If you're confused over the rising price of big printer brand ink cartridges and toner, you’re not alone. Printer manufacturers may prefer to cast the blame of these seemingly never-ending price increases on inflation, but a closer look at the facts would bring this claim into question. The fact is, yes, inflation continues to rise, but at a much slower rate than the rising prices of many printer consumables. It doesn’t make much sense when the rate of inflation hasn’t surpassed three percent between 2009 and today, and yet many customers are finding a price hike of 20% or more on their old printer cartridges. (Riofrio, 2012) Printer brand ink being expensive isn’t headline-worthy news, but its continued rise in price warrants a closer and critical look at the practices of printer brand manufacturers.
The Razor-and-Blades Business Model
Printer manufacturers thrive off of a business practice known as the razor-and-blades model. By setting a low price on razor handles and by increasing the cost of short-lived blades, razorblade companies have been enjoying healthy profits for many years now. Printer manufacturers seem to have taken a cue from the success of razorblade companies and have been putting forth their own version of it. By overpricing consumables that cost little to develop, printer companies have been enjoying healthy profits because you’re required to buy these cartridges in order for your printer to run successfully… but are there alternatives?
Thankfully, entrepreneurs across various industries are finding ways to provide high quality consumable products required by this business model to consumers at lower prices. For example, are you familiar with the Dollar Shave Club®? Tired of being subjected to the outrageous prices asked for shaving blades, two guys had an idea to offer a month’s supply of razorblades and have it shipped directly to the customer’s door for as little as two dollars a month. Let me guess, you’re used to paying 15 to 20 dollars just for a pack of blades? Well, this isn’t Gillette® or Schick®--just a couple guys who knew that they could give people similar results as the brands previously mentioned while saving them a lot of money in the process. The aftermarket printer industry shares a similar story. Realizing the uncalled for prices of ink and toner, third parties started developing their own cartridges. Despite the pressure put on by printer manufacturers through sophisticated smart-chipped cartridges and company-crushing legal battles, professional aftermarket vendors like LD Products continue to be a viable option for those looking for similar results at a much lower cost.
Generic Products Are Nothing New
I don’t know about you, but when I can find a comparable generic brand for less, I go for it. If the ingredients or specs are the same, or comparable, I’m going with the product that presents the best value. Unfortunately, with most big brands, you aren’t simply paying for the quality of the product but the name itself. The truth is--you don’t need ink made by Canon for your Canon printer to operate, just like you wouldn’t be forced to use Ford® gas if you drove a car manufactured by that company.
Explore your Options
With the price of the most printer brand cartridges climbing even higher, eco-friendly remanufactured and reverse-engineered third-party ink and toner from reputable vendors prove to be a viable option. These cartridges may offer savings of up to 75% compared to the original and, when purchased from LD Products, come with a one year 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Riofrio, Melissa. "Ink-flation: Printer Cartridge Prices Are Climbing Quickly." PCWorld. n.p., 16 May 2012. Web. 16 July 2014.
Dollar Shave Club®, Gillete®, Schick® and Ford® are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with and do not endorse the products or services provided by LD Products, Inc.