridges are different, and there is no one size fits all solution in such a context. There is a lot of specialization involved in the traditional ink printer’s functionalities. Further, the ever-increasing costs of manufacturing and R & D have made it difficult for printing brands to lower their prices.

These are specialization issues, which means you have to learn more about the details on the production of printer ink. For instance, you have to be aware of the specific model of your printer and the make. You may have to note it down on paper or take a screenshot of these details.

Remember, the printer cartridges are available in various versions, including the XL or the high capacity version. Such ink types are suitable for when you have several documents to print and want to experience improved page yields.

Printer ink also falls into four major ink categories, which you should consider. These are red (M), yellow (Y), black (K), and blue (C). You should steer clear from the all-in-one cartridges because they are notorious for ink wastage.

Ways to Get Longer Life from Your Toner

While toner cartridges can be expensive, you can still use them sustainably by using the following tips:

  • Failing to use your printer for long periods can compromise the functionality of print heads. Ensure you run the printer occasionally and that you evaluate its components for functionality.
  • Keep your printer and ink using the proper storage measures. Keep them in a cool and dry place or away from any areas with excessive heat.
  • Realize the importance of using the correct font because some waste lots of ink. For instance, Arial is an industry-standard but an ink waster compared to other options like Times New Roman.
  • Documents such as drafts don’t need high-quality ink, and you consider options such as the grayscale mode. Consider using quality ink for when you have a final document draft.
  • Evaluate the levels of your printer’s ink regularly and keep a spare replacement batch with you. You never want to run out of ink when you have to print important documents.

You have to be careful in your approach to using and choosing printer ink. It’s an expensive product, especially if you want a high-quality user experience. There is still more R & D required to make such products available at affordable costs.