We are constantly bombarded with the sale of cheap printers in Currys, PC World, Asda, Tesco and many other large stores. Very often these deals seem too good to true, I mean – an all-in-one printer for Euro 40 – Euro 60? The first thing to do is to enquire why the printers are on offer – are they end of line or ex demo, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s very likely they are trying to clear stock to make way for newer products. The real work starts in finding out how affordable the replacement ink cartridges are. Do they use a set of 2 ink cartridges or a set of four? 2 ink cartridges can sometimes actually cost more than four depending on the cartridge type. Will the printer work with compatible ink cartridges – it’s worth checking that the compatible version of the cartridges are actually available – some printers are so new that the third party manufactures haven’t had the time to produce a compatible version and it’s still in fact work in progress.
A good way to find out if the compatible cartridges are available is to go online (you could even do this while you are in-store and check out price and availability). The cost of replacement cartridges is actually more important than the initial purchase price of the printer. The printer may last for up to 5 years so the cost of ink over that period of time will determine whether the printer was good value or not. It’s worth checking with an online ink supplier to find out if an ink cartridge for the particular printer you are interested in has a good history of compatible with non-originals. There are savings of up to 70% to made using compatibles when compared to original brands. Compatible ink cartridges (these are an ink cartridge that is manufactured by a third party manufacturer rather than the maker of the printer) are great for everyday printing and you can buy them both as an inkjet cartridge and laser toner.
It’s unlikely that the store you are purchasing the printer from will give you an unbiased opinion on whether or not you should buy the printer based on the ink cartridges it uses so you may have to carry out the research independently.