Price switching by Staples???

June 11, 2008

Let me start by saying I like shopping at Staples as well as using their website as a reference tool. Recently we started to do a price quote for a possible new customer. Looking over the quote at home, my wife said, we have to lower our prices on the TN360 and DR360 from Brother as Staples is cheaper than us. No big deal, sometimes we are cheaper, other times we aren’t. However, when I have set up the prices for those two cartridge, I know I was cheaper. So I hopped on my computer and pulled up Staples’ website

. After looking up the printer, I told my wife she was wrong, and here are the correct prices. 62.99 for the TN360 and 115.98 for the DR360. Well, any man who is married, knows what happens when you tell your wife she is wrong. I said it happens and left it at that.

So I come into work the next day to finish the quote and get it sent out. I pull up Staples website again to verify the prices, again. Well in less than 18 hours the prices have changed back to what my wife and put down, not what we saw last night. I thought that was strange. Now I usually run Firefox as my main browser, so for kicks and giggles, I started IE. Pulled up the same printer, and what do I get, well take a look.

Two different price points on the same products at Staples.

I do not know how we did this. I hope this isn’t something like the Best Buy Intranet scene from back. Now I know that each physical location can set their own prices on products, which usually are not inline with the website prices. However, with a difference like this, I wonder what the reason is.

Oh, and if incase you are wondering, here are O-ink’s everyday prices for everyone.

*Update* After doing some further research, it seems that only the Brother cartridges are affected by this.

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Oil prices and cost of printer cartridges Part 2

June 3, 2008

This is a follow up post to my post at the beginning of May (here is the link). I have noticed some interesting things happening in the past month that I thought were a few months off.

  1. Prices have already started to go up. I have checked two local Walmart’s and the prices for their cartridges have already gone up about 10% roughly. Now this is not a nation wide affect yet, but for our local Walmart’s the prices are staying.
  2. More people are looking to save – We have seen our sales keep going up. Granted in May, June, and July we are usually slow, however, our slow down this year has not been the same as in years past. We are seeing higher traffic from people who want to try and save some cash.
  3. The cartridge manufactures are starting to increase their prices. Here is an article from Kodak. With them increasing prices, that means that their black cartridge will increase by about $2 and color about $3 if the prices affect the cartridges. Their printers, which are mentioned in the article, will go up from $20 to $40.

We personally have seen small price increases in our OEM products, but not in our replacement and refilled products. In fact, as for the next 6 months, O-ink should not have to increase our replacement or refilled prices, of course barring a major increase in prices.

With that being said, I am going to change my outlook for the year. The prices will probably go up from 5-10% to 10-30% by years end.

Also, if you are looking for Kodak Cartridges, here is the link for our replacements.


Oil prices and printer cartridge cost

May 8, 2008

Everyone and their brother/sister has been watching oil prices go up and up and up.  There seems to be no end.  With higher oil prices, means higher fuel cost, which in turns means higher prices for almost everything.  However, most people just look at the fuel prices.  Here at our St. Johns store, fuel prices are around $3.69 for unleaded today.  But what about the other products of oil, mainly, plastics.

Yes that wonderful non-degrading product we use daily is made out of oil.  I recently read an article that stated that a laser toner cartridge on average has between 1/2 to 1 gallon of oil in the creation process, while Inkjet cartridges are around 1-3 quarts.  This can add up over time.  The question is when will companies like HP, Lexmark, and Canon pass on the cost of the plastics on to consumers.  I would guess it is only a matter of time and here are the factors.

  1. Cartridges are their money makers, even for a large company like HP.  So if their margins slip, they want to keep investors happy, they would raise prices.
  2. Shipping cost have increased.  We have all seen this in food, gas, and everyday purchases.
  3. The cartridge bodies are made from plastic – Plastic is made from oil.  It only makes sense that the prices would increase.

I am GUESSING that by the end of the year, if oil prices increase like they have been, that printer cartridges could see an increase in 5-10% for OEM or brand name cartridges.

However, using recycled and refilled printer cartridges should not see as big of increase for one main reason, we are not making new cartridge bodies.  We use the shell they made and add ink to it and make it work.  Which is why I promote using refilled and recycled cartridges.  Visit our website to see all of our refilled printer cartridges.