My boss was kind enough and gave me an option for buying a new printer for future from now available funds. I suggested him to buy rather new cartridges because the current printer has been used very little and is yet working great.

Then I did some R&D about cartridges' price. To my surprise, it was huge. Since, I could remember the actual price of our printer, the price of four cartridges(KCYM) was much higher than that of printers' price.

This printer (please ignore the list price) has these four cartridges. Actually, the place where we shall be making this purchase has exactly the double price (collectively) for four individual cartridges, than that of printer itself. And, a new color laser-jet printer, of course, comes with four filled cartridges.

Why is this so?

P.S. I have tried by best but, not sure yet if my question falls under this scope. Please guide me if wrong. Moreover, I have tried to figure-out the reason but have not succeeded.


Frankly speaking, Shouldn't we buy two more printers rather than four cartridges?

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    King Gillette was a pioneer in this. His philosophy was to give away the razors and sell the blades. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebie_marketing – Ron Maupin Dec 14 '15 at 15:37
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    I guess that is marketing and capitalism :-) BTW. often printers are sold with NOT full cartridges. – INDIVIDUAL-IT Dec 14 '15 at 15:43
  • check around on Amazon and eBay, and you can get the cartridges for a lot less that the original manufacturer's prices. – Aganju Dec 14 '15 at 15:48
  • @RonMaupin you actually nailed it. – tod Dec 15 '15 at 13:23

New Printers have pre-installed introductory toner cartridges with lesser amount of powder in their cartridges. The powder is expensive. However, these are actually the cartridges what suppliers make money on. Printers are often sold at or even below the cost.

A new spare cartridge will have at least about 2X more ink, while in some cases it maybe 4X or even 5X more.

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  • Like you, @INDIVIDUAL-IT in comments and a colleague has also suggested that new cartridges have more ink. You said ~4X the colleague said ~2X. Is there any defined ratio? Is that a standard well known rule (maybe unwritten)? – tod Dec 14 '15 at 15:54
  • no, many years ago I knew a guy who sold for Canon and he gave me the 25% number. It is probably different for each vendor and printer and changes around a bit. They don't exactly advertise that methodology. – Aganju Dec 14 '15 at 15:56
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    I don't have the data handy to refer to, but I determined the "starter" cartridges that came with my printer were about 20% full. The manufacturers website listed page yield for both the starter and replacements and that's how I came up with 20% – Tyson Dec 14 '15 at 16:23
  • @Tyson You are right about The manufacturers website listed page yield. In this case also, I have seen it now, which is 1400 vs. 2200. I wish, it's X vs. 5X. Though, I have done some more R&D but, I could not even see the listed yields that can be translated as X vs. 2X for the said printer. – tod Dec 15 '15 at 12:56
  • @WillP. Also, I am editing this answer because the give percentage could be misleading. (and of course accepting) – tod Dec 15 '15 at 13:00

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