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Author Topic: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...  (Read 6644 times)

dodgy geezer

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Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« on: July 17, 2010, 02:54:41 pm »

I don't know if anyone is interested in my experiences with procuring inkjet ink? The prices are what I paid a few years ago, so they may be higher now, but the principles still hold...

Epson printers are often high-spec and cheap. They expect to make their money from selling ink cartridges. I though I would buy an Epson, and then get cheap non-Epson ink. I bought a CX6400, which is an all-in-one scanner/printer/copier. However, even the cheap non-epson cartridges cost a lot, and didn't seem to last long. They contain 15 ml ml of ink, and the CX6400 needs 4, at about 15 each for Epson brand, or 5 for other makes. The printer cost about 100, which meant that 2 Epson cartridge replacements, or 5 others, would match the printer cost.

Looking for ways to lower this cost, I found a number of cartridge refilling advice sites, and tried to disassemble the old Epson cartridges to see how to refill them. They are engineered to resist this, so it's a messy business, and I was only partly successful. You can buy ink for this process from a number of sites, at around 6 per 60ml - dropping the cost of a cartridge to 1.50. You also need to buy a cartridge chip resetter (about 5) to set the empty cartridge to full again. I used this bunch for some time - found them to provide good service - http://www.proprint.co.uk/

Then I found a Chinese company called SkyHorse, who were shipping two-part cartridges, which could easily come apart for refilling. I bought two sets, and found them to be quite an ideal way to refill cartridges. http://www.inkhouse.cn/en/Product_list.asp?op=4&xop=1&id=844 refers...


One of the first things you notice about inkjets is that they achieve very high resolution by having very small holes in the print heads. So blockage is an issue. The inkjet handles this by having a pad where the heads rest when not being used, which is connected to a pump. When you call for a head clean, the pump operates, and some ink is sucked through the nozzles into a waste pad inside the machine. This causes two problems - lots of head cleaning mean lots of ink waste, and eventually the waste pad inside the printer will get full. This usually takes a few years of use, but annoyingly, many manufacturers simply set a limit on head cleans, and lock the printer when the limit is reached. Then the printer displays a 'request for maintenance' and you have to go and pay the manufacturer 50 to change the ink pad and reset the printer.

A Russian group became very annoyed at this and produced their own Epson utility, which allows diy limit resetting, variable strength and colour cleaning, and a host of other goodies. Find them here - http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml . I use this, and pipe the excess ink into a small plastic reservoir....

Other useful sites are http://repair4printer.org/ , and http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/


When one of my sons took the CX6400 to Uni, I bought an RX700 (6 cartridges!), and looked for more SkyHorse cartridges. At this point Epson were taking lots of cartridge companies to court in order to force them out of business, and SkyHorse pulled out of the UK. I was stuck!

Then I found a Continuous Ink Supply (CIS) system on e-bay for the RX700. It was 20 (+20 postage from the States) and came with 120ml of ink for each colour. That amount of ink would cost 48 if bought on its own - how could I loose?

I bought the system - was not impressed by the seller (pile 'em high - sell 'em cheap) but the system worked well. I had paid the equivalent of 1.25 per 15ml, and I had a CIS thrown in for free.

When I came to the end of the ink in the CIS, I started looking for replacement ink. The cartridge filling inks were still 1.50 per cartridge, and the few CIS companies in the UK who sold ink wanted 1.05 per cartridge equivalent, plus a huge postage charge. Besides, I didn't know whether the ink they sold was ideal for my printer. So I tried checking with ink companies.

In this way I found Promax Imaging -  http://www.promaximaging.com/ . They sold ink at around 6 per 250ml -  the equivalent of 37p per cartridge, and seem to know a lot about the CIS products. I found them very helpful and able to sell small amounts of top-quality ink at low prices.


So I have moved from 15 per cartridge to 37p per cartridge - 1/40 of the original cost. If someone wants an A4 photo now, ink price is not an issue any more...
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 03:42:01 pm »

You don't seem to have factored in the cost of your time in doing all this research DG, surely that should affect the overall result...... 100 an hour at least I'd say.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 04:23:07 pm »

100 per hour? My minimum is 120 at least...!

But information always wants to be free....
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 04:31:08 pm »

Do you know if the do a CIS for the canon multifunction printers?
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 04:48:34 pm »

I think there are CISs for all the major printer lines.

You can buy them from a specialist company, or you can get them on ebay and the like. Specialist companies probably charge you a bit more than if you buy on the net, but they will probably provide advice and support as well.

Note that it's probably only worth considering this sort of thing if you do a fair bit of printing - if you like to print photos, for instance. If you only ever use the printer once in a blue moon, it's a bit over the top to get a CIS. However, I've had mine for a few years now, and just have to top up the reservoirs once a year. 250ml of ink lasts quite a long time.

Here is a typical company selling Canon CISs in the UK - http://www.continuous-ink-systems.co.uk/CISS-Canon-Flying/c32/index.html?osCsid=158e74c2bc9cbb67426cc68fbd663118

I would look at their CIS prices - then look at their ink refill costs, and get a quote from Promax Imaging. Then work out if it's worth it...
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JayDee

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 04:51:16 pm »



Hello,
 
I have been using a CIS, for over a year now, with very few problems.
The amount of money I spent on cartridges over the years me feel ashamed !!!.

The printer is an Epson DX8400, all in one Scanner and Printer.
Replacing the 4 colour inks costs 20 - - - for 4x 250 ccs of ink.

Just take a moment and work out how many cartridges and money that would cost !.
The system is produced by "Jetstream".

NO MORE Cartridges for me !!!!!!!.

John.  :-))  :-))  :-))  :-))  :-))
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2010, 04:59:48 pm »


Hello,
 
I have been using a CIS, for over a year now, with very few problems.
The amount of money I spent on cartridges over the years me feel ashamed !!!.

.....

NO MORE Cartridges for me !!!!!!!.


Now all you need to know about is the Russian printer driver (see above) - for when your Epson locks up because you have reached the manufacturers limit of allowed head cleans...
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DickyD

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2010, 05:54:24 pm »

I have an Epson SX515W printer and scanner and I get compatible cartridges from Amazon.

I get 2 sets, 10 cartridges for 9. 99

Cant be bothered to look anywhere else, life's to short.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=epson+ink+cartridges&sprefix=epson&ih=2_2_0_0_0_0_0_0_1_1.472_557&fsc=2
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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 08:23:49 pm »

One of the problems you didn't mention Dodgy is the fact that Epsons blow ink through the print head every time you turn the printer on, so the waste ink pads get a splashing whether you do a proper cleaning cycle or not. The waste ink pads will hold up to 1Ltr of waste ink and the design of the Epson bottom case molding acts as a reservoir so that if the "Take me back to a dealer" message hasn't come on screen by this time, a nice black sludge is waiting to catch the unawares.

 Fitted a CIS system to our C66 marketed at the computer fair up here by DG Inks. and has an auto reset chip built into the cartridges. The other essential piece of kit so you don't join the black hand gang is one of these:-   http://www.octoink.co.uk/home.php.

 Even if you fit a DIY version, well worth the effort.

  Regards  Ian.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 09:18:37 pm »

I did think I'd mentioned it, in passing. "..I use this, and pipe the excess ink into a small plastic reservoir....." refers.

I find that a small plastic food box is fine - I never thought of paying the best part of a tenner for one... :D
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 11:42:00 pm »

I've had a chance to look further at octoink.co.uk, and have revised my opinion about them. Initially I thought they were just selling waste boxes at fairly high prices, but a deeper inspection reveals that these boxes are intensely practical, particularly for a classroom or office environment. I don't need one, but I shouldn't have dismissed them so readily - they serve a very useful purpose.

Looking further over the site I have found all sorts of other useful items, and am going to order a few. I particularly like the 'needle adaptations' for ink-bottle tops. And there is a lot of useful data about resetting utilities and other items - the site owner is obviously an expert in this field. I'm impressed to see he has a source of Tygon tubing (rather than silicone), and unhesitatingly give it a thumbs-up. Thanks for drawing it to our attention, Circlip - I hadn't come across it before, and it looks like a major contribution to 'customer power' against the printer manufacturers...
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RaaArtyGunner

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 01:28:03 am »


Another aspect.
Some printers, including superseded models, are being sold at ridiculously cheap prices here that it is cheaper to buy a new printer than to replace the ink cartridges.
Stopped buying "genuine cartridges" long time ago tooo dear.

Way to go Dodgy  :-))
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derekwarner

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2010, 04:42:59 am »

Watch out if you upgrade to Win7  >>:-( >>:-(

I was happy with my 4 year old Windows XP machine until it died earlier this year...& $ wise was not economically viable to repair ....hence Win7x64


:P :-X <:( ...my old Konica Minolta 1400 mono laser = no print driver for Win7, my older HP810 colour inkjet = no print driver for Win7 ...so I happily donated them to my eldest daughter  :kiss: who said = no print drivers for her I Mac 13 running Snow Leopard

A work colleague had just run out of colour in her 1 year old EPSON TX810FW inkjet & had to take out a bank loan [$193.00 AUD] just to buy the full set of inkjet cartridges

I settled for a Dell mono laser [$199.00] & a Samsung colour laser [$166.00] & will use generic refils from Ink & Toner which is a franchise here in OZ
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 07:16:42 am »

Watch out if you upgrade to Win7  >>:-( >>:-(

I was happy with my 4 year old Windows XP machine until it died earlier this year...& $ wise was not economically viable to repair ....hence Win7x64

I'm surprised - I would have thought a completely new motherboard and hard drive would still be quite cheap..Oh, I forgot, Microsoft force you to buy a new operating system if you get a new motherboard, don't they...  <*< <:( >>:-(

:P :-X <:( ...my old Konica Minolta 1400 mono laser = no print driver for Win7, my older HP810 colour inkjet = no print driver for Win7 ...so I happily donated them to my eldest daughter  :kiss: who said = no print drivers for her I Mac 13 running Snow Leopard

Of course, if you ran Linux, this problem would go away. Drivers there are continually supported...

A work colleague had just run out of colour in her 1 year old EPSON TX810FW inkjet & had to take out a bank loan [$193.00 AUD] just to buy the full set of inkjet cartridges


Here is the first google result I found for a CIS for that machine - pre-filled with ink and half the price you quote - http://www.inkreloaded.com/epson/stylus-photo-tx/810fw/epson-stylus-photo-tx810fw-cis.html
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derekwarner

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 07:34:04 am »

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2010, 10:13:31 am »

Quote
Initially I thought they were just selling waste boxes at fairly high prices

  Too true mate and coming from the county of frugality, the same box at Morrisons is a lot cheaper.

  But then, the convenience of being able to disconnect the box and wash out without getting ink all over outweighed the cost. The "Medical" type connectors may be available from elsewhere cheaper but haven't found them yet.

   Missed your ref to the drain, but strangely enough, one of the nephews had a CIS fitted to his six colour ink printer and did not know about the waste ink problem. Ditched the printer when it came up with The message.

   As has been stated, when the message arrives, the waste system is "Full" and returning to the "Technical repairs" section is pointless, new printer and cartridges cost LESS than the "Fix". Easy way to check how advanced the waste filling is, open the lid of the printer and look vertically down, The ink pads start life WHITE.

  Regards  Ian.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2010, 10:40:54 am »

DG....here is one Australian shortcut from April 2009 @ $140 AUD for a CIS setup for an TX810FS - looks like an operating theatre system as the setup infers that the individual cartridges are not simply refilled.....but the feeder bottles connected ...... {-)...


Yup - that would have done her fine - cheaper and with lots more ink. I suspect you could drop the price a bit shopping round, or buying from China...
All CIS systems have 'modified' cartridges which are continually fed from the feeder bottles. Printers with static cartridges are ideal for CISing - the printers with the cartridges fixed to the movable carriage can also be CISed, though you then have a ribbon of feeder pipes moving with the carriage, which might look a bit messy...
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2010, 10:47:24 am »

  Too true mate and coming from the county of frugality, the same box at Morrisons is a lot cheaper.


You want 'frugal'? You don't have to replace the waste pads. It's quite possible to wash them out with water and reuse them....

What I appreciated at the octoink site is that his boxes had a positive locking fastening, so if anyone nudges them they will not spill.

...one of the nephews had a CIS fitted to his six colour ink printer and did not know about the waste ink problem. Ditched the printer when it came up with The message.

The printer companies have been relying on this vaguely-worded message to make extra profits for years. It's time to spread the word about this sharp practice as widely as possible...
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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2010, 11:25:39 am »

Yep, the Morrison locklids are like that, but the self sealing bayonet connector to the tank is the goodie. Also washed out the pads (Black hand gang for four days), but the thing is NOT to compress them when washing out or drying them, they never fluff up to the original thickness. Not usually a problem cos with the external waste tank they become redundant.

 Only other thing is to have a spare print head or two as eventually the bubble holes wear out. This is one of the advantages of the HP/Lexmark cartridges in that every time you put in a new cartridge you are renewing the print head. Don't think anyone has done a CIS for those and never had any success refilling those cartridges, think it must be the foam/Kapton contact pad on the back that deforms.

  Regards  Ian.
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2010, 11:55:19 am »

I think there are CISs for all the major printer lines.

You can buy them from a specialist company, or you can get them on ebay and the like. Specialist companies probably charge you a bit more than if you buy on the net, but they will probably provide advice and support as well.

Note that it's probably only worth considering this sort of thing if you do a fair bit of printing - if you like to print photos, for instance. If you only ever use the printer once in a blue moon, it's a bit over the top to get a CIS. However, I've had mine for a few years now, and just have to top up the reservoirs once a year. 250ml of ink lasts quite a long time.

Here is a typical company selling Canon CISs in the UK - http://www.continuous-ink-systems.co.uk/CISS-Canon-Flying/c32/index.html?osCsid=158e74c2bc9cbb67426cc68fbd663118

I would look at their CIS prices - then look at their ink refill costs, and get a quote from Promax Imaging. Then work out if it's worth it...

Sadly they dont do one for my printer, as it only has to cartridges 1 black and one colour :(
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2010, 12:51:20 pm »

Sadly they dont do one for my printer, as it only has to cartridges 1 black and one colour :(

There certainly are CISs for printers which have colour 'blocks', but it is true that there are not CISs for ALL printers. What model is your printer?
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2010, 06:25:21 pm »

Canon MP160 multifunction printer scanner copier.

Would be nice to use CIS as the way the kids get thru ink we spend 30 a month on ink  >>:-(
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2010, 08:11:06 pm »

Here's a link to a current uk ebay listing for a Canon MP610 CIS, with 500ml of ink, for 25. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ink-System-CISS-CIS-For-CANON-MP610-MP830-MP850-CHIPPED_W0QQitemZ230493900851QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=&rvr_id=&cguid=7eeebb0a1280a0e204a2c792ff5139e6

And a video showing an installation - looks as if it's not an ideal machine to CIS, but it works... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPSQDVIZz9M&feature=related

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dodgy geezer

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Re: Inkjet ink prices, and how to lower them...
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2010, 07:54:04 am »

Whoops - sorry!  Dyslexisixm (??) strikes again! You said 160, not 610...

Here is one for a 160 - more costly at 60. There is no particular material reason the doubled price - it's just what the seller reckons the market will bear. I would suggest googling for a week or so to see if there are other cheaper ones around, but that price is not impossible. I paid 40 for mine three years ago....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Cis-continuous-ink-system-supply-fits-Canon-MP160_W0QQitemZ270536668440QQcmdZViewItem?rvr_id=&rvr_id=&cguid=7eeebb0a1280a0e204a2c792ff5139e6
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