November 17, 2014
The Sunday Mail’s ‘This is Money’ section reported on the high price of inkjet ink, questioning “which is cheaper – the most exclusive champagne in the world or replacement ink for a home printer?”, and interviewing both Brooks and Heywood about OEM pricing strategies, remanufacturing and costs.
The newspaper points out that for many “struggling to pay for inkjet cartridges”, it could be “cheaper ditch the printer and sip the best champagne in the world instead”, as a £650 ($1,016/€813) bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 works out at 90 pence ($1.40/€1.12) a millilitre for a 750 millilitre bottle, where as ink for HP’s 300 Tri-colour cartridge –available at £15 ($23/€18) in retail outlets – works out at £2.30 ($3.59/€2.87) a millilitre, so “if the champagne bottle was emptied and filled with cartridge ink” it would cost around £1,725 ($2,696/€2,158).
Brooks, Managing Director at Promax, told the newspaper that “many printers are sold for less than it costs to make them. The manufacturers are making their money through the sale of replacement ink jet cartridges at extortionate prices”, adding that “the big players have such a stranglehold on the market that they make it hard for competitors to offer better value products – often installing tiny microchips in their ink cartridges to encourage you to purchase their products and not refill with cheaper ink”.
He also explained that users are often “left confused” because of ink warnings, which the newspaper points out are part of a “wide range of technology tricks” from OEMs to “bamboozle printer owners into parting with more cash”. Brooks noted that “there can be dates embedded in the microchip that kill the cartridge once it has reached a certain date.
“It can often count how many times the printer has been used and tell you to replace a cartridge depending on the amount of times it has printed – which has nothing to do with how much ink is left”. He encouraged users to consider remanufactured consumables because UKCRA members “offer a money-back guarantee to customers unsatisfied with the quality”, as well as being cheaper in comparison.
The site also points out that “cheap replacements made in China […] do not come with the reassuring back-up of any sort of guarantee”, and Heywood, Managing at Kleen Strike, added that “it is all too easy to be seduced by cheap printers with lots of extras, but you should not purchase a machine without first considering the cost of ink cartridges”.
Brooks, alongside The Recycler’s Publisher and Editor David Connett, previously spoke to the Daily Mail and The Guardian in early 2013 about high consumable costs and the advantages of using remanufactured cartridges.