There has been a lot of uncertainty about the future of printing. Brands are scrambling to find the latest thing to keep customers using their original ink products. Some brands are creating subscription-based ink services such as HP Instant Ink. Others have opted to "reimagine" the ink cartridge with the introduction of the ink tank printer.
The first ink tank printer hit store shelves in 2015. The "ET" stands for EcoTank, which would become its own subset of printers in future years, such as the Epson ET 2720. The Eco Tank was a feature in which the printer would have an internal tank. This refillable tank holds a set amount of ink and can be replenished by purchasing an additional printer ink refill.
Soon after, other brands continued to capitalize on the success of the Epson Eco Tanks printer and try to get a piece of their revenue. Canon launched their MegaTank series of printers, while Brother tried their hand at the INKvestment Tank. What do they all have in common? Besides the absolutely horrible printer names, they all do exactly the same thing: they all have internal tanks.
As a relatively new feature, the ink tank printer has become increasingly popular among the printing community. Everything seems to check out on paper, but is there anything hiding in plain sight?
1- Ink tank printers solve a manufacturing problem
The creation of ink tank printers is nothing more than a solution to a manufacturing problem.Printer manufacturers created the problem by selling you artificially inflated ink cartridges. There are no other major factors that come into play when pricing this ink, the markup is deliberate.They created the problem and are now charging you for the solution.It may surprise you, but ink is relatively cheap to produce. You don't pay a premium for the product; you pay a premium for the packaging and the brand.Their solution to the problem of expensive ink cartridges? Buy their other product, the ink tank printer, which will save you money on the ink they marked up in the first place. I want to call it highway robbery, but the average consumer wouldn't really see it that way, and that's what makes the concept so brilliant. For years, people have been fed up with paying exorbitant prices for original ink cartridges. Now, they are finally able to free themselves from this extortion by opting for ink cartridge refills, but only if they buy the 500 ink tank printer $.
2- Laser printers might be better suited
So we have established that the main problem with inkjet printers is that the original ink cartridges are expensive. Buying these original cartridges frequently can be detrimental to your wallet; a set of original ink cartridges with one black and three color cartridges can easily cost as much as your printer.
If you're trying to get away from ink cartridges in general, using a laser printer can solve all your problems. While laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers, they will actually save you money in the long run. By working with toner cartridges, these printer toners last much longer and are able to provide you with many more pages than an ink cartridge ever could.
Laser printers have been especially popular in office spaces for decades, due to their economical nature and ease of use. In addition, laser printers can produce large quantities of black and white documents much faster than inkjet printers could ever hope to.
3- You are still buying ink
The problem isn't with how inkjet technology works; you get exactly the same results you would see with the average inkjet printer.
You're essentially buying an ink tank printer to cut down on consumable costs.
If you didn't know it by now, refillable ink bottles are just renowned ink cartridges. Whether it's cartridge or bottle, you're still buying the exact same ink. Yes, right down to the formula, the ink used for inkjet printers and ink tank printers is identical. You're essentially getting the same thing, but you're being tricked into thinking you're saving money.
Ultimately, whether you use an ink tank printer or an inkjet printer, you're using the exact same ink.
When choosing a printer, it's important to determine what your primary goals are. If your goal is simply to save money, there are alternatives to buying a brand new ink tank printer that are much cheaper.
Compatible cartridges are new ink cartridges made by a third party. These are often much cheaper than the originals, but offer the same page yield and quality as the expensive original brand names. At soscartouches.ca, we have been providing our community with affordable ink cartridges for 12 years. We cut out the middleman and never artificially inflate our prices like the original manufacturers do. We carry discounted ink and toner cartridges for hundreds of popular printer brands such as HP, Canon, Epson and many more. If you're burning through cartridges faster than expected, try our high yield compatible cartridges, which give you more pages per cartridge.
4- The new business model still bad for consumers
Some of the high-end desktop versions of the Epson Eco Tank printer models can easily cost thousands of dollars. And by the time you've bought your refillable ink printer, the brand has already made most of its money off of you, and it's already too late.
The way things have worked in the past is this: brands would sell you their printers with very slim profit margins. They would essentially sell you their printer for the same price it cost them to produce it. The low price of a printer is the attractive factor to the consumer and they are more likely to buy one because they think they are getting a good deal. However, they artificially inflate the price of their original ink cartridges to recoup the loss of the printer sale.
Instead of cashing in with a one-time printer purchase, they now have a regular customer who has to buy their ink cartridges for as long as they own that printer.
Fast forward to now, with the introduction of ink tank printers, they are doing just the opposite. They entice you with the promises of cheap ink, but only if you buy their original ink tank printer at an artificially inflated price. The kicker in this situation is that they always sell you ink at a markup. Granted, a lower markup than the original ink cartridges, but the price of ink bottles on the market is still inflated.
5- Small competition of the moment
Big brands frown on the idea of providing you with premium ink cartridges at an affordable price. As a third party supplier, we have absolutely no interest in the printer business. Other brands sell their printers at cost in order to force you to buy original ink cartridges at an inflated price.
Whenever a brand new type of cartridge is released, we have to rigorously develop, design and test our own version of that cartridge so as not to infringe the intellectual property rights of the original. It is true that adapting to new technologies slows us down. It may take a few months to fully develop these cartridges before we can bring them to market.
During those few months, consumers have no other option to supply their printers and must purchase these crudely inflated original cartridges. This is where ink tank printers thrive in the market today. There isn't much competition from third party manufacturers at the moment, much of the Ink Tank technology is still new and still being updated. Some consumers are using other alternatives such as Costco ink refills to reduce printing costs; however, more often than not, they are faced with reduced print quality, making the process counterintuitive.
The massive shift from cartridge to bottle has caught many third-party companies off guard. While still in its infancy, it's hard to say whether refillable ink bottles will be here to stay or fade into obscurity as a fad. Refillable ink cartridges may sound good in theory but not so much in practice. Either way, consumers should feel better knowing that soscartouches.ca can still help them save on all their printing needs.