This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Inexpensive ink

Posted by Matt

I read this in our company newsletter today:
Next time you buy an ink cartridge, go with a refilled one. Recycled cartridges cost up to 75% less than new ones.
Sounds good to me; what do I have to do? I looked around and it turns out that, as usual, the more effort you are willing to put in yourself, the more cash you can save. When reading through this, don't forget to factor in the value of your time.

For this article, I chose to use our HP OfficeJet V40printer as an example. (Yes, it is painfully old and I will replace it as soon as it stops working.)

I first went directly to the HP website. The price for a replacement HP15 cartridge there is $29.99. This is where the printer companies make all their money these days and it's why printers are so inexpensive.

Next, I looked on Amazon and found remanufactured cartridges from Printworks for $19.99. That's only 33% off so far, but if you don't want to get your hands dirty, this is not a bad deal. I decided to keep looking.

Next I found http://www.cheap-printer-refills.com/. They had some really good prices:
  • Remanufactured cartridge: $12.95 (about 57% off of the new cartridge price from HP)
  • Refill kit with refill tools and enough ink for one refill : $10.95 (63% off)
  • Ink only for one refill: $5.99
The ink-only price is great, but I'll probably need at least one of the kits to be able to use it. Quite a discount there, but I worried about whether I would be able to do the refill myself. Luckily, I found this video. (The site actually has refill videos for many different kinds of printers; not just mine.)

That led me to discover that the company that makes the video is (no surprise) an ink manufacturer. Their OfficeJet page lists the best deals yet.
  • Remanufactured cartridge: $12.95
  • Refill kit with TWO refills: $9.95
  • Ink only: $2.95
The $2.95 price is for a single refill bottle, but if you really want to eke out the cheapest possible ink, you can buy the ink in a liter bottle for about 90 cents per refill. That should definitely push you past the 75% discount level!

If you don't want to get your hands messy, at least consider the remanufactured cartridges. These are almost exactly like what you are getting from HP, Epson and Canon, but much cheaper!


Nicole said...

Here is what I do -

Go to ebates.com and register for a free membership. This give you cash back on tons of different on-line merchants.

On the Ebates.com website, search for the deals for 123injets.com. Deals change periodically. Right now, as we speak, their cashback deal for 123injets is 16%.

Sometimes ebates will also provide a coupon code that you can add in during the ordering proces (e.g. $5 off or free shipping).

Click on the link to 123inkjets and it will take you from the ebates website to the 123inkjets website.

Search for the cartridge you want.

For example, they have a remanufactured black cartridge for your HP printer for $9.95. If you order that, it will cost $9.95 plus about $3.95 for shipping.

I then ran a google search for online coupon codes for 123inkjets and found an additional 10% off plus free shipping - the coupon code is SALEONINK. Enter that in the checkout process and you get another $1.00 off and the shipping charge is deleted. So the total price is $8.95. When you order it, you will also get 16% cash back credited to your ebates account. Each time you order through ebates, you get more cash back.

Ebates will periodically send you your cash back checks after they reach more than $5. I check there first before I buy anything online.

Of course, refilling is the cheapest, but if you just want the convenience and ease of a cartridge, this is an option. My package arrived in a few days and they work fine.

Matt said...

Fantastic info, Nicole. Thanks for sharing!

photo said...

for spending less on ink choose a cartridge which prints more number of pages.