Epson Succeeds In Stopping Competitors From Making Compatible Ink Cartridges

from the remind-me-not-to-buy-another-Epson-printer dept

I currently have an Epson printer that's on its last legs. While the printer has served me fine for many years, Epson has just made it abundantly clear why I should never buy another printer from them. Last February, the company went after 24 vendors of Epson-compatible ink cartridges, claiming "patent" violations for putting ink into a cartridge that works on their printers. That's clearly not in the spirit of the patent system at all, but rather a blatant attempt to keep competitors out of the market by misusing patent laws. It's obviously lucrative to Epson to do so, since the artificial scarcity the printer companies have created has inflated the price of ink to ridiculous levels (filling a swimming pool with ink would cost nearly $6 billion -- with a b), making it perhaps the most expensive liquid around. So, it's unfortunate that Epson has apparently succeeded in intimidating many of the compatible ink cartridge makers into leaving the market. Obviously, Epson thinks it's in its own best interests to limit the market so they can charge such high prices (this is the same company that has also been accused of forcing you to replace cartridges even when they still have plenty of ink -- a charge the company denies). However, it also signals to consumers that Epson printers are going to be plenty expensive to maintain and that they may be better off looking elsewhere. Certainly, many of the other printer makers are just as bad, but that should be seen as an opportunity for someone to come along and charge a much more reasonable amount for ink, and then advertise the hell out of how much money they'll save everyone.


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    Bob, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 3:19pm

    You do realize that if anyone was allowed to make ink for Epson printers or any brand for that matter, then the cost of the printers would go up. The companies actually lose money on every printer they sell to keep prices competitive knowing that they will make it up in ink sales. So if you want to be able to buy 3rd party ink then so be it but dont bitch when a new basic inkjet printer costs $300.

     

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      sceptic, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 3:34pm

      Common sense fails. Again

      Over a lifetime of a good printer, you will spend much, much more on ink than on the purchase price of the printer itself. So even with higher price for a printer, the overall savings would still be beneficial considering how overpriced ink is right now. Furthermore, with more expensive printers, manufacturers won't be able to say "What did you expect for $50?" when it breaks down.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:08pm

      Re:

      Thats there problem what about us that already have a printer that works just fine and have to pay more for the ink then I did for the damn printer!!! Suck that, If they want to sell ink then sell ink if they want to sell printers then sell printers.

       

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      Bill, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:12pm

      Re:

      So WHAT? They'll be charging for the cost of the printer, and I can get the ink cheap. Long term, it saves us all money.

      I have a Samsung color laser, and when I went to refill the toner cartridges, I could pay $50 for toner, or $180 for their cartridge, with 1/4 the toner. But they had changed their cartridge design, making it impossible to fill. Did I roll over and pay ridiculous prices? No! I got a machinist to drill holes and put plugs in for me.

      Best damn decision ever. It's cheap to print to my color lasrer now.

       

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    Dan, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    Bob: I'm FINE with the printers being $300+ if the ink price went down. My current HP printer has 6 ink cartridges, which cost a total of $70 to replace all of them. It's cheaper to just get a new printer than pay for 2 or 3 sets of replacement carts. I don't believe the price of printers would go up if there were aftermarket ink, either. Printing is not a complicated thing, the technology that happens inside of it is hardly new or groundbreaking, and it really just comes down to smaller nozzles on the ink applicators. It's a simple case of a company wanting to take more of our money then they deserve.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:25pm

      Re:

      The thing is that the ink Carditgers that ship with printers contain less ink then the ones that you buy at the store.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      I have an HP printer and spend $70 on a full set of six cartridges. Those inks last me at least one ream of paper. I pay about $4 for the paper. so $74 for 500 prints... Thats 14cents a page. But wait, two of those inks are only used when I print photos so now we're at $54 for my 500 prints. Just over a a dime a page. Tell me exactly where I can get color prints in small volumes for a price anywhere close to that and I'll concede that printer ink is over priced. But in reality I think I'm getting a pretty good deal. Sure those ink tanks feel expensive when I'm buying the whole set but per page I think I'm getting a reasonable price. Plus those occasional photos I print during that ream of paper probably push my figures higher than they should be and I've never needed to replace all 6 inks at any one time.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 3:45pm

    I usually purchase 2 of these $49.99 Epson printers at a time. When the ink runs out in one, I just throw that entire printer out and open the other new printer.

    By the time I've gone through those 2 Epson printers, a better (i mean, "new version") of Epson technology has been released. I then purchase 2 more of those and repeat the process all over again.

    This method is far less costly than purchasing ink every 5 months and I can always have the latest $49.99 printer.

    Doing this is less expensive for me, but probably costs Epson a bundle of $$$, but they CHOOSE to undersell their printers and OVERSELL their inks - their loss.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      >I usually purchase 2 of these $49.99 Epson printers at a time.
      >When the ink runs out in one, I just throw that entire printer out and open the other new printer.

      Fool! You can ebay the printers after you done and cut your cost even more! ;)
      Feel proud for screwing Epson out of money though, maybe they will learn?
      (No that's not very likely.. at least you get affordable printing)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      Sweet idea man!. I think I may start doing the same as well.

       

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      Eddie K, Jun 21st, 2007 @ 9:18pm

      Re:

      Good one..I laughed at that..that's how we do business in america..cheers mate..That's what I tell my customers..as a salesperson...new epson printer ink is anywhere from $70-$120, depending on the cartridge size..

       

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    Stu, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:38pm

    From a legal standpoint, these are outrages.

    We can bitch to each other all we want; but if we don't bitch directly to the companies, our legislators and the main stream media, in writing, then these outrages will continue. And we definitely have to buy other brands.

    The manufacturers are not stupid. They plan for the things people do to get around their policies, and have their next steps well planned out.

    Think about this scenario:
    Since nobody can do compatible cartridges, and they try to scare us about other brand inks, they start inching up the price of the printers. All the manufacturers at about the same time.

    It was Mr. King Gillette, the razor guy, who invented the idea of "giving away the razors to sell the blades".

    Have you seen the price of the razors AND the blades these days?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:39pm

    Black Gold, Epson Tea

     

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    AJ, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Refill!?

    Can't we just refill the damn ink cartridge? Buy a bottle of ink, poor into cartridge, and off you go??

     

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      Dosquatch, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Refill!?

      Can't we just refill the damn ink cartridge?

      Well, that's the thing that brings in "patent infringement". Epson's current printers have a microchip built into the ink cartridges that programatically "kill" the cartridge after a preset amount of time has passed, whether the cartridge has ink or not, whether it's jets are still in good shape or not. Refilling has no effect. You either have to reset the chip and face DMCA circumvention charges, replicate the chip and face patent infringement charges, or pay their inflated charges.

      So, for no good reason, no you can't just refill the cartridge. Therein, therefore, the bitch session.

       

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        Ed, Jul 12th, 2007 @ 4:04pm

        Re: Re: Refill!?

        Go to ebay and you can buy cartridges with resettable chips for Epson R260's etc. There may be others as well.

         

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      Chris, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 8:49pm

      Re: Refill!?

      Of course! Just take it to a refiller, but find someone who actually cleans the cartridge instead of just pumping it full of ink. The good shops cost just a touch more, and a clean cartridge prints much much better.

       

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    Kevin, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:04pm

    Starter Inks

    Soon Epson will learn to use the force like HP. HP is notorious for providing "starter" cartridges with their printers. They don't do a very good job of hiding that fact but maybe thats intentional. You start to think that instead of replacing the entire printer like Anonymous Coward, you should buy the inks because they will have 2-3 times the amount of ink in them and so will last longer. Its all head games.....like we need that!!

     

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      Geren, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:09pm

      Re: Starter Inks

      I can't talk about all of HP's ink cartridges, however, the "02" series starter cartridges have the same volume of ink as the replacements. And, they don't look any different. However, I think there may be some sort of priming agent in them? I dunno what the deal is. FWIW, Canon does the same thing.

       

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    Lantern Bearer, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Ink Jet Printers

    I had a project that came to me in 2000. I had one color inkjet and a workhorse laser/toner corporate for up to ledger size output. I needed a ledger size color machine. I found it in an hp1220C. The carts were big and long lasting and the output was flawless. It however suffered frm very weak parts in the ink delivery sub assembly. I replaced it once and when it broke again, I tossed it. I also had an hp2000C Professional that had a notoriously bad board. I replaced the the machine once and had the board repaired by a very capable national company the second time. When the paper delivery subsystem went south, I tossed it. I have since become a reseller and I am able to get machines out of lease very inexpensively. I get supplies in bulk and I know what the rip is for OEM. I will never own an Epson product again. hp is on my emergency list. Samsung is my rising star.

    When you buy a new printer, find out who the real manufacturer of the base engine is. Samsung is now producing the real workhorses that the tagging manufacturers are charging a premium for.

    Look for comparable OEM carts that are cross indexed for other machines. The big names charge a premium for those carts while the cross indexed models are much cheaper. Same cart.

    Warranty? I have had only one machine ever go bad in a warranty period. Warranties be damned.

    LB

     

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    A chicken passeth by, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:30pm

    Not to mention that few people know how to refill a catridge properly. -.-

    Anyways, so far I've found Canon to not be arsehats when it comes to catridges. Tho I may be wrong.

    Thank you, Lexmark, for showing people how to guard your ink trademarks.

     

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      Ron, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:28pm

      Resetting Epson Cartridges

      SSC Printer Utility will programmatically reset the chips used in many Epson printer cartridges

       

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    Techie Chick, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:38pm

    There is the art of refilling your own. Heck, if they leak & ruin the printer, get another printer...

     

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    Techie Chick, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:39pm

    And... there are ways around those chips...

     

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      Stephen, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 4:57am

      Re: There are ways around those chips

      What is the work around for the chips in the Epson, CX5000 printer cartridges? I have barely printed anything and all my cartridges are showing next to empty. I tried to refill the black cartridge myself which I have done many times with a Canon printer but this printer will not allow the same cartridge to be used again. Solutions other than chucking the printer after 2 days use!!!!

       

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    mike, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 5:59pm

    can't we all get lasers and stop complaing??? they save money in the long run and don't hassle nearly as much they actually work! I hate all inkjets!! all they do is dry out and give you trouble color still a little pricey though but its worth knowing it will actually will work when you tell it to print!!

     

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    InkChemist, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:12pm

    Ink cost

    One of the other inkjet biggies buys the basic ink from an ink making company for $0.10-$0.15 per cartridge volume. The inkjet company puts a few magic additives in so that the actual ink maker can't sell the exact product on the side. The actual ink in the cartridge can't cost more than $0.25 in wholesale volumes. The inkjet company adds the cost of the physical cartridge, the packaging, advertising and distribution costs, and makes about 300% profit.

    And why do they change models and cartridge designs so frequently? To make sure that they always have a patent covering a key design feature to help keep others off their turf.

    And don't think the situation with laser printers in any different.

     

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    Audi, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:21pm

    CANON

    I have an old canon, and the cartriges are $8 for black and $18 for color, and last me a few months each at least.... no more lexmark, Epson, and HP.

     

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    Converted, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:24pm

    Used to...

    I used to have inkjets. 2 of them. One for color and one for B/W. No more. Now I sport an OKI color laser for the price of 4 inkjet printers... Or 1 inkjet and 2 sets of new cartridges.

    My inks cost more? Yes they do. They also last 1000 times longer. (OK so it's a completely made up number...So what)

    Not to mention it plugs right into my home network.

     

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    needa, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:28pm

    lose money on every printer sold?

    somehow... i cant see it. my mother has an hp printer from 10 years ago. funny thing..... the ink cart in that looks exactly the same as the hp printer siitin on the shelf at wally world. the technology is archaic at best. maybe they need to make more money on the ink to offset the cost of that fancy lokin cardboard box they come in.

    also. walgreens... will print any 4 x 6 photo for 19 cents. your community college will print black and white for free. libraries will print black and white for 10 cents.... color for 50.

    whatever happened to dot matrix anyways.

     

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    lil'bit, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:45pm

    No way to win

    They should be required to give the average cost per page over the life of the printer. Like the shelf tags at the grocers that shows per unit costs

     

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    Bill, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:50pm

    Printers

    amen, amen, amen. as we continue down the road to the mega walmart, mega oil, mega software, mega broadcasting and mega everything, prepare yourselves for even greater examples of robbing the consumer.

     

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    Howbad, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 6:53pm

    Buy Cannon they have the most $ per ounce cartridge available and some of their printers don't stop printing when you run out of one color. I will NEVER EVER buy another HP product for as long as I live. bought one piece of XXXX hp that cost $1200, it's been broke a half a dozen time before the warranty ran out and now not even a year old it is terminal (gears shot). The lazer cartridges where running $299 each and their is 4 of them. You might get 500 copies - thus the $1000 a month for color printing cartridges. HP even admitted the thing was a piece of XXXX and for $900 more you could upgrade to a new $1399 printer before it went the old piece of XXXX went out of warranty. Sorry I've been replacing all my printers with Cannons and loveing it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:36pm

    I have a Lexmark inkjet printer/ scanner/ copier. It cost me less than $40 online and I only pay $19.99 for ink from Lexmark.com, and they ship it to me for free. Unless I do some massive image printing, a single ink cartridge (It's a color printer, just uses one cartridge) can last me up to over a month of document printing.. which is what I mainly use if for- to print computer code. I can get over a month or 2 if I change the print setting to 'quick print', which uses less ink.

     

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    Galen, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:47pm

    Printer costs

    Just a suggestion, but shop for cartridges first and the printer second.

    I agree with Howbad regarding cannon printers. None of the printers are perfect, I use an old cannon multifunction that uses a tricolor and a black cartridge and prints quite respectably. The print head is also easily removable with a lever and a quick soak in warm vinegar water will bust any clogged nozels (usually from lack of use).

    We print alot of color on photo paper (Ilford Gloss 8.5x11 form Sams $25.00 / 100 sheets). The paper has a great finish and the prints look very good. OK, they are not waterproof, but you can print about 30 full color 8.5 images with a pair af cartridges.

    Costs: Color cartridges $1.30 Black cartridges $.95 from several web stores (watch the shipping)

    Thats under 10 cents a page for full color 8.5X11 images at high quality setting and .25 cents for good photo paper. You cant beat that at any printing kiosk that I know of and you can do it at home where you are comfortable messing around with the images to get them the way you want them.

    Normal text and mixed media printing will cost under 3 cents per page for ink.

    I buy about $30 bucks worth at a time and they last a couple of years, and I push the print button any time I feel like it with out thinking twice. Ok, you do get a little giddy knowing that it is cheap.

     

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    Gordo, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:48pm

    They didn't stop us

    I work for a very large cartridge refilling company, in fact the largest in the world. We have recieved several threats from epson and lexmark, and our suppliers have duked it out with both of them on numerous occasions. They attempt to sue of over ink patents and electronic patents. Neither of those companies have been successful at suing us (HP was smart enough to not even try), nor will they ever be. I agree with the comments above that say the printer price will go up because of refills, as we already have taken 10billion per year from them, and prices have not changed from that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:51pm

      Re: They didn't stop us

      the sentence was supposed to be "i agree with those who say the price WON'T go up on printers"

      sorry for the typo

       

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    Donald Duck, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 7:59pm

    Vintage Champagne is cheaper!!!

    I have seen software where you can control the amount of ink that comes out of your printer when you print. One is called Ink-Saver and I seen another one on Broder-bund that is cheaper.

    I see that HP sued a company that just refill ink cartridges and buying a cartridge that isn't from the brand of the printer is more or less counterfeiting. So I guess for a little while you could use those services that might make this cheaper but some day they might be forced out of business fined and imprisoned because they either don't share the profits with the printer manufacturer or not enough and you have to act like my boy's in Lebanon and learn how to 'pinch' it some how. Like the do it your self kits that don't work believe me freaking MacGyver couldn‘t get that shit to work right.

    I bought one black ink cartridge like in August and what I do when I want to print something most of the time I use quick print which doesn't use that much ink and I click into the ONLY BLACK ink part. I haven't yet purchased the color ink that went out yet. Mainly because this is my second printer and I purchase this new one because it came with the ink and this was all like $50 dollars. The black ink it self was $30 plus dollars. I have always hated this ink ‘blackmail‘. Especially when it comes to photos when I do a few photos and I use the "Best" setting it really DRAINS my ink levels down they are sandbagging thugs. Obviously they have the cartridge size and the amount of ink in the sponge down to a science. It should have a certain size regulated by the government? Or we could regulate the ink but I doubt very much it has any thing to do with the ink itself I believe the price has to do with this fake idea that the chip that the printer reads on the cartridge it self is costly.

    So basically I got my printer down to one or two cartridges a year. That is a serious savings because if you add that up you could buy some new hardware or software. You know those muthafockers are making these in china some where and those people are making what 2 cents a DAY and they expect you to pay $60 bucks for their ink?

    I guess the underground "BLACK" market for ink cartridges is just going to have to be pretty big and much better before the companies realize that their monoploy just doesn't work out for every one. Of course Techdirt author these people play games with "their products" because they also have a stock market symbol which means they have to keep their major investors happy along with every thing else. I mean if Google stock is worth $500.00's each and HP or Epson is probably way below that level? I'm sure people think of way's to make the MOST PROFIT even if it is really is a shake-down to the consumer if that person purchases that brand. Obviously if a printer manufacturer would come out with a printer that works with ANY CARTRIDGE with out having a patent problem or just some cheaper ink they would be getting some business from me.

     

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    Rick, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 8:30pm

    My second printer WAS an Epson.

    After reading this article, it now rests in pieces in the dumpster outside.

     

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    Casey, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 9:02pm

    Anonymous Coward

    Haha, I know a few people just like you, and they just give me their old printers and say the same thing, and i just use up what little ink is left(i do very little printing if any) and hand em over to someone else who will go and buy ink and are happy at getting a free printer.
    Bulk is always a way to go through a third party, but you end up saving a very big chunk of change, however the third parties generally require a large order and sometimes only carry laser or larger printer sizes.

     

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    claire rand, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:44am

    economy printing

    i used to run a pair of printers, a star lc-200c 9-pin colour, mostly used for code listings and drafts dropped to tractor feed paper.. when the black in the colour ribbon went.. change the driver to print in blue.. then red.. one ribbion lasted ages, change it when its too faint to see.

    downside.. it sounded like a chainsaw, oh and graphics.. try 20 mins for a a4 sheet of colour photo at max res. but for plain text it flew.

    then a hp940c (still got it somewhere) for more professional stuff, i like the 940c since i can refill it myself.

    biggest regret? flogging the 9-pin on, for what i normally print it was worth the noise, printing costs worked out about 0.1p per sheet, assuming you chnaged the ribbon, which i didn't often do.

    its the first thing i'd check for now, "can I refill the carts" before getting a new inkjet, the HP cost me 150ukp new, but i've more than saved the extra over a cheap printer on ink costs.

    the only problem is getting it to work again (its been on a shelf for a year) but I't will go, though i may have to by new carts for it first...

     

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    Reed, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 12:51am

    Playing their game

    "I usually purchase 2 of these $49.99 Epson printers at a time. When the ink runs out in one, I just throw that entire printer out and open the other new printer."

    I bought a great HP printer for 29 bucks. The Ink cost almost $40 to replace!? Also the printer came "without" a usb cord. Yes I am not kidding, and if you wanted to buy a HP brand 6 foot USB cable it was 23 dollars! I used my old one...

    It struck me though, how friggin wasteful it is to keep buying new printers instead of ink. Not only that, but I imagine by buying new printers every year or so I am playing right into the hands of the printer manufactures. I am so used, I feel dirty.

     

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    Jeff, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 1:23am

    Forget ink, paper, printers... use PDFs

    www.cutepdf.com - free for home use

    Sure, occasionally I still need to print things out for one reason or another, but CutePDF is great for times when I just the purpose of my "printing" is just to get a static copy of a web page I know will change, or to do a rough-draft print to see how it looks on paper (because things will look different printed than they do in PrintPreview, but CutePDF is always pretty close to how it would have looked on paper), or to "print" a file and let someone review a "hard copy" without being able to futz with the original file.... using CutePDF lets me do those type of things without NEEDING to print and waste paper or ink or even having a printer connected. and since I've started using it and made it my "default" printer, I've found that I can get by without real printouts more than I thought.

    The final thing I like about CutePDF is that if I always print to CutePDF first, then print out the PDF... I always have an electronic "proof quality" version of what I actually printed and/or gave to someone. So it's self-documentation for me as well.

     

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    mkvf, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 2:05am

    Going back to the beginning:

    "So if you want to be able to buy 3rd party ink then so be it but dont bitch when a new basic inkjet printer costs $300."

    Does anyone have a clue what the real costs for printer manufacture are? Would a basic printer really be five times as expensive as it is now, if ink was sold at close to cost price? Does strike me as odd that no-one's broken this "give the printer away for free, extort money for ink" model.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 5:09am

    3rd party ink

    "I don't believe the price of printers would go up if there were aftermarket ink, either."

    I work for a printer company. We deal with this issue all the time.

    You're only thinking of the price of the ink. Third party ink causes a lot more problems than unhappy companies. Most companies have a formula for their ink that is optimal for the print head. Third party companies couldn't give a crap about that, they just want your money. When the third party ink is too thick to run through the print head nozzles, it gets clogged and cannot function. When it's too thin, your prints look like crap and the print head eventually gets burned. The print head usually costs more than the printer itself, so when it goes bad, the printer, the print head, and your third party inks are all worthless. You might not care if you own a $40 printer and will just toss it and buy another, but buy a decent higher end printer and do this and after a while you will get tired of paying for another $150 printer every four months.

    The funny thing about all this is that the people who usually end up trashing their print head using third party inks are the same people who complain that a company's product is crap. If you used it as recommended you'd have a better product that lasted a lot longer.

    And Reed, I can't think of any printer companies that include a USB cable with their products. Why? Because most people have quite a few already. If not, it's cheaper to buy a standard cable than have the company include one, both for price reasons, and troubleshooting if something is wrong.

     

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      Vincent Clement, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 5:52am

      Re: 3rd party ink

      The decision to use 3rd party ink should rest with the owner of the printer not the manufacturer of the printer. Or would you prefer that we go back to the days where you could only use AT&T phones on AT&T phone lines? Once I buy a product, the manufacturer should have absolutely no say in what I decide to do with it.

       

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        mkvf, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re: 3rd party ink

        "The decision to use 3rd party ink should rest with the owner of the printer not the manufacturer of the printer."

        Certainly: but if a printer manufacturer knows that using third party inks will damage the the printer, and warn about this, should they be expected to honour warranties to people who use other inks? It might not be fair for Epson to use the courts to stop third parties selling inks to work on their printers, but it would be equally unfair to expect them to replace a printer that's broken because you've tried to refill the cartridge with Dulux.

         

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          Vincent Clement, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 9:08am

          Re: Re: Re: 3rd party ink

          I never said anything about honouring warranties, but, no, Epson shouldn't have to honour the warranty so long as the reason for the damage is because of third party ink. That said, I'm not buying into the argument that 3rd party ink is bad for printers.

           

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    John, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 6:01am

    What happens to old printers

    Regarding the poster who simply tosses out their printer when the ink runs out: what do you do with the printer? Do you throw it in the trash? Does it wind up taking up space in a landfill? Or do you donate it to a charity (though they would then have to afford the expensive ink).

    What if everyone just simply tossed out their $49.99 printer instead of buying $70 worth of new ink? How soon would it take to fill our land fills? I mean, it's not like the printer is bad or old- it simply ran out of ink and has many years of useful life left in it.

    This just shows the "use and toss" mentality of many consumers... which, in turn, is created by and encouraged by the manufacturers. It's very telling that we can get a new printer for less than the cost of replacement ink. And if the printer actually does break down? Again, it's cheaper to just buy a new one than to pay to have it repaired.

     

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    Lippsman, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 6:10am

    Ink

    With the low price of laser printers now, why in the world would anyone even buy an inkjet

     

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    Lippsman, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 6:12am

    Ink

    With the low price of laser printers now, why in the world would anyone even buy an inkjet

     

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    Steve, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 6:21am

    Bologna

    The excuse that if 3rd party companies were to sell ink, the price of printers would go up is bologna. The excuse that using 3rd party ink will ruin your printer is bologna as well.

    The printer manufacturer can license there ink to 3rd party companies but they refuse to do that. The reason why is it's a way to keep the price of ink artificially high.

    The other reason why ink is so much is because the printer company wouldn't be able to charge a click charge (price per page printed) like they do with companies. It wouldn't be feasible for the consumer market.

     

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    Janet van Dyke, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    CIS

    If the cost of ink bugs you, get a CIS for your printer.

     

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    Donald Duck, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 4:42pm

    Dirty Painting

    Analyzing the collective thoughts on way’s to pinch or scheme on these ink prices is very provocative. These racketeering multi-national corporations are fleeting the public with these “baby ass ink cartridges”. To be gunning with their high-price heavy hitting henchmen mercenary law firms at these companies that sale ‘counterfeit bogus cartridges’ that fit in our printers or simply refill our spent cartridges which they the counterfeiters make if not billions millions of dollars because they are producing an item that is probably relatively cheap to make and reselling it for a very high cost to us the asinine masses. It’s is just another example of how petty these giant conglomerates are. All be it they are in a “Market“ and they try to stay competitive with each other and these saplings that basically steal from their profits and stock value. This market is still engineered and scientifically made market to benefit them regardless of the profits they could be making off of more superior things then stupid printers.

    I was thinking that conceivably there is a printer manufacture in México or South America somewhere that sales comparatively cheap ink cartridges that goes with their printers? Probably would work just as well on most conventional printer usage. I’m thinking that foreign nations are using different ink bases some sort of cheaper version of our Americanized made in China type ink along with cheaper chips on their cartridges. Probably even a government mandatory ink base that they all use in these foreign nations. Like the price of Kuwaiti high octane gas because the people can’t afford it they use sugar gasoline in Brazil. Granted their inks might be cheap-rate in many ways still probably worth checking out.

    Example, lets say we take paint that would go into a black spray paint can for a dollar take out the bad odors we reengineer it to inject into a cartridge some how and operational in a printer? Use that paint as our INK. Obviously that paint is cheap as DIRT and if there was some how to utilize that type of paint because it would dry fast and it is in abundances. (also could be rust resistant lol) I could probably obtain 30 spray cans for the amount of money we can put in one ink cartridge. I would like to see a comparison of car spray paint prices for the amount a large office pay’s for ink cartridges. Let’s say that a car paint job would cost you 10,000 ink cartridges x $30.00’s per cartridge equals out to $300,000 thousand dollars or lets say you are painting a house and that would take 5 million ink cartridges at $30 dollars each that would be a $150,000,000 million dollar paint job on your average american home. Maybe I should open up a store and sell some ink LOL Now if I have to print something really big I kinda believe it would be cheaper to go to Kinko’s then printing it my freaking self.

     

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    GadgetGav, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 6:46am

    Completely within the 'spirit' of the patent syste

    I hear all the bitching about ink prices and I like it just as little as the next man, but no way is this "not in the spirit of the patent system". That patent system only exists to block competitors from your market. That is the deal:

    "The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent or exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the claimed invention."

    In return for giving up the details of your invention, you get exclusive rights. These things are not cheap - either in development costs or patent filing costs, so if a company really has something patentable and is awarded a patent on it, they have every right to defend that patent. Why would Epson, HP or Canon put all the money into developing better printers and ink if it was just going to get copied as soon as it came out.

     

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      Neo, Dec 1st, 2006 @ 7:11am

      Re: Completely within the 'spirit' of the patent s

      GadgetGav, I have to disagree. I understand that printer companies need to recoup their investment. And indeed additional profitability for the risk they take in R&D.

      But the patent system is there to protect inventions. The printers, with their clever technology, sure! But cartridges are protected by patents that are not innovative. My comopany has been sued by Epson, and we are in a legal dispute that has now run 10 months. The patents are NOT for anything innovative, and they are patents for the sake of it. Global corporations then abuse the legal system and know that the little guy cannot afford to even contest it.

      We are fighting them, but not everyone can, and I am very well versed on ink cartridge patents in relation to Epson - they are a farce, and we are going to take their patents apart in the courts.

      As for technology for inks - we make cartridges that independent labs have tested that BEAT OEM cartridges on performance for less than half the price, without infringing.

      You can get these reports at Inkrite.com. If we get support from buyers, we will work to break the shackles of OEM's

      Have a look at the site - make your own minds up!

       

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    G. Millward, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 6:05am

    Re: 3rd party ink

    I have been using exclusively 3rd party ink (various suppliers) in my Epson 810 from new i.e. since the Epson cartridges supplied with the printer ran out. The printer continues to work impeccably, with no tendency to clog (ink too thick) or overheat (ink too thin)! I use 1 black about every 2 months, and 1 colour about every 3 months. I feel ill if I think about what it would have cost me in Epson cartridges!

     

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    mark grossman, Jan 10th, 2007 @ 6:04am

    bad quality epson ink

    has anyone heard that epson has been selling defective printer ink that is too thick and that this has been clogging the printheads leading to printer failure?? please respond to my email addy.

     

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    Joshua, Mar 3rd, 2007 @ 6:20pm

    foolish americans (and probably europeans too!)

    Do you really think that people that live in "under-developed"
    countries, who can't afford to buy ink cartridges (imports with high taxes) aren't refilling using "3rd party inks that damage the print heads"??? I've been refilling for many years now and as long as you buy your ink from respectable suppliers that sell good quality ink (mostly companies in Canada) I can assure you that NOTHING is going to happen to your printer. I worked for a paper mill once and I know how chip the cost of ink is...less costly than bottled water.

    Don't let these companies scare you with their tactics that ONLY THEIR INK, DESIGNED FOR THEIR PRINTERS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD BUY TO AVOID "DAMAGING" YOUR PRINTER....there are two words that apply to these companies: RIP-OFF!! (LOTS OF GREED!)
    I'm happy to see China growing fast and I hope some day that country will saturate the market with low price ink..
    I'll be very happy indeed to see Epson and other companies going out of the ink market.

     

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    Joshua, Mar 3rd, 2007 @ 6:21pm

    foolish americans (and probably europeans too!)

    Do you really think that people that live in "under-developed"
    countries, who can't afford to buy ink cartridges (imports with high taxes) aren't refilling using "3rd party inks that damage the print heads"??? I've been refilling for many years now and as long as you buy your ink from respectable suppliers that sell good quality ink (mostly companies in Canada) I can assure you that NOTHING is going to happen to your printer. I worked for a paper mill once and I know how chip the cost of ink is...less costly than bottled water.

    Don't let these companies scare you with their tactics that ONLY THEIR INK, DESIGNED FOR THEIR PRINTERS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD BUY TO AVOID "DAMAGING" YOUR PRINTER....there are two words that apply to these companies: RIP-OFF!! (LOTS OF GREED!)
    I'm happy to see China growing fast and I hope some day that country will saturate the market with low price ink..
    I'll be very happy indeed to see Epson and other companies going out of the ink market.

     

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    Don Perry, May 5th, 2007 @ 2:41pm

    Epson Faulty ink cartridge's

    In March Of this year 2007 I purchased An Epson CX 5000.The ink ran out at an incredible rate.I ordered some 3rd. party replacement cartridges from the Media Store online.The cartridges allmost immediately ran out of ink.I shipped them back to Supermedia for a refund and as of yet I've had no refund nor heard from them. I then went out to a local Target and bought new new retail cartridges from Epson. Again they did the same as Supermedias's cartridges.So I had invesred over $90.00 in ink and still had a printer that would not use the ink cartridges.I called tech support that said a certain # of cartridges had faulty chips which reported they were low on ink even though they're full.They also said at 20% they should reset themselves.This never happened for me.I went out an bought an HP C3180 which is doing a very good job and functions correctly.I think Epson is screwing the people who buys their printers.It's cost me $180.00 for a printer that doesn't work.I called Epson's Customer Service and they've agreed to replace my money for the printer.But I've still lost $90.00 dollars in ink cost.If anyone has any knowledge on how i can get Epson to pay for the ink i couln't use i'd appreciate it. Epson has gone to far with these antics.I have read other articles sucjh as mind that date back to October 2006.How many people can Epson screw before someone can do something about it. Don

     

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    Eddie K, Jun 23rd, 2007 @ 10:56am

    Epson Inks

    All things being equal, are there any companies that can claim to have a quality compatable ink that won't mess up the printer?

     

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    sharon thomas, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

    epson

    I think when my printer stops working I will shop for another one besides epson. Their cartridges are way too expensive.

     

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    Natb, Aug 20th, 2007 @ 2:58pm

    It's over for me

    My printer recently broke. I had it for about 4 years using compatible ink cartridges at about $3 apiece. I simply refuse to buy another printer until prices come down to normal. I can live without it. Also I refuse the let the companies take advantage of us by their evil greed. If everyone thought like this, there would be no such thing as high ink costs!
    (The greedy bastards would make plenty of money even if they reduced their price by 80%)

     

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    Don, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    No more Epson for me...

    I just spent over $60.00 on new Epson Ink Cartridges and my Epson Printer will not recognize them...

    After being on the Phone for almost an Hour doing ridiculous things the "Tech" told me to do, including digging the old Cartridges out of the trash and replacing the new ones.
    They told me I need to buy another Printer...

    I told them they where right, I'm going back to HP Printers and try to get the bad taste of Epson out of my Mouth...

    After researching I found out why my Printer doesn't accept the new Cartridges.
    Epson changed the code in the Cartridge Chip that makes them incompatible with older Printers thus making us think our Printers are broken and getting us to buy a new one.

    Epson is cutting off its Nose to spite its Face here.
    So long Epson! I just hope HP isn't doing the same thing...

     

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    Eileen O'Donnell, Mar 30th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Epson Boycott

    We should organize a "Boycott Epson Month" where everyone for a month does not buy Epson products. I am tired of it. I bought knockoff cartridges because I needed new ones right away and my local store was sold out of the originals.

    At the end of the day, we the consumers pay for Epson's greed. It must be mighty expensive to keep coming up with new chips and printers that destroy themselves if we don't act like good sheep and buy their cartridges.

     

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