If you are shopping for ink or toner on the big waters of the internet you need to be aware that not every seller can be trusted. On the one hand you want decent product, right? On the other hand you want good service. And then fast shipping speed. Also cheap prices. Cheap prices are good. Unfortunately getting the best of all these details is sometimes unlikely. To really find a good source you sometimes need to try a few options. But that takes time and attention and let’s face it, you just want to get your toner and go, right? Ok ok. How about I give you some hints and my best suggestion as to where to go for your toner and ink purchasing needs. Sound good? Fantastic, let’s go.
eBay. Shopping eBay is just plain fun. You can get a ton of stuff for cheap—and because its often used it is sure to have character. Unfortunately if you are looking for toner (especially for significant quantities) eBay is NOT the place to go. Sure, I confess in my college years I would grab the odd Dell 3130cn toner cartridge for my room printer, but that was hardly a major purchase and I learned pretty quickly why eBay isn’t the best place to get toner. You don’t know anything about any seller on there. Most of the cartridges (when you rank them low to high in price) are cheap knock offs made oversees. They use low quality ink, they take forever to cross the ocean, and they often don’t talk well to your printer, which can make them fail quickly or have the read as being empty even if they have toner in them. I had an ink cartridge once that came without protective tape on it—dry as a bone out of the box. Don’t shop on eBay for something like toner. Golf clubs, sure, but not toner.
Next up you have Amazon. Amazon suffers some of the same failings but not as bad. You can trust that the products will be better, but you will still tend to watch the lowest quality product come up at the lowest price—which isn’t what you want. You end up with the good product obscured by the flood of terrible product, and no way to tell between them.
Or you can go to a homepage, like www.oki.com, and try to navigate to find their toner store, and then navigate to find the Oki C3200 toner that you need. You are sure to get the product you asked for and you are basically sure to get quality product. The shipping time shouldn’t be too bad either. So what’s the problem? The problem is that you are looking at the Cadillac of your toner options, the premium stuff at the premium prices. The fact is that for most of us we want our printers to work and to work well, but that isn’t worth the price that these big boys ask. Their theory is that if they sell a printer they rope in most of the people who buy it and force them to buy their particular ink cartridge until the printer breaks, giving them a little monopoly in which they can charge what they want. But that doesn’t sit well with me. We shouldn’t be sheep. It’s fine if you need high quality toner for a professional project, but that’s just not where most of us are at.
Where most of us are at, and where you should look, is online at a major retailer (like the 247 site recommended in my links, if you need a place to start). These large sellers are great for a few reasons, and number one is variety. With their printer selectors you can easily select your make and model printer and get right down to the specific cartridge you are after, like that Oki C5500 toner we were talking about. Then you get a whole run down of options. Genuine cartridges, color, black, remanufactured, high capacity… those options show that they have a good supply (which usually means good shipping) and that you can stick by them for the future. So sign up an get an account and try to take advantage of their sales. These companies are great because they are big enough to have what you need and give you options, but small enough to value your business and sometimes get you a little extra if you know what to look for. So that’s my recommendation, follow the links or hop on Google and see if you like it.
Printing has always been expensive, but do you notice how it just keep going up and up? I remember that in the 90s everyone had a printer in their home. We complained about the cost of ink but we could still afford it. And going to a copy shop like Kinkos was so cheap you did not even have to think about it. So what happened?
I started looking into this trend. The big difference at all levels is the cost of toner. You cannot print without toner. It is a specialized commodity and it often requires proprietary cartridges. Something interesting has happened to the price of toner as the market has changed and this has made cost soar.
Originally, Printing machines for homes and businesses were viewed like any other electronic device. Printer manufacturers had a high cost in creating printers, and passed that cost on to the consumers. Getting a printer was a big investment in the 80s or early 90s, just like buying a TV, a computer or a gaming console. As the cost of manufacturing fell, the companies could have kept the sticker price fairly high and kept a tidy margin. But instead they realized that a printer is a one time purchase whereas the customer has to keep coming back for ink over and over.
The result is that printer manufacturers keep the price of printers artificially low, accepting a narrow profit margin, while inflating the cost of ink cartridges. This strategy works for them because people see the low price on the printer and snap it up like a deal, not thinking about what they will pay down the line for more ink. And that is why it is so expensive.
The website for fox 58 (I’m a fox 17 man myself) recently ran an interesting article on a new and exciting option and alternative to buying a completely new ink cartridge when you printer runs out. No one really wants to drop twenty bucks (plus) on a new cartridge if they have the option, but that’s what people kind of assume that they have to do, which is a shame according to the report. They mention a new company in Indiana that is taking cartridges that have been used before, and are giving them new life.
“What we do is we refill and remanufacture ink cartridges and laser toner cartridges, and its making a difference,” said Gregory Platts, co-owner of Indy Ink and Toner. “Our customers can save 40 to 60 percent compared to buying a new cartridge, and they work just as well.” So, a thirty dollar HP CM2320 toner cartridge refilled for ten or fifteen bucks? Sounds amazing! Of course there is a limit. “The cartridges have a print head in the bottom of them and it clogs up and wear out over a period of time, but most cartridges are good for seven to eight refills, and that’s a significant savings over buying a new one every time.”
Remanufactured toner has long been a highly economical solution for people wanting to avoid dropping the big bucks on new premium toner or ink packs. After all, the plastic casing that the ink is sold inside is never really expended at any point. It is simply a container with a computer chip. And thanks to the high, even extortionate prices charged by original equipment manufacturers everyone seems eager to get into the remanufactured game leading to both highly reputable physical retailers (staples and office max for instance), equally reputable online sellers (247 Inktoner and Ink Technologies among others), and talented scam artists on eBay and Amazon hoping to pass off sub grade merchandise in the mix. This means that if you are looking for HP CP1215 toner you face an unprecedented plurality of options, each of different cost and each holding different risk (before you even bring in high quality cartridges or color options). The competition, and the profit at stake for each company, each printer, and each type of cartridge (and all the captive niche markets this diversity creates), has lead to numerous studies and competitive campaigns on both sides to decry the failure rate of generic, remanufactured toners or the ridiculous prices and exclusive practices of the original manufacturers. AKA: the aftermarket wars.
It is, however, hopeful that a small company may be innovating to solve a new solution to the problem consumers face daily. And there are other benefits as well, as mentioned by the report. “You can save money by doing the refill, but don’t forget you are also helping the environment because you don’t have to worry about the cartridges going in landfills,” said Chris Hession, a customer of Indy Ink and Toner. The author would also like to recommend that people, when they are unable to refill their toner and ink cartridges, take them straight to their local library or school library, where they can be recycled and returned for substantial cash rewards (a nice gesture that is environmentally friendly, and personally rewarding I think—and it doesn’t cost you a thing).
It is possible to complete ink and toner refills yourself, however the parts required are somewhat unique, typically requiring you to buy various replacement kits as well as a specific types of toner or ink for the particular cartridge you are after (for instance, a HP CP1525 toner cartridge you get off the internet won’t work with any sort of liquid ink and it probably won’t even work with certain other types of hp toner supply). The advantage of this service, like any repair place, is that they have the skill and tools required and assembled in one location to do a lot of refills quickly and for cheap—and without getting ink or toner spills all over your kitchen counter as well. It is a service attracting both private customers and other companies hoping to take advantage of the steep savings and convenient environmental stand. “I come in here for my business needs, and for the way they do business,” said Darrel Forsman, owner of an Allstate agency in Avon. “It’s less expensive than what I’ve looked at, and they give me real good service and that’s important.”—reports Fox 59.
Did you know that printing is most peoples least favorite part of their office job? Sometimes this really surprises me. I have worked in an office environment for years and I have paid attention. I feel like I have learned how to solve the most common printer problems, but a lot of people really get confused and frustrated. Here are a few things I have learned.
First off, the printer will not use the paper type or tray you specified. This is peoples most common frustration with printing. Most offices use Windows and when you go to print it gives you several options. Imagine your printers default setting is Plain Letter paper. But you want it to pull Letterhead for this job and Letterhead is in Tray 2. You go to options and choose tray 2, then print– but it still uses plain! What is wrong? Usually this is because your computer is set to automatically select the appropriate tray based on paper type. Instead of changing the tray to Tray 2, leave the tray alone and try changing the paper type to Letterhead. You will see the print job come out right.
Second, the perennial paper jam. You get a paper jam message, open it up and pull out the jammed paper, but it still says it is jammed. Remember: paper tears. If you pulled the sheet out but some tore off it may still be jammed. Look carefully. Then see if there is a procedure to reset the printer. Once you do it will work.
These are just a few tricks for printing. Do you have any others?
For most of my life I have had a printer to deal with. By extension, that means dealing with inks too. I was born in the early 80s so we got our first home printer by the time I was seven years old. Throughout the 80s and 90s when it was vogue to have a home printer we always did, and then when I went into the work force printers were of course ubiquitous at every office I worked at. You would think that being brought up with this stuff I would have learned how to find cheap inks, but that is not a skill my parents taught me.
I always got ink by going down to the nearest office supplies store and grabbing something off the shelf. It just seemed natural to me: when you need something, you go to the store. But like everyone else I always complained about the cost. Printer companies make most of their money off of toner and ink so that stuff is always overpriced.
One of my friends heard me complaining and showed me the price differences online. I do not mean from the manufacturer who made your printer, I mean compatible inks from third party companies. They are the same ink with cartridges that will work in your machine but they do not have the brand name so they are cheaper. A lot cheaper. And this stuff is not always carried by stores.
That made a big difference in my budget. I hope it helps you too!
I recently read a LaserJet article that said that laser jet printers put out higher quality print jobs than ink jet printers do. That really surprised me. I was doing research on the difference between the two because I was thinking of buying a new printer. I always assumed both must be the same quality– why else would both be competitive in the market?
Well, strictly speaking there are some ink jet printers that stay competitive in terms of quality. High end ink jet units can put out results that match laser jet results page per page. However, this is not the bulk of machines. In general, laser printers have a precision and high level of quality that cannot be matched with liquid ink being sprayed on the page. Laser printers also tend to be slightly faster, sometimes significantly so. That is why they are the standard in most large offices.
However, ink jet printers also have advantages which is why they remain on the market and still very popular. The laser components inside of laser printers that give them their name are very expensive to manufacture. This expense is passed on to the end user making laser printers more expensive to buy. Ink jet printers on the other hand are cheap to manufacture and to buy.
Many people looking for a printer for their home or for a smaller office are happy to give up the very slim difference in speed and print quality in order to save money. Which one has the most appeal for you?
Do you ever wonder that the difference is between toner and ink? I worked in an office for many years and never really knew. It was not until my wife convinced me we needed a home printer that I started doing some research and learned the difference. I used to use these words interchangeably, but they are actually very different things and they each have advantages.
The physical difference is most obvious. Ink is ink. You know, liquid stuff that can stain pages. Toner however is not a liquid, it is a powder. It comes out on the page looking an awful lot like ink, but that is because toner is activated by heat inside the printer, essentially melted so it will stick to the page. Both toner and ink are available in color as well as black.
So why do the two make a difference? Well, the biggest difference is the kind of machine they are each used in. Toner is used for laser printers. Laser printers have the biggest share of the commercial market right now. They are known for being high speed machines and high quality. Toner is also used most often in copiers. Ink on the other hand is used in ink jet printers. Ink jet printers are not quite as slick as laser printers but they are much cheaper, so they have remained competitive.
The biggest difference between the two then is really their application. If you want a cheap, basic machine, especially for home use you will be using ink. If you want to spend more to get a faster, higher output machine, perhaps for a business, expect to use toner.
When I think back over the last 10 years of my career I cannot even begin to imagine how much time I lost to printing supplies. What should be a minor part of an office job can easily become a full time pursuit in its own right. Perhaps you are familiar with some of these scenes:
1. We must be out! This is when someone is in the middle of printing and the machine runs out of paper or toner. I do not know what gene people are missing that prevents them from looking more than two feet from the printer for supplies. Maybe they do not look at all. They show up at my desk to tell me we are out. I ask if they checked the supply cabinet– where all the supplies are always kept and which I have shown them a dozen times already – and they ask where that is. Wow.
2. We need to save money on printing supplies. Oh really? Great I will add that to my list. I already shop online to get better deals. I buy everything in bulk, look for special sales and get us bargain brands. I do have an idea for saving printing costs though. What if you did not print out full color single sided handouts for every internal meeting? Oh, that is not an option? Well then welcome to high printing costs.
I know people are people and they have a hard time looking outside of their own job duties to see how much easier this could be, but it really gets to me. Have you had these kinds of frustrations?
You have probably heard the brand name photosmart if you have been looking for cameras and photo printers around the internet. There are a lot of used Photosmart camera models available and some new ones that can be had at low prices. But good reviews seem hard to find. So what do you need to know about Photosmart?
Photosmart digital cameras were made by HP and were a leading series of digicams throughout the 2000s. Starting out as a series of cameras only, the company expanded the brand to include photo printers as well. In 2007 HP announced it was taking its camera line in a new direction and stopped making the Photosmart brand. However, there are still some great pieces of technology out there.
Photosmart cameras were excellent in their time, and some remain competitive today. Since they were last produced in 2007 they will lack some features desirable today, such as wireless capability. However the later models, especially in the high end R series, still hold their own. Photosmart printers are extremely high quality photo printers that produce quality, beautiful color images. You may want to invest in a newer camera but a Photosmart printer is definitely a great, high quality bargain choice today.
Both lines of products remain popular on the market, and both are known for their durability and quality today. If you get a chance to pick up one of these products you will likely not be disappointed. Good luck in your search for great used models!
Have you heard the buzz lately about solid ink? Solid ink is a patented invention of Xerox, and it has been getting a lot of attention. When it first came out a lot of people assumed it would just be a gimmick, but it has proven itself to be an effective product and a favorite of design firms. So what is solid ink and what exactly makes it so great?
Solid ink is pretty much what the name says: instead of coming in liquid form, or powder like toner, this ink comes in solid sticks that resemble blocks of wax. It comes in black and colored versions like any other ink. It is heat activated, so you can hold it in your hand without getting any mess on yourself or your clothing.
Cleanliness is only one advantage. Solid ink is also very efficient. There is no cartridge to consider. That means you save money. You just take a whole stick of ink and drop it into the slot on the machine. Each slot is a different shape so there is no way to accidentally drop the wrong color into the wrong slot. Once the ink is in the machine, the machine warms it up and it is ready to print.
The savings in money, the ease of use and the cleanliness are all reasons why solid ink has become more and more popular. Solid ink puts out the same great quality expected of a laser printer, but with a much more innovative method. It is worth trying.
Recently I saw a video about ink and toner Refilling on Youtube. One of my friends had suggested I look into toner refills for my business because I was complaining about the cost of new toner cartridges. I guess I had heard of refilling toner before but I assumed it was a big process. It turns out it is pretty easy.
Everyone knows toner is one of the most overpriced office supplies. Even people who just have a single home printer have a hard time budgeting for their toner or ink, so imagine how bad it is with an office to deal with. Toner is pricy because it is where the big printer companies make most of their money from. They know you will need to get more whether you like it or not so they can charge you a premium for it. Plus, the cartridge itself is an electronic device that has to work with the printer to get the image on the page. That means it costs money to manufacture.
This is the beauty of refilling. Instead of ditching an empty cartridge and paying for a whole new one, what if you just reused the cartridge? This is the idea. A toner refill is a large bottle of toner. It comes with instructions how to open up your cartridges and refill the toner. You just pour the amount you need right in. This way you are paying only for the toner and not the cartridge. Plus, many brands make toner and they compete for customers. The price is lower because you do not have to buy from the original manufacturer.
This is a tip that saved me a lot of money and I hope it saves you money too.