How Much Can you Save With Ink Replacement?

by : James Kara Murat

Over the last several years the battle over high price ink/cartridges is beginning to solidify. The lines are slightly clearer and alliances have formed here and there. Ink replacement, replacement cartridges, discount printer ink cartridges and just plain OEM cartridges have found themselves vying for position with their option being the best. They are almost all winners and OEM the only loser as consumers look to cut costs on printer ink.

Solid savings

OEM manufacturers are most noticeably not giving up the fight but are ultimately going to be forced to play nice with the new industry they brought upon themselves. In July 2007 savings of up to 50-70 percent can be found by using replacement ink or replacement cartridges. Although the savings are there, the buyer must beware because the quality of the ink needs to be compatible to arrive at; not only a quality print job but a safe print job that does not damage the printer itself.

The basics

What brought on this new industry of replacement ink and discount replacement ink was the original strategy that the printer companies decided to follow. A valid pricing strategy by any means the printer manufacturers would offer the printer itself as a loss leader and make their profits on the ink. This strategy is no different than any other of its type. The printer companies did their best to differentiate their particular inks so that the chemistry would require a specific ink for just their machines. For the most part this has worked, but only to a degree, and original pricing starts to get in the way as it is now. This is where the new industry comes in.


These days it is not all that difficult to figure out the chemistry of just about anything. Patents are even more difficult in this area. So, other manufacturers figured out the chemistry of the OEM printers ink and were able to replicate discount printer ink and replacement ink. Then they got to play the real fun game. The OEM printers had set their prices for a captured market and a fairly high price at that. The new manufacturers had a ready made price ceiling apposed to OEMs shooting darts at what the market would bare.

What is the right price?

It may be a little misleading to say discount printer ink. Perhaps attaching a company to it like, discount ink for Epson would be a better idea. Since the OEM manufacturers were setting pricing fairly high, to make as much money as possible before new replacement ink companies came along, the original price was not the real price but rather a starting point. Where the price goes after replacement ink and replacement cartridge companies settle in is when discount printer ink can actually be called discount.

The evolution of the printer and printer ink market is just one of several economic plays being carried out in a very new emerging market. Computers and printers have not really been around that long. A pricing system is still working its way through the marketplace for all products. Saving money on printer ink today will, in all likelihood, not mean anything in a year as the savings will be even more as prices continue to settle.