Cartridge prices going up again?

March 9, 2011

Oil, gas, and food prices in the last few months have been going up and for the short term at least the question remains, how high will they go?  The one thing rising prices have in common is the rising price in oil.  With rising oil you have rising transportation and manufacturing prices.  The question remains how will this effect cartridge prices for printers?

If you look back at the last time oil and gas shot up like they are now, that summer, prices for cartridge raised on average about 15-20%.  The prices that people see today when they buy an HP, Lexmark, or other brand name cartridge are the prices that were an effect of oil prices hitting $140 a barrel.  People may ask why, but here are the factors to remember.

  1. Cartridges are made out of plastic, plastic is made out of oil.  And while the brand name companies may lock in their component prices for a while, dramatic increases like we saw can not be avoided.
  2. Transportation cost rose up.  Since there are very few cartridges made in North America (there are a few plants in Mexico), all the cartridges must be transported in from Asia.
  3. Brand name cartridge companies like HP, Lexmark, Canon and the others are greedy.  Remember that the price of oil did drop down, and for a few years was below $70 a barrel, but prices for OEM cartridges did not go down.

So the question remains, what will happen with cartridge prices this year with oil going up?  I would be almost willing to bet that if oil stays at current prices or even increases to say $120 a barrel, OEM cartridge prices could see an increase in prices of an average of 10-15%.  This means that a HP 56 cartridge that cost $23.99 today could end up costing around $27-28 and an HP 42X toner cartridge could go from $249 up to $260-285.  I am sure we will find out by the end of June if the prices are going up or not.  To be honest I would be shocked if prices did not go up.

Now as for myself and for O-ink, we almost hope for a price increase from the OEM’s.  If they raise prices by say a flat $2-4 per inkjet and $10-25 per laser cartridge, that would mean that our prices would be $1.50-3.50 cheaper for inkjets in addition to the savings we already offer.  For lasers it would be around $9-$22 cheaper.  The reason I am not saying the 2-4 range or 10-25 range is I would expect our shipping cost to go up.

Please keep in mind, I hate high gas prices.  However, the last time this happened, I actually guessed about 5% lower on the price increases that happened.  I do hope I am wrong.

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Fire Sale on Replacement Brother LC41 Cartridges

September 17, 2010

Due to an overstock of Replacement Brother LC41 cartridges, we are setting the prices on fire to move them out.

These are high quality remanufactured Brother LC41 cartridges, all colors. 1 year satisfaction guarantee (see website for all details).

Get all four colors for $16.00. That is a savings of over $9.
Black for $5.99
Each Color for $4.25

Sale ends Oct. 31st.  No Coupon Required


New Products Available

April 1, 2010

We at O-ink are happy to announce that we have added 11 new replacement cartridges to growing list of inkjet and laser cartridges we offer.

  1. HP 60 Series Replacements: We now have both the standard and XL versions of both the cartridges available.
  2. HP 901 Series Replacements: We now have both the standard and XL black cartridges along with the color cartridge available.
  3. Brother LC61 Replacements:  All four colors are available.  These are not generic/third party cartridges, these are empty Brother cartridges that have been cleaned, inspected, and filled.

All of our cartridges are filled the the full weight of the OEM’s cartridges and carry our one year guarantee.  If you have any questions or need to place an order just look us up at www.oinkinkstore.com


Lexmark gets sued over Return Program technology

March 30, 2010

When Lexmark came out with the Return Program Inkjet Cartridge, quite a few people in the inkjet remanufacturing industry took note.  The Return Program inkjet cartridges have a built in kill feature that prevents a user or company from refilling and reusing that cartridge.  For Lexmark this is a great money move, because it forces people to buy their cartridges, which means more money from them.  Currently, from what I can tell, there is around 12 or so inkjet models that are Return Program Cartridges.

No one has found a way to get around the electronic aspect of the cartridge.  Now for Lexmark everything is going all good and that, but there was a small problem that arose.  Apparently, Lexmark took the kill feature that they use in their Return Program Cartridges from another company.  On Feburary 22nd, 2010, Advanced Cartridge Technologies (we will call them ACT to save on time) sued Lexmark for patent infrindgement (link).  Apparently ACT has three patent’s that they claim Lexmark is using without permission.

So how does this affect the user, nothing yet.  However, if Lexmark loses (remember court battles can take years), there are two possible outcomes.  1.  This could drive Lexmark under.  ACT is seeking Triple damages.  If Lexmark closes, there goes the supply of cartridges.  (I doubt this could or will happen, but there is that possiblity.)

2.  Lexmark stops the Return Program for Inkjets.  Lexmark has in place for all of their Return Program Inkjet Cartridges a replacement cartridge that technically be refilled called the “A” version.  The problem is that these cartridges cost around $2 more and are hard to find in a retail store.  The lawsuit could stop the sales of Return Program cartridges and force consumers to spend more on already expensive inkjet cartridges.

We are years away from this lawsuit affecting anyone, but it will interesting to see what happens.


HP 02 and 02XL versus O-ink HP 02XL Replacement

August 31, 2009

The HP 02 cartridges were a nice change for HP in the last few years.  They decided to go to a single color cartridge system designed for photos.  Using Dye based ink to get the best photos (I know this is up for debate) instead of a Pigment Black and Dye colors.

We often get people asking about our cartridges and why we are around the same price as HP.  Couple reasons.  1. The chip needs to get replaced after ever fill.  2.  The amount of ink we put in is much more than HP.

Recently HP has came out with HP 02XL cartridges, which you can only find as Sam’s Club in the 5 packs, that claim a 50% increase.  So the question is, how much more ink does HP put into the cartridges?

HP 02 Black – Official HP 10ml – XL 15ml

HP 02 Cyan and Magenta – Official HP 4ml – XL 6ml

HP 02 Yellow – Official HP 6 ml – XL 9ml

HP 02 Photo Cyan and Photo Magenta – Official HP 5.5ml – XL 8.25ml

Here are the prices for the XL’s, each color is $13.15 and the Black is $24.44 (Based off from a 48858 zip code).  The Standard HP’s Black is 19.99 and the Color is 10.99.  Now for O-ink

O-ink HP 02 Replacement Black – 30ml – 17.99

O-ink HP 02 Replacement Color – Each – 10ml – 9.99

Average Cost per ML is the following

Black – O-ink $0.60 – HP Standard $2.00 – HP XL $1.63

Cyan and Magenta – O-ink $1.00 – HP Standard $2.74 – HP XL $2.19

Yellow- O-ink $1.00 – HP Standard $1.83 – HP XL $1.46

Photo Cyan/Magenta- O-ink $1.00 – HP Standard $2.00 – HP XL $1.59

The numbers speak for themselves I believe.  Link for the O-ink HP 02XL Replacement 6 pack is here.


Kodak ads run wild, but what about the products?

March 30, 2009

Kodak has started to run a lot of ads promoting their printers.  I saw 5 of them in a two hour time limit on March 29th.  They are promoting low cost print options.  Which is good, people need to save.  but is the quality and cost really there to get them to switch?

I looked at three websites, pcmag.com, pcworld.com, and reviews.cnet.com to see what their reviews on the printers were.  Most of the reviews were okay, but the common theme was, you can better spend your money elsewhere.  Quality of the printer and print-outs were not great was in almost every review.

One of the big things Kodak was mentioning in their ads was the low cost of their printer ink.  It does have a low cost, I will give them that, but does that low cost turn out to be a low cost of ownership.  NO.  According to PCMag.com, printing on a light duty (you can see how they determined that on the website), over a three year period, Kodak was the most expensive.  Most of my customers I would consider them light duty printing, with the exception of the businesses.

I have yet to recommend any Kodak printer to any of our customers, and I plan on keeping it that way.  Low cost cartridges is one thing, but you must have the quality behind it.


Staples changes ink recycling program

January 24, 2009

Walking into my local Staples today, they had a nice big sign by the door.  It simply read, Starting Feburary 1st, 2009 Staples will limit the number of cartridges you can recycle to 10 per month per person.

So instead of 3 per day, now it is 10 per month.  A drastic reduction.  Good news is they still recycle all HP, Dell, Lexmark, and Kodak cartridges.