The cost of replacing an ink cartridge is often more than that of what one might have anticipated for, with this being said however, it is important to understand why and exactly where the price point comes from. When purchasing an ink cartridge you are not just buying a plastic container with a liquid pigment in it. You are purchasing the technology, engineering and science that goes with it.
Whilst there are generic printer cartridge and refill options, they may not be suitable for your printer. Numerous printer manufactures have gone to the extent of making it difficult and next to impossible to operate their printers with unofficial ink cartridges. They have built in microchips that pick up if users have put in an unofficial cartridge or even if they have refilled an official cartridge, the printer will then simply refuse to print as a result of this. Lexmark had even argued in court that the use of 3rd party microchips to enable the use of generic cartridges would violate their copyright and be illegal under the US DMCA.
Cost of printer ink production
Technology advancements have given inkjets a difficult job, as they have to fire thousands of tiny ink droplets per second with surgical-like precision. The 4 colours need to be placed accurately in order to achieve the correct hue and tone needed. The inks need to be fast-drying, water and smear resistant all whilst avoiding paper curling and ensuring that there are no clogs in the tiny jets.
Whilst there is no doubt that there are companies out there that take advantage of customers who are unaware of the costs of cartridges and try to double and even triple the recommended profit margin, reputable online ink stores are often the best route to go. The technology that goes into developing ink pigments and printer cartridges is expensive to develop and the latest technology is required to guarantee reliable and professional image quality.
Whilst there are cheaper, less known brands available, one should always question why they are able to provide such a drastic price drop. The reason is often that the quality is not what is advertised, colours lack vibrancy and smudge and inferior quality cartridges can leak ink which could damage your entire printer and prove to be counter productive in your efforts to cut costs.
Technology behind the ink and cartridges
Products such as HP, Canon and Epson ink cartridges have undergone extensive research by their respective companies into translating dyes to create a pigment composition that is able to get clear “photographic” quality that will be non-fading and produce long lasting prints. Whilst there is no getting around having to pay extra for quality ink, you are more likely to get value for the money with a reputable brand. Ink companies have to spend a large sum of money and time in order to achieve the correct pigment, dye and mode to administer stable and minute droplets to deliver high-resolution printing quality.
In order to achieve the best quality printing on an inkjet printer, the ink itself needs to first be completely void of any impurities and needs to be released with an exact and consistent flow. Printers use a minute amount of ink in extremely precise locations when they are printing. When creating the ink, environmental and safety factors need to be considered at all times and in order to provide a product that allows for environmental sustainability, they are unable to cut certain costs. Many companies also assist by providing programs that allow for the proper disposal of cartridges with recycling initiatives.
Whilst the price of ink cartridges are not cheap, it is important to look at it as an investment rather than just an expense. Good quality prints are essential for companies that conduct their own in-office marketing media printing as the quality of work that you put out becomes a direct reflection of the quality of products and/or services that your business will provide.
Customers are not inclined to support, let alone recommend a company that does not give a good lasting impression. By investing in professional quality printing ink you will ensure that your money is well spent on a quality product and the technology behind it.