Kodak's New Battle Plan: Cheap Printer Ink

from the ah,-finally! dept

For many years we've had stories about the ridiculously high price of inkjet printer ink. It is, according to some, one of the most expensive liquids around, costing more than vintage champagne. Someone once worked out that if you filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool with printer ink bought at retail, it would cost you $5.9 billion dollars (yes, with a b). Obviously, that's not the cost of manufacturing the ink, but includes hefty margins for the printer makers, who give away their printers cheap and make it up on the ink margins. The printer makers then go to extraordinary lengths, including using all sorts of intellectual property law to stop anyone else from selling ink for their printers. Some printer companies have also been accused of making ink cartridges expire while they still have plenty of ink. In fact, just a few months ago in a report about how Epson was blocking others from selling compatible ink, we wondered why no printer company saw this as an opportunity to come in and undercut these raw deals, and advertise heavily on the fact that they wouldn't rip you off on ink. Apparently, it was just a matter of time.

Kodak is supposedly announcing new photo printers today, with the explicit focus on the fact that their ink is a hell of a lot cheaper than anyone else's. In fact, they're also promoting that the ink cartridges hold a lot more ink, so you won't have to refill as often either. In other words, they're doing what any competitor in the space should do: beating the competition by offering what customers want, rather than trying to squeeze extra money out of them at the expense of reputation. The reports suggest that Kodak will still make plenty of margin on the ink sales, but that it might finally force some of the other printer companies to lower their prices a bit. Sometimes it takes a while, but it looks like the market is finally doing what it's supposed to.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Tmo, 9 Mar 2008 @ 9:07pm


    I was so fed up and frustrated trying ink refills, cartridge tampering, etc...I nearly went for a Epson continuous ink system, but I happen to stumble upon the Kodak 5100 series....on sale at Wal-Mart for $80. Thought I would buy it and give it a try seeing I was there about to spend $100 @$@#% dollars on another set of HP ink cartridges anyways. All I can say is since I have been using the Kodak 5100 as of Dec 07 I have been very happy and just awe struck. I have so far spent a total of $26 for both ink cartridges !!!! The printer works great for my needs. The bonus is it the scanner works fine as well. The idea for a continuous feed Epson is not worth it, and as for the still working HP and the Lexmark printers that I have sitting here you can bet they will never ever see another set of ink cartridges. Both printers are headed to the landfill !! I will not even give them away because I would pity the fool having to buy ink for them. Of course I will fun smashing them on some nice hard concrete first, I've got to get some satisfaction for that money I spent on them! Good riddance!

    Goodbye to Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Dell,HP and your price gouging collusion...

    Goodbye BW only, I have been using COLOR on my COLOR printer!


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.