Which helps you save more, buying new ink or simply replacing your printer? It’s hard to imagine the latter being the more money-saving option, but when you think about it, printer prices today are at an all-time low while ink replacement cartridge prices have ballooned quite considerably.
Nonetheless, to ensure you don’t remain in the dark on all this, we decided to go over some scenarios that bring truth to this hypothesis. In that way, you’ll know if it really is more practical to get a new entry-level printer by Brother every time you run out of ink than to buy a Brother ink cartridge.
The Real Deal
It really does seem absurd to have to purchase a new printer every time you need new ink. The wastefulness and impracticality of it all lead most of us not even to consider the idea. But even back when this concept had barely any backbone, it had already sparked interest from many users.
You’ll need both black and color cartridges to run an inkjet printer, and brand-name versions cost somewhere around 40 to 60 bucks. Scouring the market, you’ll find that it won’t be too hard to find a decent printer with free ink for less than that figure.
Hence, when faced with having to spend $60 on ink, it would seem the more economical choice to pick out a backup printer instead. Should your printer’s ink dry up, get rid of it and bring in the new printer. As tempting as this practice is, it’ll overwhelm the world’s landfills in no time should most consumers get into it.
What Makes It Cheaper to Buy a New Printer?
Here are some of the reasons it’s cheaper to break out the new printer when you run out of ink as opposed to getting new ink cartridges:
New Printers Come With a Decent Amount of Starter Ink
Contrary to what some of you probably believe, new printers come with starter cartridges with a decent amount of ink. Although some of the less-known brands might only have enough starter ink to last a week, so it’s important to make smart choices when it comes to these matters.
Replacement Cartridges Can Be More Expensive Than the Actual Printer
Most replacement cartridges for inkjet printers can cost you a little over $30, while an entry-level inkjet printer can set you back less than that. At most, you can spend five dollars more for black and color cartridges than an actual printer. Sure, the replacement cartridges for certain brands might outperform their starter counterparts, but only barely.
For brands like HP, their starter color cartridge can print out up to 150 pages, while their replacements can do fifteen more with 165 pages. On the other hand, their black replacement cartridge comes close to the 200-page yield of the starter version.
Printer Prices Can Drop to Nearly Single Digits
Going for printers instead of ink-cartridge replacements becomes even more appealing when printer prices drop close to the single digits. You thought inkjet printers were cheap; wait until you come across the ridiculously cheap ones—because they are out there.
Even when printers go on sale for only a quarter of their original price, they already make it hard to pick against the printer replacement option. Some consumers have claimed to save almost $10 buying new printers with starter ink cartridges than replacement cartridges.
The Razor and Razor Blade “Situation”
Another scenario where a cartridge replacement would exceed a printer replacement in terms of cost has to do with razor and razor blades. This is when a company sells you a printer or razor for close to nothing and compensates for the loss by selling the ink or razor blades at an inflated price. You might not feel the difference the moment you shell out the cash, but you’ll certainly learn why the ink costs so much.
Is It a Practical Solution?
Is there really any practical sense to purchasing a new printer every time the ink dries up? Remember, printer quality also matters. Despite what inkjet manufacturers claim, cheaper printers tend to result in low-quality prints.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from choosing printers as replacements over ink cartridges. But take note that this option would also leave you with considerable work to be done during every replacement. You’d have to carry the printer box home, unwrap it, get rid of all the paper, styrofoam, and plastic, and find out how to dispose of the printers that came before it.
Then, there’s the environmental aspect to consider. Imagine the kind of impact this practice would have on the Earth’s landfills. Surely, you wouldn’t want to have a hand in your home’s destruction more than you already do. Thus, instead of further contributing to the environment’s downfall, you should make smarter shopping choices and printing practices to extend your printer’s useful years.
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