Most manufacturers do not earn profit from printers, but they earn it from cartridges. They successfully cash in on the consumer psychology. They count on the user to play safe and pay top dollar for their trusty brand name ink jet cartridge. Most of the consumer-based industries use this marketing tactic. The original instrument is sold at cost price or some times even lower and the profits are made only in the aftermarket.
The consumer feels ecstatic to have bought the printer at a great deal from the local office supplier. He realizes the trap only when the new inkjet printer runs out of ink. That inexpensive inkjet printer now seems to be a burden on the pocket! The ink usually runs out very fast in new printers since they are only half or even less filled. With this, the manufacturer ensures that the customer needs to buy the expensive ink cartridges very soon. They make a lot of money with this.
But the customer can exercise other options without falling prey to the tactics of the company. There are plenty of cartridge refilling local businesses that fill the cartridges at about half the cost. The user himself might refill certain models of cartridges. Another popular option is to use a compatible cartridge that is much cheaper than the branded one.
Compatible cartridges are new ones, not recycled. A third party factory manufactures them by adhering to ISO specifications. People usually opt for these, whose manufacturers claim that there is not much difference or degradation in the print quality.
However, there is always the risk of damage to the printer with the use of compatible ink or refills. One has to be extra cautious before using compatible ones. The ink quality makes a huge difference in printouts. The low quality inks may clog or damage the print head. The original manufactures take advantage of these aspects and recommend the customers to buy their own expensive quality ones. They boast of their quality inks and cartridges and convince the customer against using compatible brands. They also bring in a fear factor by warning the user about voiding of warranty, if the compatible ones damage the printer. The original manufacturers try their best by all means to keep the customers hooked to them.
The printer companies also offer supposedly great deals to lure the customers. It is not unusual to get a printer free with the purchase of a computer. The customer naturally opts for the deal whether required or not. The companies entrap the customers with their products at throwaway prices. The customer is very happy to get the best deal. The company anticipates the user to get back to them for further needs of the product. As in case of printers, they are always priced less than the ink cartridges. Ink cartridges being the primary requirement of the printers, the user is forced to buy them at the quoted price. It would be always high and the company makes up its losses.
This is the normal marketing plan in many consumer-based industries and it helps the manufacturer to have the last laugh. The printer companies initially sell cheap printers and rip off the customers with their expensive cartridges.
About the Author: Andrew Yeung is the Marketing Director of ComboInk, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including Canon cartridges and HP deskjet cartridges. By purchasing a large volume from factory, ComboInk is able to sell laser toner cartridges at steep discounts, saving small businesses thousands in operating costs each year.