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High Price of Ink and Saving with BigCrumbs

Updated on June 18, 2014

My Old But Good Printer

Insanity of the HIgh Price of Ink

Watching TV, a comedian was saying that he just bought a new printer for $46 and then paid $76 for the ink. I found this amusing and ironic since I was expecting two shipments of ink cartridges anytime soon.

Why has ink gotten so expensive to replace? What type of profit does the manufacturer get back on this? It has been told that the companies are taking a loss with the selling price of printers. Some say that they sell printers at cost. Their intention is to make the money back every time you buy ink. It is very much the principal of buying the razor, then paying the high price for replacement blades. But how much should they really charge for ink? Haven’t they gone overboard on this?

To make matters worst, a printer that you bought last year will be hard to find in the stores this year. Not to mention the ink for an older printer. I have a Lexmark Z32 printer which I have had for seven or eight years. Funny it really doesn’t seem that long. In the past, I have always had one extra black and colored cartridge. I didn’t this time around. My printer doesn’t always show when the ink is low. Until a week ago...when printing a document, nothing showed up. Not even a light background of letters. Funny how everything printed out week before that.

I search all the stores in my hometown. Best Buy had the black ink only and it was priced for $36.99. They no longer carried the colored. Office Depot said they had both, but no longer could be bought as a pair. The black was priced for $37.99 and the colored for $42.99. For the two I would have had to pay $80.98 plus tax. For ink!!! Is this insane?

Time for New Computer

This puppy knows that the with high price of ink, it is cheaper to buy a new computer each time with the ink included.
This puppy knows that the with high price of ink, it is cheaper to buy a new computer each time with the ink included.

Don't Spill the Ink!

Ways to Save on Printer Ink

At Walgreens, I could get the ink refilled, which would have been $12.99 each. That’s livable right? I brought the cartridges in, but they both failed the test and were not usable. This has happened four separate times. Though each time, I have received a ticket for 10 free photos for each ink cartridge for my trouble. I’m not blaming anyone; obviously refilling works for others who bring theirs in. Otherwise Walgreens wouldn’t be doing this. This brought me back to my dilemma.

There was no way I was going to pay over $80 for ink at Office Depot. The only answer was the internet. After looking around comparing prices, I went to BigCrumbs to see what online ink stores were listed. Checking through the list, I found that eBay had the best deal. I signed on to eBay through my BigCrumbs account. This way whatever I bought on eBay I would get money back from my purchase (20% for Crumbearners and 36% for Crumbsavers.)

I ended up paying $16.99 for two colored cartridges and $27.99 for two black and free shipping on both. Total came to $44.98. Plus an additional savings with cash back from BigCrumbs.

The same four ink cartridges at Office Depot, it would have come to $161.96 plus tax. What do you think? Did I get a good deal?

(Funny thing about eBay is that I have been a member for several years, but turned down for an affiliate ID to be able to put eBay on

The copyright to this article is owned by Sandy Mertens (sandyspider). Content is original and may not be used without permission from Sandyspider. (S. Mertens)

© 2009 Sandy Mertens

What are your views on the high price of ink?

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    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Hi adrienne2,Sometimes the refills don't work. They didn't with my Lexmark. Just to let you know.

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 6 years ago from Atlanta

      Hey Sandy, I have been meaning to catch up on visiting your hubs. When I saw your article on saving money with buying ink I said this is the one to leave a comment on. I always buy my ink at officedepot, and never thought about getting my ink refilled at Walgreens. I gave you a vote up. I will give your suggestions a try!

    • profile image

      Rosie888 6 years ago

      Love cash back on all of my ink purchases. I'd recommend checking out ... They compare all of the cash back sites so I know the best savings before I buy.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      toknowinfo, thanks for the rate up. Yep, with the price of ink, one should just keep buying a new printer.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      High ink prices are the genius of profits. The companies can literally give away the printer. The consumable ink is where the money is. Thanks for the Big Crumbs tip. Rated up.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'll pass this to hubby - he's in charge of ink! lol

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Sandyspider, BOY did you ever hit a nerve, and much like other things these days I just know there's less ink than before in them... Thanks for the helpful report on High Price of Ink and Saving with BigCrumbs. Peace :)

    • pddm67 profile image

      pddm67 8 years ago from Queens, New York

      My hubby is actually picking up more printer ink for me today! The ARE so expensive so I thank you for the tip. Gonna check it out and maybe end up saving some money :-)

      Rock on!

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good hub!! I fall right into that same dilemma. I haven't used my printer in months because of the price of the ink and trying to find the right one for my old printer.

    • profile image

      AndyPo 8 years ago

      I don't use my printer much, but when I do I have to clean the blocked print nozzles, which uses lots of ink and costs a fortune.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      G'day sandy it's much the same here in Australia.

      I've now resorted to buying the cheap cartridges (made in china where Im guessing they are all made anyway).

      I have been doing this now for 12 months and at $2 a cartridge I'm well in front.

    • LeonJane profile image

      LeonJane 8 years ago from Australia

      It's almost worth buying a new printer everytime you need a new ink cartridge (with the entry level printers). With a Canon printer they come with one black ink cartridge and one set of colour cartridges.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 8 years ago

      Ink prices are ridiculous. I don't print often anymore so my printer often sits unused. Your tips sound like good ones though and maybe should look into it.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      I gave up on home printers due to ink price (I had one just like that Lex)...

      The good think about it is that I have been printing much less which at the same time also helps to save our forests :)

    • sukkran profile image

      Mohideen Basha 8 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

      nice hub sandy.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 8 years ago from Maryland

      Great info. Sandy. I love the picture of the puppy. Cute.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I hate ink pricing. I like this information, though. Funny!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Ink prices stink. My view.