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How to Find a Great Deal on a Printer

Updated on June 19, 2010

Check Local and Online Stores

My old printer died last year - wouldn't print a thing. I think it needed a new print head. But it was old, the ink was running low, and printers aren't that expensive nowadays. So I set out to find an new one.

The first thing I did was start looking at the inventory of local stores. I started and ended with Staples, but there are certainly other places that you can check - BestBuy, Amazon, Tiger Direct, Dell...you get the idea. There are even websites like PriceGrabber that will list prices and stores that you can buy a printer at.

With Staples, you can check the inventory of your local store(s). When checking the inventory, I first checked the printers that were on sale. When manufacturers come out with newer models, the price of the older models tend to go down.

I then compare the models on sale with user reviews and how good of a deal you're getting with the sale price. You can google the model number with the word reviews and find reviews. Some sites you can find reviews on are: cnet, Test Freaks, zdnet, Amazon.

Let's not forget the price of printer ink!

This is something else that I took into consideration. I wanted to be able to buy individual ink cartridges, including the black - the printer that I chose has 2 black cartridges. And price...I compared the price of ink from one printer to another.

Printer features

This is of course an individual preference. Lots of people wish to go with wireless nowadays. To me, it didn't matter. My laptop sits next to my printer 99% of the time, and we have a wireless network so my husband can print through the network.

I went with a photo printer even though I never print photos. I have the option to, but it can be used to print regular stuff, too.

If you were printing a high volume of office documents, laser would be the way to go. You can check a manufacturer's website and see what each printer is best suited for.

Mail in Rebates

If you sure you're really going to take the time to actually fill one of these things out - check and see if mail in rebates are offered on the printer(s) that you are interested in. The printer that I chose offered a $20 mail in rebate.

What printer did I get and what did I pay?

I wound up buying a Canon Pixma iP3600 at a local Staples store for $50 with a $20 mail in rebate for a grand total of $30! If you google this printer and look at the reviews, they're great. And the average price ranges between $65 and $80 still - and I bought this printer 8 months ago. And I've been extremely happy with it :0)

When I went to get the printer at Staples, they didn't even know that they had it in stock. Their computer said that they did, and they finally found it way up high on one of their storage shelves. So if I had simply walked in to buy a printer without doing any research first, I never would have know that they had this printer...research has it's advantages!

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