Why is Ink So Expensive

The best explanation as to why ink is so expensive. Ink companies invest so much in research and development. To develop an excellent blend of pigment, dye, and means, get a tiny and stable droplet to give you high-resolution printing.

Generally, inkjet printers have hard job-firing several ink droplets per second while representing four different colors with high accuracy.

Also, the ink should be perfect enough to dry faster, smear, and be water-resistant to maintain the shape of the page and prevent the minute, tiny jets from clogging.

This needs serious research, money, and time, making cartridges costly.

Why is Ink Expensive? 6 Reasons

Why are Ink Expensive

Do you love shopping for your inkjet printer ink? Probably not. Due to its stack-up ink cost. Though not all ink is expensive, major printer brands like Epson and HP ink can cost more than the printer.

To explain their high cost of ink;

1. Razor and Razorblade Selling Strategy

Razor and razorblade selling strategies refer to selling goods at a loss or relatively low cost while its paired consumable generates profits. Also, the consumables generate recurring and reliable income, trapping consumers for longer.

Some printer companies market and sell their printers at a discount or loss and make their ink quite expensive. So, when you buy a printer at their low prices, you have no option but to commit to their expensive ink cartridges.

Also, you may buy a printer with a limited supply of ink to save you the cost for some months. But once you buy the ink, it will cost you much more.

Although several brands embrace the razor and razorblade selling strategy, not all use it.

The strategy is favorable for several people, especially if you occasionally need to print and replace your cartridges twice a year.

On the other hand, it’s expensive if you print large volumes and need to replace the cartridges now and then.

2. Lengthy Production Time

Ink cartridges are small and simple pieces on the look, but they are pretty complex in reality. All the ink cartridges components need to work together to ensure the ink gets on the paper and remains intact to give you good prints.

In addition, the ink should not clog the print head as it prints.

In the process, the ink manufacturers invest their time and money as they try to work out an effective way to get the cartridges working. After successful invention, the time and money invested reflected in the cartridges pages.

3. Made for Specific Printer Model

Many times, each printer model uses unique and specific ink cartridges. Sometimes you may find a particular printer series using the same ink cartridges. 

This is to give its users excellent results for their specific needs. With this, the research money plus interest is distributed to a small number of printers. 

4. High-Quality Ink

Original ink cartridges will give you high-quality prints. The manufacturers will invest time and money to meet your needs. They are making ink cartridges expensive to buy.

5. Your Printer Uses Ink for Regular Maintenance 

Sometimes you may notice your printer ink cartridges last for a few weeks while you don’t print much. Printers use ink when you are printing and for regular maintenance.

For instance, if your printer sits for some time without printing, it will use some ink to push air and dry ink out of the nozzles—this is common with HP and Canon printers.

It can be expensive to replace ink cartridges and print less with the ink with time.

6. Using The Wrong Printer for Your Needs

Typically, the right printer for your needs will give you maximum benefits. In contrast, your wrong match might strain you regarding operation costs. 

For instance, you need a printer designed to print large volumes if you print large volumes. If you print low volumes, you might need a small printer to serve you maybe twice per month or thrice per month.

Also, you may need to consider buying a printer compatible with high-yield cartridges that will give you more pages before you purchase again.

In addition, some printers work with compatible, remanufactured ink cartridges that are cheaper than original ink cartridges, saving you some dollars in the long run while giving you high-quality prints similar to original cartridges. 

Why is Printer Ink More Expensive Than Printer?

Sometimes you may find that a printer is cheaper than ink cartridges. When the manufacturer uses the outdated “razor- razor blade, business model.” Sell printers at a low price or a loss and recover with ink cartridges and other printer consumables.

Explaining why inkjet printers are cheaper than laser printers. Sometimes inkjet manufacturers sell their printers at a loss and make up handsomely for it from the consumables like ink cartridges.

To make this practical, they put microchips in their ink cartridges. So when you try to use other cartridges, the printer will not work.

Are There Cheap Printer Inks Available in The Market?

Cheap Printer Inks

Inkjet printers are always running out of ink. At the same time, their ink is also quite expensive to buy. Unfortunately, finding cheap original cartridges for HP, Epson, and Brother is difficult. So you have no option but to purchase the costly ink cartridges.

Good thing, from time to time, you may look out for discounts and promo codes on the ink cartridges from major supplies like Amazon. Or any other company that’s selling.

To ensure you are always up to date, you may consider subscribing to their mailing system to get notified whenever there is an offer.

In addition, some printers are eligible for amazon dash replacement, where your printer automatically orders ink from amazon using your account at a discount.

Different printer brands like HP offer HP instant ink supply where its beneficiaries can save up to 50% on ink cartridges. So, to benefit from this, you need to get a printer legible for HP instant ink supply and subscribe to the plan when setting up your printer.

Lastly, please note that although cheaper printer inks are available in the market, they may not give you good prints. And also, they might clog your printer and, worse, cause a printer breakdown, which is not covered by the warranty.

Which Printer Uses Long-Lasting Cartridges?

Many printers are low-priced to compensate for their ink cartridges. But not all printers use expensive ink cartridges. Please consider the printer below if you want to save on ink costs.

Brother MFC-J805DW:

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer with Mobile Device and Duplex Printing with Up To 1-Year of Ink In-box, White, One Size, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready

This printer has a low cost per page with all-in-one printer functions. The printer uses the INK vestment technology— large ink tanks to hold more ink before replacement. Also, the printer is compatible with high-yield cartridges that last up to twice the standard cartridges.

Buy on Amazon

HP Office Jet Pro 8035:

HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One Wireless Printer - Includes 8 Months of Ink, HP Instant Ink, Works with Alexa - Basalt (5LJ23A)

This printer is all-in-one with long-lasting ink cartridges. On delivery, the printer has enough 8 months’ ink. Also, the printer is eligible for instant ink, whereby you get eight months’ free ink upon subscription. 

Buy on Amazon

Epson Expression ET-2750:

Epson EcoTank ET-2750 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier and Ethernet, Regular

Enjoy cartridge-free printing using this printer. It has super-sized super tanks, which are also easy to refill. Also, the replacement ink bottles are pretty affordable.

Buy on Amazon

In addition, the printer comes with enough ink to last you up to two years, according to the Epson matrix.

Canon Pixma G5020 Wireless Mega Tank:

Canon PIXMA G5020 Wireless MegaTank Single Function SuperTank Printer | Mobile & Auto 2-Sided Printing

Canon Pixma G5020 has large ink tanks- which are easy to refill and track ink levels. The refill bottles are a fair price to lower the printing cost per page.

Buy on Amazon

How to Save Money on Printer Ink?

Inkjet printers’ cartridge shopping is a nightmare for many people. You can use a few tips to evade the high costs if you are among them.

Use Refill Cartridges

Refill cartridges will often save you a great deal on ink cartridges. Unfortunately, big printer manufacturers discourage using these cartridges, but they do well, similar to original cartridges in most cases.

Some companies use a microchip in the cartridge to curb refill cartridges, making it difficult to use the refillable cartridge.

But you know what? There is a way out!

You can use a syringe to transfer ink from new cartridges into an older printer cartridge; with this, you can pay less for your ink. 

It’s also easy to find refill ink cartridges at a reasonable price. But please ensure you buy the correct ink for your printer model.

Many users agree that this is one of the easiest ways to get cheap printer cartridges. You can use this if you already have a printer. But if not…

Buy a Laser Printer

If you are yet to buy a printer, you need to consider getting a laser printer. Laser printers are a good option, especially if you don’t need to print in color. You will not have to deal with high printer cartridge costs.

Please, note that laser printers are a bit expensive to purchase. But cheap in the long run, unlike inkjet printers.

A laser printer uses toner, which is cheaper than ink. 

Subscribe for Ink Delivery

Ink subscription-like (HP instant ink) is a savior from the costly ink cartridges. Though at times, it can be expensive depending on your use, compared to buying new ink cartridges.

Why? Instead of charging for ink, the services charge per page. If you print in black, you will pay the same amount as for color, which is uneconomical.

But it’s the best choice if you regularly print in color. 

Also, please do your research…

Research Before Buying

It’s always advisable to do your research before purchasing any tech product. So are printers. Luckily, you do not need to harass yourself with a tiresome research mission need to scroll through the internet and look for different printer reviews.

With this, you will see what to expect with a particular printer when you buy it. You will also have a rough account of your yearly expenses. 

Buy an Ink Tank/Super Tank Printer

Super tank printers are efficient when it comes to ink saving. The tanks are refillable, holding pretty much ink to last longer before refilling. Besides, the refill ink is not as expensive too. 

Please note that these printers can be a bit expensive compared to others, but they are worth it in the long run. You will save up to 50% more than standard printers, making them more popular in many offices and institutions.

Compare Printer Brand

It’s well known that some printer brands are expensive in purchase and operation. At the same time, others are known for their low prices both ways.

For instance, HP and Epson have expensive printer ink cartridges, whereas Canon and Brother printer brands operate with cheaper ink cartridges.

Settle for one which gives you value for your money. 


As an inkjet printer user, it’s hard to figure out why ink is so expensive. At the same time, you need it now and then. But several reasons contribute to high ink prices. 

Including a razor-razorblade selling strategy where companies sell printers at a loss or low profits to make up for the consumables like ink cartridges.

Ink cartridge requires lengthy, money- and time-intensive research, leading to high prices. Also, printer cartridges are made for specific printer models to give maximum benefits causing high costs. 

In addition, you might find ink uneconomical since your printer uses more ink in regular maintenance.

You can opt for high-yield cartridges, look for promotional cords, or subscribe to an ink supply program to save on ink.

Also, some printers are better ink savers than others. We are calling for research before buying one.

You can save ink cartridges by; using ink cartridge refills, buying laser printers, or subscribing for ink delivery. 

Many printers on the market today choose wisely to save on ink.

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