Did you ever wonder why there are no discount sales on name-brand ink jet cartridges? Think about it.
When did you ever see a sale on HP, Canon, or Epson printer ink cartridges? Why? Profit. $10,000 a gallon.
Most Mac and Windows PC users also have a printer. Photo quality printers are all the rage these days, with digital photos now the norm.
Those printers all have one thing in common, whether attached to your Mac or a PC. They all need their cartridges replaced or refilled.
Prices range from $10 a cartridge to an average of $25 to as much as $50 each. Do we stop to think about how much we’re really paying?
Michael J. McNamara of PopPhoto says it’s as much as $10,000 per gallon of photo quality ink for that little HP, Canon, or Epson printer sitting near your Mac.
Whoa. When you put it in terms like that, it’s easy to understand why there are no discount sales on name brand ink jet cartridges. I’d venture to say that most of HP’s profits the past few years probably came from selling ink jet cartridges.
Something else may be involved, too. Suppy and demand.
More people are using digital cameras. Printing photos from your Mac or PC requires a color printer. Photo quality prints often use special inks.
Ink costs money. Quality ink costs even more money. At $10,000 a gallon, we’re paying a hefty price for the convenience of printing our photos at home.
Of course, if the price of cartridges begins to overwhelm our appetite for convenient printing, we can head to the nearest Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, minilab or online print service.
Most experts agree that prints from such services are much less, on a per print basis, than printing at home. Quality is a different issue.
At $10,000 a gallon, I hope so.
That begs these questions for Mac360 readers: What kind of printer do you use to print your digital photos? Do you use the higher quality photo inks? Do you refill your own cartridges? Do you use an online service and, if so, which and how much per print?