Printer supplies :The truth
Printer supplies are where printer manufacturers make most of their profits. In fact, you can find inkjet printers on sale for less than what you would pay for the ink cartridges. This clever little marketing trick works by luring people in with cheap printers and then snagging them on the cost of the printer supplies.
One way in which manufacturers reduce prices on printers is by selling most of the printer head with the ink cartridge instead of in the printer. The argument is that because the printer head suffers from more wear and tear, replacing it as often as you would replace an inkjet cartridge increases the printer's life span.
So why not just buy printer supplies somewhere else? Manufacturers know they have tough competition from hundreds of other companies offering discount ink cartridges, toner cartridges, refill kits and printer parts so they have come up with a number of ways to ensure consumers who buy their printers will have to buy their printer supplies. So quite often you'll find that if you buy a printer from one manufacturer, ink cartridges from another will not be able to work in that printer.
Another problem is that certain manufacturers use clever technology to ensure that you use their products. Even though it is against the law in the US for companies to force consumers into using their products exclusively, there are ways to make it difficult for you to use anything else. An example can be seen with ink cartridges that cannot be reused once they have been emptied, refills would be useless in this case.
Be prepared: knowing the costs of inkjet and laser cartridges before you buy
The moral of the story is to make sure you know what consumables you will need and choose a printer that will be the most economical in the long run. When you check the long term running cost of the printer make sure you factor printer supplies into the equation. The cost of printer consumables like inkjet cartridges, laser toner, paper, ink cartridge refill kits and various printer parts (like the drum in a laser printer) adds up.
Ink cartridges are often the biggest expense so you may want to spend some time doing a bit of comparative shopping when looking for a printer and printer supplies. Find out what sort of cartridges the printer takes, what sort of ink it uses and how much replacement cartridges and refills cost.