Why room Printer Ink and also Toner Cartridges therefore Expensive?

If you very own a printer you recognize the harsh truth: printer squid is high-quality (and press toner is high value too).

You are watching: How much is ink for a printer

But why?

Why does the cost an ext to replace the cartridges than the press itself?

The answers to these mysteries and much more lie ahead…

Why space Ink Cartridges for this reason Expensive?

Here’s a quick and an easy answer: octopus cartridges are expensive for this reason companies have the right to make a profit.

Most printers are offered at a loss. A manufacturer makes money NOT by selling consumers one inkjet or laser printer, but by offering the supplies required to print.

The manufacturer controls the technology and the prices.

How much does printer ink really cost?

Back in 2013, customer Reports identified the ink inside inkjet cartridges price between $13 to $75 every ounce!* That’s more expensive 보다 the world’s finest perfumes!

Now, how much is press ink per gallon?

Let"s do rapid math.

There are 128 ounces in one us liquid gallon:

128*<$13, $75> = <$1664, $9600>

So, the printer ink price per gallon is between$1,664 - $9,600.

And $20 billion is consumed roughly the world every year!

Not 1 exchange rate dollars...20 billion dollars!

Is printer ink overpriced?


The rapid and an easy answer is hardly ever the complete answer. Over there are plenty of reasons why ink cartridges space not cheaper.

Let’s look at the height seven factors ink is so expensive.


Time to replace your cartridges? squid is expensive! get ready to open up up her wallet and also your printer.

1. Your press Is Free…Replacement octopus Is therefore Expensive

This is the basic business paradigm that all press companies run under.

HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, and the other large printer manufacturers make very little money in sleeve sales.Some even take a loss.

But...printer squid — so expensive!

Companies know they’ll make it up in replacement provides over the life of her printer.

Often, printers sell at or listed below cost, illustration a consumer in through tantalizing low prices. This manufacturers know the overwhelming bulk of consumers will certainly stick with actual OEM rather than opting for less reliable remanufactured and compatible third-party products.

This is sometimes referred to together the “razor blade” business model.

A razor is cheap because the manufacturer renders money retailing replacement razor chisels to consumers. Hair keeps growing and also razors will constantly be in demand.

The exact same is true of printing supplies.


A actual HP cartridge snuggles up together a non-OEM squid cartridge inside an HP Envy printer.

2. Octopus Research and Development

Research and advancement are frequently cited together the key reason for the high expense of offers for inkjets and laser printers.

HP claims it spends $1 exchange rate a year ~ above research and development, and holds over 4,000 patents alone top top consumables, liketoner cartridges because that laser printers, and, the course, squid cartridges.

Extensive modern technology goes into cartridge manufacturing. Inks are specially formulated for each brand and also type.

Printers and copiers are designed to work finest with OEM cartridges. This determinants heavily right into replacement cartridge pricing.


R&D: research study and breakthrough aren’t easy...or cheap!

3. Octopus Is Complicated

People have actually used ink to draw since the fourth century BC, and it has actually been used to power computer printers since their invention. Lot ink manufacturing is a facility process. Therefore is the printing process.

Check the end this cool tech production videofrom The printing Ink company to see exactly how printer octopus is made:

Some printer devices -Canon, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark - use a thermal process.

The chambers inside press cartridges have actually a slim filament running v them. As soon as the filament is heated, the ink bubbles, and the buildup of press propels a droplet from the ink cartridge, through the publish head, and also onto the paper.

Epson and Brother printers use a piezoelectric process, where an electrical charge varies the form of piezoelectric material inside the cartridge. This brought about a pulse of press to expel ink v the publish head and onto the paper.

(Inkjet troubles? discover out just how to clean a clogged print head!)

Regardless that which maker you own, and which procedure you use, the many important contents — octopus cartridges — must be well-designed in stimulate to stop malfunctioning.

Why is printer ink therefore expensive?

The human thinking that goes right into the high-tech design!

4. Girlfriend Pay for the Best

Genuine OEM octopus is still the highest quality and also safest choice for printer owners, however with top quality comes higher prices.

How high value is printer ink?

For example, a new set the cartridges because that your deluxe inkjet printer can cost as lot as the printer itself, if not more.

Yeah, it’s the expensive.

Sure, you have the right to buy compatible or remanufactured cartridges rather of brand-name, OEM print supplies, but there’s no insurance your printer will execute as promised.

Compatible and remanufactured cartridges deserve to save friend money, yet they’re infamous for low page yields and also spotty picture quality.

It’s favor filling the tank of her sports car with junk gas and also having the sputter, backfire and stall till the poor gas runs out of that system.


Ink is particularly formulated for each form of machine, which is among the reasons it is for this reason expensive, according to press companies.

5. Supply and Demand

Almost every office — including your home office — has at least one printer, if not multiple machines. With the rise in house office use and also homeschooling, domestic printers space taking ~ above a mass of workforce to press tasks.

The demand for squid is consistently high through minimal fluctuation. As a result, the prices for OEM ink will remain high together well.

Printer owners are left v the job of recognize the best prices obtainable for genuine replacement ink, which frequently does no come from big-box retailers.


If you desire the finest price top top replacement press cartridges, you need to look online. (But don’t concern - you don’t have to look far!)

6. Specialization

Ink cartridges are not one-size-fits-all. Over there is a good deal of specialization in press ink design, boosting R&D and manufacturing costs.

When buying instead of ink cartridges for your printer, you have to be informed.

For starters, you’ll need to understand your press make and also model in order come buy the best replacement print supplies.

In addition, nearly every cartridge come in one XL, or high-capacity version. If you execute a most printing, these high-capacity cartridges can aid lower your as whole cost per page.

Most inkjet printers use 4 separate shade ink cartridges: blue (C), red (M), yellow (Y), and also black (K).

Try to stop printers that usage all-in-one tri-color cartridges. Lock waste ink as soon as only one color runs out.


Printers usingseparate color ink cartridges (CMYK) are more cost-effective when it pertains to ink and toner prices.

Some luxury inkjet printers and photo printers use an ext than the standard 4 ink cartridges.


Technicians add committed ink come a contemporary printing press.

7. Printer Cartridges Are developed To Fail

So are printers. And also televisions. And smartphones.

All electric gadgets sold this day are produced with an to plan lifespan.

Sure, printer service providers can build electronics the last for decades, but whereby is the profit in that?

we live in an er of disposable electronics.

Unfortunately, those electronic devices are often filled with possibly hazardous materials.

Make certain yourelectronic wastegets properly recycled!


Recycle those empty ink cartridges!

Getting much longer Life From her Ink and also Toner Cartridges

If you don’t usage your press for long periods the time, your print-heads can dry out. Use your printer once a week, and also run program maintenance (head alignment, nozzle check, etc) once a month. Take into consideration switching to draft or grayscale mode to save on black color ink. Use higher quality setting only for final drafts.

Other methods To Combat expensive Ink and also Toner

Consider Non-OEM press Ink & Toner

It kills us to recognize this, but there space some high-quality non-OEM replacement inks and toners ~ above the market.

We continue to stick by our id that original tools makes the best imaging replacement products. The picture quality and page yields will certainly be higher v OEM cartridges.

However, if you’re on a tight budget and also willing come sacrifice a bit on quality and also page yield, you could want to take into consideration one of the much more reputable third-party cartridges ~ above the market.

They might use cheaper technology, however it’ll occupational in a pinch. Friend really have to shop around first.


Generic, third-party ink isn’t pretty, but it can save you a nice penny.

Refilling ink Cartridges

We absolutely dislike this idea! that messy and also awkward when cartridges are refilled. Syringes and slop cloth...not for us!

Try if friend must, but you’ll uncover refilling inkjet printer cartridges is an ext hassle 보다 it’s worth. Thumbs down on refilled cartridges!

Consider her Printing needs

Don’t just run out and buy OEM replacement cartridges if girlfriend don’t need to. If the mass of your print volume is composed of black message documents, reduced corners on how much girlfriend consume and also save some money.

Change your settings to grayscale. Save the collection of expensive OEM cartridges for when you’re printing household photos on glossy record and usage cheap cartridges the remainder of the time.

It is actually far much better to think ahead a bit in terms of what her future needs might be. Running out to a retail save for replacement cartridges is the critical course of action you desire to take.

Plan front on what you buy and you’ll save on unforeseen costs.

Automated octopus Refill Programs

Most printer makers have automatic refill programs the they’re happy to authorize you up for.

While this might be a convenient and also cost-saving systems for some, we’ve heard horror stories around costly automated refills and challenge unsubscribing from automated squid refill programs.


The people revolves around ink costs...at the very least our human being does!

Why Is Toner for this reason Expensive?

Toner is so expensive because that the specific same reasons why ink is expensive:

Supply and also demandResearch and also developmentSpecializationToner brand pricing strategiesand various other reasons we discussed in this article

However, it also worth note that press toner together a more advanced modern technology delivers betterprinting expense per page contrasted to press ink.

Nevertheless, in its entirety toner cartridge prices are of course still fairly high.

Don’t prefer High Toner and also Ink Prices? – Shop v Toner Buzz

If you want to salary the shortest price because that genuine, brand name ink and also toner cartridges (and that doesn’t!) watch no more than Toner Buzz.

See more: How Old Are Will Smith’S Kids Has The Highest Net Worth: Trey, Jaden, Or Willow?

No matter what you have to power your press — inkjet or laser — we have it at the lowest prices around.

And we’ll ship to girlfriend for free!

* consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org/printers/the-high-cost-of-wasted-printer-ink/)