OEM cartridge prices 'rising quickly'

Have you noticed that buying ink cartridges from brand-name manufacturers has got rather expensive recently?

The price of ink cartridges from OEMs (that's original equipment manufacturers to you and me) is rising at a steady pace, according to a new study by tech website PCWorld, with Lexmark and Kodak identified as the main offenders.

According to PC World's Melissa Riofrio, between 2009 and today, the cost-per-page of some manufacturers' inks has risen by as much as 30 per cent.

 "About eight months ago, I began noticing that ink cartridge prices for some models were going up – sometimes sharply," she wrote.

"When I dug deeper, I also saw that the price increases seemed to be selective: Some inks went up; others stayed the same; and one even dipped slightly."


Biggest hikes

The study found that Lexmark and Kodak were responsible for the biggest rise in price hikes, with Epson also pushing up the cost of its colour inks.

"Meanwhile, HP seems to be nudging ink costs upward in its newer models," Ms Riofrio said.

PCWorld based its findings on its reviews of printers, when it also prices-in the cost of the cartridges.

Emerging in a positive light out of the review was Kodak, whose inks remain among the least expensive on the market.

However, Ms Riofrio found that within the last year the company has raised prices on all of its supplies with big jumps in the cost of black ink.


Of the two other big vendors, Brother and Dell, the study couldn’t find sufficient data.

"Brother's inks are sold by third parties, and their prices can vary widely. Dell's prices seem to be stable for the few printers we've reviewed; however, their inks tend to be among the priciest in cost per page," Ms Diofrio said.

So is there any end to this apparent spot of inkflation (sorry...)? In the current climate, it would seem not.

Printer makers know they make their money on consumables, so it may be some time before they start to come down.

One alternative is to think about refilled, recycled and remanufactured inks. Browse our store to see what we sell and take a look at our feature that discusses their differences.


  • 18/06/2012 11:52

    we started with lexmark printers years ago because the printers were cheap and still are but their cartridges in thoise days were £37.00 a set which is expensive, we now use epson all in one printers which have like others a limited life chip whuich can be recharged by an epson dealership for about £15.00 better than buying another all in one printer, the cartridges come from Inkredible.co.uk and sometimes we need a charging device to recharge these cartridges as the epson wont recognise them they do pretty reasonable inks and we wont be changing suppliers anytime soon as long as they are around we shall stick with them. regards Nigel.

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