Disposable Printers vs. Buying Printer Ink

How often do you print at home?

For many of us, having to constantly replace printer ink cartridges can be a frustrating and expensive experience. There’s a few different ways to look at the consumable cost of ink and printing in the home, in a home based business, as well in the commercial world. Let’s take a look at understanding the pitfalls of ink consumption, and some of the ways in which you can save money – either as a consumer, or as a business.

Low cost printers vs. cost of ink

If you don’t use a lot of ink at home and you really only need to print once in a while, you may want to consider just buying a new printer instead of buying new ink. Buying a new ink cartridge, even for the least expensive printer, costs at a minimum $50 when you require new ink. If your printer requires more than one cartridge, you could be looking at $100-$150 or more every time you get more ink.

Let’s look at this cost of ink. Let’s say you’re buying new ink once or twice a year. When you need to buy more ink, you could look at just buying a low end printer instead. The cost of a low end printer, which comes with a starter ink cartridge, is as low a $20-30 in today’s consumer driven, disposable world. You also gain the added advantage of having a more up to date printer each time a new one is purchased.

Ultimately it depends upon usage whether this disposable technique is worthwhile or not. If you are printing everyday, or even a few times a week, this may not make sense for you. 

Managed Print Solutions

Another consideration you can make is a managed print solution. Managed print vendors provide ink on a as needed basis. Generally, managed print offerings are for commercial clients only, but residential clients can now take advantage of these offerings as well. How managed print works is you are charged a cost per page. You have to install the management/monitoring software from the vendor. Once you do this, the software picks up on ink levels and reports them back to the vendor. When you start to run low on ink, the vendor ships out more ink to you.

Managed print is great for those who are spending a lot of money on ink, and looking for a cost effective solution to cut down on ink costs. There is a break even analysis you can do to determine if managed print will help you to save you money. Try to total up the cost of ink you pay in a quarter or in a year, then track your usage for a month and try to keep track of how many pages you print. At the end of that month, take a look at the managed print solution chart and compare that against your cost of ink currently. If managed print looks like it’ll save you money, then you can give it a whirl.

Posted in Printers.


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