We have had it in our stores a few times, customers who claim they can get a photo pack for cheaper than we are selling a cartridge or cartridge set for. So I did some investigating.
The idea of value or photo packs is to group together printer cartridges and photo paper. HP is well known for this, but all companies do it. For this purpose, I am looking at HP only.
Let’s do the price breakdown.
- HP 57 Photo Value Pack from Staples.com – 100 sheets of Premium Photo 4 x 6 paper and an HP 57 cartidge – Price – $29.99 Now here is the problem with this pack.
- HP’s Premium Photo paper ranges from $13-$16.
- This means the HP 57 has a value of $14 at the low end.
- A HP 57 cartridge retails for $37.99
- HP 02 Photo Value Pack from Staples.com – 100 sheets of Premium Photo 4 x 6 paper and an HP 02 full set of cartridges – Price – $35.99 Now here is the problem with this pack
- The paper is the same price
- Means the 6 pack of cartridges is $20
- The most efficient way to buy the cartridges is the Color five pack for $44.99 and then the Black for $18.99.
Now credit to Staples for posting this on their website, “Value ink cartridges are smaller in size than single cartridges”, this is only found under the HP 02 Value Pack.
Here is the down low. Value packs are usually half or less full printer cartridges designed only to last the number of sheets provided (usually 100). Even if you do need photo paper, it will cost you about 5 to 10 cents less per photo to buy them separately.