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Tricks that Make You Buy More Ink

Updated on July 21, 2013
Empty Ink Cartridges
Empty Ink Cartridges

The Printing Industry

Printing and Ink cartridge services has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Printer manufacturing companies have often sold their printers at cost price or below with the hope of making their revenue from selling their genuine ink cartridges. Ever since third party companies have started to develop generic ink cartridges and refill services, printer manufacturers have had to deal with more competition, resulting in losing a very large portion of market share. These third party companies entered the market to help consumers save money on printing costs and ink cartridges.

Below I expose some of the things printer manufacturers do in order to make you waste ink and also spend more money on their genuine ink cartridges.

Price of the Printer

You probably have noticed that there are some very cheap and good quality printers on the market. Quite often you can purchase a printer for cheaper than an ink cartridge itself. However, what you may not have realised is that by buying a printer, you are committing to buying a specific brand of ink cartridges as well. If you are not willing to buy generic ink cartridges or refill empty ones that is; This is one of the biggest tricks used by printer manufacturers.

Manufacturers Warranty

Manufacturers give you the impression that if you don't use their genuine printer cartridges, you will void your warranty. Although this is a false impression, it is their attempt to make you think twice about using ink cartridges made by other manufacturers. This is the manufacturers tactic to try and keep their customers loyal and maintain or increase their market share.

Colour Ink

Have you noticed that most colour ink cartridges have the three colours in-one? This is a very smart design because if you were to completely use up one of the colours, then in order to be able to use that colour again, you would have to replace the ink cartridge and forfeit whats left of the other two colours. Also keep in mind that you need primary colours in order to create secondary colours which means that if you run out of one colour then you are once again limited to what other colours you have available.

Discounts and Promotional Offers

Manufacturers try to entice you with their promotional offers by adding in gifts or freebies when you purchase their ink cartridges. One of the most common things they offer is free photo paper with your purchase. Its their intelligent way of getting you to increase you ink usage and eventually be in the need to purchase more from them.

Microchips and Electronic Signatures

Many ink cartridges have microchips or electronic signatures to alert you via your printer and computer that your ink is running low or has run out. Some ink cartridge microchips are programed to alert you that your ink has ran out when there is still 35% of ink left. If you believe this message and don't test your printer instead you could end up throwing away a third of your ink.

Test Printing and Head Cleaning

Some printers are programmed to print a test page and do a head cleaning routine every time it's been turned on and before every print. This programming is a technique used by manufacturers to discreetly waste more ink.

These are all cunning tricks of the trade used by printer manufacturers in order to prevent their consumers from saving money on printing costs and ink cartridges.

Do you buy genuine or generic printer cartridges?

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    • gios the martian profile imageAUTHOR

      gios the martian 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for the comments. Manufacturing companies are very smart these days. The community needs to work together to know what they are upto in order to out-smart them.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Very helpful tips! I used my laser for almost everything, for exactly the reasons you mention here. But I love having the inkjet printer for other jobs, and I am always stunned (as in perturbed) when it runs out after practically no use. The one I have now has separate cartridges for each color - hope that helps.


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