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$55 for a Spoonful of Ink

Inkjet cartridges contain one of the most expensive liquids that money can buy.

The ink inside them can cost more than Chanel #5 French Perfume!

A cartridge of black ink for an Epson 680 costs $A 54.99.
It contains 12ml of usable ink - which is $A4.58 per ml.

A 50 ml bottle of Chanel No 5 perfume costs $A150
This is $A3.00 per ml - 2/3 of the price of the printer ink.

By the way - 12 ml is less than a tablespoon.
Epson won't tell you how much ink is in the cartridges. I had to weigh a full one and an empty one to work out the amount of usable ink.

I'm writing about Epson, because that's the brand of printer I own. (Edit: USED to own. It went to the tip shop quite a while ago) But I understand that the inkjet printers of other manufacturers can be even more expensive to run!

Consumers are Treated Like Idiots

The marketing divisions of printer manufacturers have really outdone themselves by convincing us to pay these outrageous prices for ink. (And so do perfume manufacturers, but that's another story)

They also exert a lot of pressure to convince us to use only "genuine" refills. No Wonder - they make a fortune out of us.

It's not just Epson.

Other printer manufacturers do the same thing to encourage you to use only their genuine cartridges, but it's fairly simple to get much cheaper, non genuine cartridges, or refill them yourself.

Epson has gone one step further in their efforts to make you pay high prices for their ink - by electronically locking the cartridge so that it will not work if you refill it.

Cleaning - Or Just Wasting Ink?

My Epson 680 printer frequently cleans itself by pumping ink through the nozzles. Very frequently.

I recently printed a lot of black pages over a period of a couple of weeks. I used no colour at all, but the ink remaining indicator told me that half a cartridge of colour ink had been pumped into the cleaning sponge. About $30 worth of ink wasted.

A great little earner for the cartridge manufacturers.

"Print 600 pages on a cartridge of ink"

Another annoying thing about printer manufacturers is the number of pages they say you can get out of a cartridge. For my Epson 680, they say you can get 600 pages.

Their tests are based on using a small amount of text on a page, then printing in economy mode where you can barely see the print. 

In normal use for letters, I got about 120 pages from a cartridge. 

The Epson 680 produces beautiful printed work, but an ink cost of around 45 cents to print a page of black text is ridiculous. 

If they reduced the prices of their cartridges, I and many other people would happily purchase them rather than seeking alternative methods to save money.

Emails to Epson?

Sorry Epson - your printers are great, but you seem to treat your customers with contempt.

You don't even have email addresses so that people can contact your company - Just a form that disappears into a black hole that gets no response.

I rang Epson Australia asking for an email address - and the receptionist did not want to give me one. After some discussion, she rang back with one. I sent them an email asking them about the prices of their ink.

After 3 months, no reply had been received.

Well, I've got a message for Epson. I'll never buy another product from you again.
(And neither will many other people, based on the feedback I've had from many readers of this article)

Refilling Epson 680 Cartridges

Jet Tec has produced a reprogramming and refilling kit for Epson 680 printers. It works well. See www.jettec.co.uk for more information.

 

 

Epilogue:

I now use a Canon Printer for my inkjet printing needs. This is quieter, faster, and the prints are superior. The ink lasts a lot longer, and the per ml cost of original ink is around a quarter of Epson's.

And ladies, if you REALLY want to make an impression at your next function, spray some printer ink around your ears and neck. This will REALLY show up those cheapskates that can only afford French Perfume !!


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