Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive

Printer ink has been around since the 1960s. Innovations and new technological advances have been made in the printer sector over the past 50 years and yet, the cost of printer ink keeps rising.

Back in 1988, when Hewlett Packard created the common printer for around 1,000 dollars, it was a commodity in the household. Nowadays, one can purchase a printer for about 35 dollars but put on the breaks when it comes to buying more cartridges because of price.

In some cases, industry leaders suggest that cartridge ink is more expensive than human blood or champagne. It is probably worth just buying a new printer altogether instead of buying a new cartridge!

So why so expensive?

In a word – greed has become the underlying factor when it comes to the outrageous prices in ink cartridges. In short, the cheaper the printer you purchase, the more expensive the consumables.

In order for printer companies to make a profit, manufacturers will sell printers at 70 dollars that cost them 120 to make precisely because they will markup the price of the cartridges thereafter. The manufacturers make their margins in the cartridges sales, selling them at an overpriced markup. 

According to a 2018 study in Consumer Reports, not even all the ink is used up! More than half the ink you buy ends up lost in maintenance cycles.

Also, printers that use multiple cartridges will stop working once one of the colors are dried out, making the printer useless a new cartridge of that color is purchased.

Over the years, the printer quantity has also taken a hit. Once sold at 20ML per cartridge, is no sold at 5ML for exorbitant prices. The 20ML sizes are still sold, but at an “Extra Large” price, putting more money in their pockets.

It gets better!

Fortunately, 3rd party cartridge vendors, such as Quest4Toner, have come to rescue the market. While the original manufacturers will install microchips into each printer to prevent other cartridges not to work, the 3rd party distributors have become more and more savvy, penetrating the marketplace.

At Quest4Toner, we’ve considered all of the printer industry’s inconsistencies and overpriced cartridges and aim to correct it for our customers.

Cartridges don’t need to cost a fortune – we believe once you buy a printer you should be happy with it for years to come. We aim to supply our customers with cheaper alternatives than the big box store and manufacturers.

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