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Why Is Ink So Expensive?

Aug 16th 2021

When you need to purchase a printer, you can often do so at relatively affordable prices. However, replacing the printer ink can wind up costing more than your printer itself.

The high price of ink is a cause of frustration for many — but what makes ink so expensive? Here are a few reasons why your printer ink is expensive and how you can save money the next time you need to purchase it.

Ink Research and Engineering

One reason why printer ink is so expensive is due to the cost of research and engineering. Early inks consisted of food dye and water that would fade quickly over time. However, printer companies such as HP and Canon have come a long way in creating longer-lasting inks and improving their processes.

We require more out of our printers today than we ever have before. Many print jobs require firing thousands of ink drops per second onto a piece of paper, and that ink needs to dry quickly so that it doesn't smear. With such intense demands, many printer companies spend a lot of time trying to make their inks fit these criteria, which causes them to input a lot of money into researching and developing ink.

Quality and Specialized Ink

If you've ever wondered why custom ink is so expensive, it's because most printers use four separate specialized ink cartridges in the colors blue (C), red (M), yellow (Y) and black (K). This specialization increases costs for research and development, which, in turn, increases the cost of your printer ink.

If you print frequently, it may be wise to invest in an extra large or high-yield cartridge to lower the overall cost per page. When possible, it's best to avoid printers that feature designs for a tri-color ink cartridge. Even if one color runs out before the others, the printer can halt printing until you replace the entire cartridge — which can cost you more money over time.

Ink and Printer Maintenance

Despite the high costs of ink, your printer may be more cost-efficient than you realize. Many printers also use ink to perform maintenance and to clean the printheads. This automatic maintenance allows your printer to last longer and decreases the need to buy a new printer.

Another way to improve the longevity of your printer is to keep it in a location that's cool and out of direct sunlight to reduce the risk of clogging your printer heads.

Browse Ink Options at Supplies Outlet

How expensive is printer ink? For name brand options, you can be paying a lot. But when you shop with Supplies Outlet, you'll find high-quality compatible inks at significantly lower prices. Our inks work with many different printers and will not void your warranty. Browse our selection today or contact us to learn more about the options we have available.