When it comes time to replace your printer ink, your first question may be how much it’s going to cost you. You can figure out how to make printer ink last longer, but you will eventually need to pay for a replacement to keep your printer in running order.
If you’re curious about how much does an ink cartridge cost, you can continue reading down below. We’ll explain what causes some of the variations in the cost of ink cartridges and how much you can expect to pay to purchase a new one.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Ink Cartridges
As you’re shopping around for printer ink, you should be aware of the number of different factors that affect ink cartridge cost, including the following.
Brand and Manufacturer
For starters, the brand and manufacturer of the product will impact the cost of ink cartridges. Even two ink cartridges that are seemingly identical can have widely different price points solely because of the manufacturer that made them.
Ink Type and Quality
The type and quality of the ink will have a direct correlation to its price. In general, ink that is of higher quality will tend to be more expensive, while lower-quality inks will likely be cheaper. But, you should be aware that just because an ink cartridge is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the highest quality.
Cartridge Size and Yield
Some ink cartridges will be high-yield, meaning they use ink more efficiently and tend to last longer. As a result, the per-print cost tends to be lower than standard ink cartridges. So, keep this feature in mind when you’re looking into the cost of ink cartridges.
Printer Model and Compatibility
The type of printer you have can also impact the cost of ink cartridges, as certain models are only compatible with certain types or brands of ink. You can find printers with cheap ink, though some other printers will only be compatible with high-quality inks that tend to be more expensive.
Market Trends and Economic Factors
Economic factors and market trends can influence ink cartridge prices. If there is a supply chain shortage for certain input parts or shipping prices become more expensive, ink cartridges could end up being more expensive overall, regardless of the factors above. So, just like any other product, ink cartridge prices are susceptible to overall economic fluctuations.
So, How Much Does an Ink Cartridge Cost?
Now let’s get to the question at hand–how much does an ink cartridge cost? Continue reading below as we provide you with some general pricing information so you know what to expect.
Breakdown by Popular Printer Brands Ink Cartridge Prices
Again, the prices for ink cartridges will vary depending on the brand of ink that you’re purchasing, the printer model you have, and whether you’re buying black or colored ink, among other factors. We can see this range by taking a look at the typical ink cartridge costs of various popular brands:
- Epson: $40-75
- HP: $25-65
- Brother: $35-65
- Canon: $30-80
Average Costs for Consumer vs Professional Printing Needs
Also, whether you’re using your printer for personal needs at home or professionally at work, this can impact how much ink cartridges cost you over time. In general, you’ll spend less on printer ink for at-home printing than ink cartridges for professional printing since you’ll be printing less volume.
On average, you can expect to pay around $30-40 for an ink cartridge. So, depending on how many times you’ll need to replace these throughout the year, you can see why professional printing could cost a few hundred more dollars a year than personal printing.
Price Isn’t Everything: The Problems With Shopping Based on Ink Cartridge Prices Alone
Given the number of factors that can impact ink cartridge price, including quality, there are some concerns about shopping for ink cartridges strictly based on price. In order to get the best value for your money, you may not want to purchase the cheapest ink available. Here are some of the important factors to keep in mind when shopping for ink aside from price.
Potential Sacrifices in Quality
If you’re only purchasing an ink cartridge because it’s the cheapest one you can find, you may not end up with a great quality product. Cheaper ink cartridges may result in poor print quality like smudging, blurriness, and other issues.
Printing can produce a good amount of waste, and it’s not always the most sustainable practice in the business world. But, there are ways to make your printing more eco-friendly depending on the ink cartridges you use. Ones that are more efficient and high-yield will result in less waste over time, helping you keep empty cartridges from piling up in landfills.
Cheaper ink that is lower quality may end up costing you more in the long run, even if it seems counterintuitive. If you’re using ink that dries out quickly or isn’t efficient, you may end up replacing the cheap ink cartridge at a higher frequency, which can really start to add up over time.
Tips For Saving on the Cost of Ink Cartridges Without Compromising Quality
There is a way to find the balance between a quality ink cartridge and one that won’t cost you a fortune each year. Take a look at some of these helpful tips for finding ink cartridges at a good value.
Opt for High-Yield Cartridges
Purchasing high-yield ink cartridges will help you use ink more efficiently and go longer between ink cartridge replacements. This will help you save money over time through fewer replacements, even if the cartridges themselves are a little more expensive.
Embrace Multi-Packs and Combo-Packs
Typically, buying multi or combo-packs of ink cartridges will be the more economical option, especially when purchasing individual tri-color ink cartridges. Again, though this may be more expensive upfront, you will typically get the cartridges at a cheaper individual price when you are purchasing multiple at once.
Consider Subscription Services
Some printer and ink manufacturers have subscription services that can help you save on replacement costs. By signing up for regular ink shipments, you may be able to access discounted pricing on individual cartridges.
Refill, Don’t Replace
Some printers will be equipped with ink tanks instead of cartridges. It’s typically more economical to refill the ink tanks when they’re empty than to purchase entirely new cartridges each time your printer is running low. So, if you can, try to refill the ink rather than buy new cartridges altogether.
Use Printer Settings Strategically
How you set up your printer can also help you save money on cartridges over the long run. For instance, you can set your settings to lower-resolution printing when you’re printing non-essential documents.
You can also opt for black-and-white-only printing unless color is absolutely necessary. Each of these selections can help you be more efficient with your ink use and cause you to replace your ink cartridges less frequently.
Parting Thoughts on Ink Cartridge Cost
After getting some additional information on what does an ink cartridge cost, you now know what to expect next time you need to replace one. Keep in mind that the cost of ink cartridges will vary depending on the brand of printer you have, whether you’re purchasing high-yield cartridges and other factors.
But, if you’ve stocked up on ink cartridges by purchasing combo packs or you have a regular subscription service sending you ink cartridges before you need them, you may end up with more ink on hand than you’ll be able to practically use. So if you’re wondering–does printer ink expire–it certainly does, and you may realize you have printer ink on your shelves that will expire before you’ll get to use it.
If this sounds like you, you don’t have to chalk it up as a waste of your resources. If you have unused office supplies like ink or toner on hand that haven’t expired yet, consider selling them to us. When you sell toner or ink cartridges to our team at Sell Toner, you can get some extra cash back in your pockets and free up your shelf space for other more important items.
Visit Sell Toner to see our list of accepted brands and make an account to start selling with us today.