Why are printer cartridges so expensive?

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If you print a lot, it soon gets to the point when you feel that printer cartridges are not worth it.  They are expensive and soon you need to buy another set because you have run out of ink.  This is a common feeling among printer users. 

printer ink & toner finder

Research has shown that one of the key pain points of consumers is the amount of cash they have to pay out for replacement toner cartridges.  And the frustration grows because, in a relatively short time, the cartridge’s toner become depleted! And require replacement.  Which leads to the question, why are they so expensive?

So The answer to that question is revealing and multifaceted. Cartridges are expensive because;

Different type of printer cartridges to cater to:

Most printer Manufacturers has a lot of different models of printers and these different models do not all use the same type of printer cartridges.  If they did, the unit cost of the printer cartridges would go down due to the benefits of economies of scale. But the different printer cartridges that need to be produced means a higher unit cost for each model

The Engineering involved:

Printers are been designed to be easy to use and operate, but they require a lot of detailed engineering precision to meet the reliability and precision expected by the average consumer.  HP reportedly spends above a billion dollars on research and development.  And this cost has to be recouped

You are paying for the cost of the Printer: this might not seem obvious. But most printers are usually sold below the cost of manufacture.  This is done to entice the customer to easily acquire them in the knowledge that more profit will be made with the sales of the printer cartridges which are essential supplies.  This is known as the razor and blades strategy to sell the initial item at a discount to ensure sales of the follow-on supplies. 

With printer cartridges being so expensive, what option do we have to save on the cost of replacement toner cartridges?  An easily available option is to watch what you print and print only the essentials to reduce on your print needs and hence increase the intervals in seeking replacement toner cartridges. 

Printer Toner Cartridges

Therefore, A more practical option for those unable to reduce their printing is to seek toner cartridges from compatible manufacturers. These compatible printer cartridges give the same quality and page yield for a lesser price.

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