Updated on 09.29.17

Doing the Math on Refilling Ink Cartridges

Trent Hamm

Many of us (myself included) have an ink jet printer at home for home printing needs. We certainly use ours for lots of things, from printing off forms to making pictures of our children for various uses.

It’s also widely known that it’s possible for people to refill their ink cartridges. It’s fairly simple to do, except that different cartridges have different procedures. Here’s an example of such a procedure for an HP 970CXI printer:

You can find the correct procedure for your particular printer’s cartridges by searching on YouTube and/or Google.

Here’s the real question, though: does this practice actually save money?

I did research on the prices using my own printer, a Canon Pixma MP480. You can purchase a refill kit for this printer type for $24.99 plus $6 shipping, a consistent price I’ve seen from many vendors. This refill kit will refill the cartridges you have approximately six times. The best price I’ve found for cartridges for this printer is $59.88 for a double-sized color cartridge and a double-sized black and white cartridge – two color refills and four black and white refills. Refilling it yourself saves you about $7.50 per cartridge refill, in other words.

There are drawbacks to this plan, though.

First, it can be very messy. When I attempted to refill a cartridge, I got ink on my hands that was very hard to wash off and stayed on my skin for a week or so. This, of course, can be avoided by wearing gloves to protect your skin – something I strongly recommend.

Similarly, there’s a risk of staining your clothes and your work area. You’re going to want to do your refilling in an area that wouldn’t be disastrous if ink spilled all over. I recommend spreading some old rags out and doing it in a garage or on an old table. Similarly, wear your old junky clothes when doing this – jeans with stains on them or old t-shirts are perfect.

Second, the ink is often not as good as normal ink. If you’re just printing off pages for personal reading or forms, you’re probably fine. However, if you’re printing off photographs or items you want to put on display, the color difference is often noticeable. One solution to this is to switch out your cartridges depending on your printing use, but that can turn into a real hassle over time.

One good way to avoid this is to shop around for an ink refill kit with a guarantee on it. You might end up paying a premium for such a kit, but that’s acceptable.

From my own experience, the ink refill kit I used with my own printer cartridges was not worth the savings to me. The cartridge refill did not seem to last long and even after a small number of pages, I was already noticing fading. Since we usually print our own photographs, this was unacceptable to us. According to my back-of-the-envelope math, the cost per quality printed page was very high with the refilled cartridges, higher even than buying new ones.

After this experience, I discussed ink refill kits with several people who I know in the IT field who use printer cartridges in the workplace. Most of them have similar comments – they work fine for internal use where crispness and the deepness of the blacks isn’t a big deal, but for external use, they would either use a new cartridge or a refurbished cartridge with a warranty. Refurbished cartridges generally aren’t available for low-end home ink jet printers; that option mostly applies to larger printers.

My conclusion is simple: ink refill kits work if you’re not printing photographs or other documents that you intend to share or archive. If you mostly just print off recipes and such, ink refill kits will easily meet your needs and save you money. If you’re printing off mostly photographs and high-resolution documents where color and crispness are important, shopping around for the best deal on new cartridges is probably the best use of your time, money, and energy.

In other words, it all comes down to how you use your printer.

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    Consumer Reports just did a study that advises the best quality & best priced printers including cost per copy (which inclues the ink). The manufacturers make their money on the consumables (ink or toner), which is why the printers themselves can be really inexpensive. We learned the hard way that the cost per copy is a huge factor.

    My husband rigged up our previous color printer to use large generic containers of ink, & handles refills himself on the regular cartridges for our new one. And his avocation is photography & is very particular about the photo quality when he prints any. But for professional quality copies for gifts we have printed professionally.

  2. Brent says:

    Many printers actually detect whether you are using a refilled cartridge or not. On my HP printer at home I’ve tried refilling cartridges myself and also tried using Costco’s refill service and both times the printer reported that I had no ink left in the cartridge and refused to print.

    Printer manufacturers do this saying that they don’t want inferior inks to ruin your printer’s performance. I think it’s because printer ink is such a cash cow they don’t want to be cut out of the market by cheaper generics. When you think about the retail price of printer ink, it is worth its weight in gold (http://gizmodo.com/212444/hp-ink-costs-more-than-human-blood-booze).

  3. LB says:

    I bought a store brand replacement ink cartridge for my previous printer (probably saved $6), and it screwed up the printer head… which then needed to be replaced (cost about $50). I’m not planning to start refilling ink cartridges any time soon. I save ink by not printing anything that I don’t absolutely need a paper copy of (if I can email it to myself or the other person or if I can make a pdf to archive it, it saves ink, paper, and room in my filing cabinet). I print recipes and driving directions using draft mode or I write it out by hand if it is short. We moved 3 weeks ago and haven’t hooked the printer back up yet, and I haven’t really missed it.

  4. Jane says:

    Don’t believe your computer when it tells you you are out of ink. We could visually see there was plenty of ink left, even though it told us to replace it. It’s a total racket. We read up online how to put painter’s tape over the censor. Six months later we are still printing with the same cartridge. We have an Epson printer.

  5. Dalrock says:

    About 15 years ago I did tech support for a major printer manufacturer. We had a script we were supposed to read customers who asked about refilling cartridges. As you say ink is where the profit margin is so the printer companies have a vested interest in frightening you off of this kind of practice.

    But I do think there is some merit in the warnings from the manufacturers. They have a vested interest in not making this an easy foolproof process. The cartridges are also built for a given amount of use before they stop functioning properly. In a way it is like retreading a tire. The tread isn’t the only part that wears out over time.

    Also, if you don’t print frequently often the ink in the tip of the “pen” will dry up and clog the pen. We used to walk customers through a process of getting the tip of the pen wet in a saucer of warm water and then wiping the tip off before running a self test/clean operation. So sometimes the issue isn’t that the cartridge is out of ink, it might be that it wasn’t used often enough. I’m not sure if that saucer trick is still advisable though. The tech has probably changed a good deal since then.

    Lastly, if you do refill a cartridge and it leaks into your printer, it typically will void the warranty. I only recall a handful of customers calling with this experience, but it is at least a theoretical possibility. However since printers are so cheap now this is much less of a concern.

    For most consumers I would guess that printing in draft mode and/or greyscale is probably a better way to save money. Just make sure you print frequently enough that the heads don’t dry out…

  6. Ajtacka says:

    Wow, watching that video brought back memories. When I was a kid, my dad desperately tried to teach me calligraphy. To that end, we had several calligraphy pens with cartridges in many different colours. He had a couple of syringes we used to refill the cartridges. I always thought he was a bit strange about the syringes – very secretive. I think he once told me not to tell anyone we had them. I was always very confused about why.

    But yeah, never trust the printer sensor. Even when it starts printing badly, I’ve found that taking out the cartridge and shaking it a bit before putting it back will give you several more pages. And when it does finally run out, HP (and I guess other manufacturers) offer recycling – they send a bag out to you and you return your used cartridge to them by mail. Pity that’s not available where I live :(

  7. asithi says:

    I refill my ink cartridge all the time. But it is only for internal use or for printing out forms. I send my photos off to Shutterfly or Snapfish. I find that when you refill a cartridge, it usually only last about 3-4 refills and you have to get a new one. My printers never cost more than $100, so I am ok with the risk I am taking in refilling the ink. A lot of time you can shake the ink cartridge and it will continue to print for months even though you get a low ink warning.

  8. Gretchen says:

    I’d think it’s just as cost effective to get photos from an online store as opposed to printing them at home.

    Have you done the math on that?

  9. almost there says:

    Hm, my HP officejet refuses other/noname brand cartridges. So I just buy in bulk when HP sends me email on their sales.

  10. Adrienne says:

    I’ve found that you can get really good deals on new printers that have full ink cartridges already in them. FOr the printer I had at home, it was actually cheaper to buy a new printer than it was to replace the ink.

  11. J Brown says:

    Forget ink, just use Toner. I get 25,000 pages out of my B/W Brother printer. As for the color, I just use professional sites for larger photos any how. We buy mostly photobooks than just stand alone 5×7. I have purchased 20×30 before, and you need a special printer let alone ink for it. Yep, that one cost $19.95

  12. Annie Jones says:

    I’ve not tried refilling the cartridges myself, but I watch for a coupon (Walgreens) and get mine refilled for $10 or less. Although one refill doesn’t last quite as long as a brand new cartridge, two refills last longer than one new one, so there IS a savings. Plus less plastic to recycle or throw out.

    I only print things for home use, so I always use the fast economy settings to save ink.

  13. Kate says:

    I buy refurbished inkjet cartridges for my low-end Lexmark through lasermonks.com. They sell a fairly large variety of name brand and refurbished cartridges for good prices, and the money you spend there goes to charity. It’s a win-win.

  14. For years I refilled my own cartridges until the purchase of my current printer. Once I broken the cartridge refilling and the second time I brought it too a refill store and it didn’t work well….it’s gotta be this stinkin’ printer!

  15. Cheryl says:

    We used to turn the printer off when not using it. Then I found out that every time you start it, it uses a little ink. It’s cheaper to use that bit of electricity to keep it on all the time. (Epson)

  16. Vasile says:

    A few years ago I did refills on the side, mainly HP cartridges. The kits are not cost efficient, so we generally bought one to have the specialized tools and then we used large (1 quart or so) bottles of ink. But you cannot refill a cartridge forever, they will wear out anyway.

    In my opinion, color printers are good only for business presentations and such. Photos… not so much. They will fade in time, unless you use expensive archival inks and special paper. I also did the calculation some years ago, and printing photos at your grocery store or Walmart was way cheaper. There are even services that allow you to send the pics online, and they mail you the photos. Even Amazon had something like this.

    But if you really want to print photos on your printer, forget the refills. As much as I tried, I never got the right colors.

    For house printing (receipts, recipes, resumes, homeworks, etc), you usually don’t need color. Laser printers are pretty cheap and the price per copy is a lot less than for inkjets. You also have a lot less problems and maintenance (toner doesn’t dry). My Brother laser printer was $120 more than 5 years ago, and I had to replace the toner only a few months ago. A new original cartridge, good for 6000 copies, was $25 at a closing sale. Some laser cartridges can also be refilled with toner, an operation that needs to be done a lot less than with the ink, since they usually last at least 2500 pages.

    There are also risks for refilling ink cartridges. Some manufacturers (notably Epson) have permanent heads, and you only change the ink reservoir. But the refill inks sometimes dry faster than the original and may clog the head easier. Most of the times a new head costs as much as a new printer.

    If you really need color, I still recommend buying a laser printer to be used for most of the printing. Use the inkjet only when it is really required. Or you can even buy a color laser printer, but I never did the research on costs.


  17. Christine says:

    Agree about the laser printer. I bought a Brother 2170w laser printer in February 2010. I used to have a ink jet printer and we’d go thru the ink in a couple months because I print alot of coupons.

    My laser printer cost $50 and I just recently bought a toner cartridge on amazon for $25 as a back up. Still using up the first toner. I’m been satisfied with my laser.

    We use the ink printer if we need to print in color, which we haven’t.

    You can get alot of good deals to get free prints on photos alot. CVS, walgreens, snapfish, shutterfly offer free prints or have good sales on printing photos.

  18. Sara says:

    The last time I needed a new ink cartridge, I bought a generic brand refurbished cartridge on eBay for $1.04. I was a little nervous about not using a name brand one, but I haven’t had a problem with it and it saved me about $20 (and I didn’t have to mess around with syringes).

  19. Thomas says:

    Add me to the list of satisfied laser users. I was always trying to balance between printing enough to prevent drying out and not blatantly wasting ink.
    No more. With laser it’s always ready, fast, and clear. I now get a kick out of seeing the prices of ink cartridges, probably similar to the feeling that a bicycle commuter gets when passing a gas station.

    For pictures, it’s either shutterfly or walgreens if we need it that day.

  20. Amateur says:

    The next printer I’m getting is a laser. I bought some $90 inkjet printer with a scanner builtin and probably spent a good $200 on ink the last few years, and I can’t say I did a ton of printing. To add insult, the printer starts really slowly, like an ancient machine. The only reason why I keep it is because the scanner is useful.

  21. Adam says:

    Another happy laser user here. I bought a Brother laser printer for less than $100 a couple of years ago and I’m still on the first toner cartridge that came with it. Never have to worry about any of the issues like streaking, drying out, or messy refills that ink jets suffer from. Like others above, if I need photos printed (usually only once or twice a year) I use an online service or local one-hour if time is critical.

  22. Chris says:

    A couple of years ago I installed a continuous ink system (CISS) on my ip4500 – for an upfront cost about the same as a complete set of cartridges, it’s reduced my ink costs by 90-95%.

    I do a lot of medium quality colour printing (charts, kids computer art, that sort of thing) on that machine – not a lot of photos (cheaper at the shop) or B&W (cheap laser printer for that) – and for the stuff I do the quality is indistinguishable from Canon original cartridges.

    My CISS system was from RIHAC, no idea if others are as good.

  23. Robert Wall says:

    Laser printers are great, but usually they’re more expensive up front – especially for color. Also, when shopping for a laser printer, find out if you have to replace drums or transfer belts/rollers, and how often – those can really add up quickly.

    If you’ve got an inkjet printer, there are places that take used cartridges, professionally clean them, refill them, and warranty them to work properly (including a warranty against damage to your printer as a result of their use). A lot of times those places can beat name brand retail prices by $10 or so per cartridge – it’s definitely worth calling around!

  24. Great stuff

    I think I am content enough with the savings that I get from taking my empty cartridge to my drug store and letting them re-fill it.

    I pay $13 each time, compared to buying a new cartridge.

    I think I can deal with the added expense much better than everything else associated with those kits.

    But you could certainly go that route to maximize your savings

  25. paul says:

    I once bought an ink cartridge set for surprisingly low price, that was distributed by a big ink brand.

    Totally messed my printings up.
    I didn’t get a single “perfect” page.
    My printer even started to change calibration settings, some colors didn’t print, etc.

    Saved me about 30$ on the full set of 5 ink cartridges, so i thought, it was worth it.
    But simply wasn’t!

    Another time way back I had an HP inkjet printer, and I only used refurbished no-brand ink cartridges.
    After less than a year I hat trouble with the paper-section of this printer – that had nothing to do with the used ink.
    BUT: because I used refilled ink cartridges, I lost the guarantee on the printer.
    And That’s not only the case with HP – also with Canon and Lexmark i think.

    Long story short: fixing the printer was nearly as much as I paid for the printer in the first place.

  26. deRuiter says:

    With a Lexmark printer, the company has a program where if you buy refillable cartridges direct from Lexmark, they are a little cheaper than single use. The company provides the little postage free plastic bags, and for every five cartridges you return empty, they send you a free cartridge. Good money management suggests taking a color cartridge for the free one, the color cartridges are more expensive than b & white. Lexmark does not charge extra for postage when sending you the new cartridges. For another saving, since we do mostly inhouse printing, for things for our own use, we print on the back side of white pages which were already printed on one side. When I go to meetings, if there are white hand out pages printed on one side, I take home any discards or abandonded sheets, and print on the back, saving paper. Saves a bit on buying paper, and then when our info becomes obsolete the pages are shredded and recycled.

  27. Gretchen, I print all my photos at home. I haven’t the faintest idea about whether or not it’s cheaper, but I do it because it’s convenient. When I’m scrapbooking, I can print whatever size I want, I can adjust the colors if I see they’re not coming out right, and so on.

    Plus, the quality of my Canon Pixma photos is better than most inexpensive outside photo labs.

  28. Heather says:

    @LB – I agree and do the same things! I also started setting the printer to print two pages on piece of paper where possible. @DeRuiter great idea about the handouts! I also use the backs of page flyers my son brings home from school. Generally, I just started being more cognizant of how much printing I do and why.

    I get a few dollars back on my cartridges when I recycle them at Staples and I use the coupons to buy more cartridges which helps get my cost per cartridge down a bit.

    For home use, our little inkjet takes care of our needs for now. Great information on the laser printers and costs from everyone which I am mentally filing away for the future.

  29. Steve says:

    Have you checked out after-market or “compatible” cartridges? I’ve had good luck from both swiftink.com and 123inkcartridges.ca for my MP520 – no affiliation to either site. You’d be sub $40 for a pair of high yield carts.

  30. Jeremy says:

    Has anyone looked into a cost/quality comparison between printing your own photos (requires special paper and lots of ink) and going through an online printing service like Shutterfly or something? My wife uses Shutterfly periodically to make nice looking photo books that seem to be a good price for what you get and they give out 20-30% off every month or two if you’re not in a hurry to get pictures that day. Any thoughts??

  31. Derek says:

    Trent, do the math on ordering your prints from ofoto.com or dozens of other such sites. It’s tremendously cheaper and much less hassle to simply order prints from these sites than printing your own at home.

    Having said that, I refill my own HP Officejet at home for light use and it saves me a great deal of money. I agree with your comments on hassle/mess but the bottom line for me is that it’s worth it.

  32. Callie says:

    I was using refills from Office Depot and they leaked and ruined my printer. My next printer was an ink hog so I ditched it and went to the “printer store” and said I want the printer(all in one) that uses the least ink. I ended up with an HP Officejet 6500 and I’ve been happy with it so far. The thing I like best is I can keep forcing it to print until the ink is gone. I’m afraid to use the refilled cartridges now. If anyone had tips on the leaking issue I’d be ecstatic, because I like to reuse whenever I can.

  33. Josh says:

    Printing photos at home is MORE expensive than snapfish/Picasa/Local pharmacy. Wait for coupons and print from one of those places, often for less than $0.10 a print. Buy a $50 Brother B+W laser printer for coupons or other home printing. Problem solved.

  34. Lauren says:

    We ran the numbers one time and found that our photos printed at home (Epson ink jet printer) cost about $1 per photo. We only got about 100 photos from one $80 ink refill, plus the photo paper was expensive. It comes out MUCH cheaper to have photos printed somewhere else unless you have a really cheap source of ink and paper.

  35. littlepitcher says:

    1-It is possible to get large external containers which continually refill your standard cartridges. Try Printer Filling Station.

    2-Many inkjet suppliers sell a “chip resetter” which will allow you to reuse your cartridge. It only works, though, if the cartridge is still over 25% full. This is why:

    3-I, too, purchased that monochrome laser from Buy.com for fifty bucks and it is a fast little critter. I recommend digital photo frames to avoid colored ink altogether

  36. Willie says:

    I once took the in-between route. I ordered from a business that refills the ink cartridges and you purchase them already filled, at a savings.

    NEVER AGAIN. While all of the cartridges were clean and full and appeared normal, they ruined my printer. They leaked all over the place and gummed up my printer beyond repair. Fortunately, printers are cheap, but it was only a couple of months old and had performed perfectly up until then. It only took about a week or of the refilled ink cartridges to trash my printer. The repairman said it was absolutely the refilled cartridges and after examining it myself, it was quite clear. Definitely not worth the savings.

  37. Marie says:

    I agree about the Brother laser jet printers. As a system support tech, I’ve bought many Brother laser printers over the years and not only are they inexpensive to purchase (under $100), but they last for years (I have one is service in a dirty auto parts room that has been running faithfully for 7 years) and the toner cartridges are around $40 or less and do several thousand copies. The drums last for several years and by the time you need to replace it, you can usually get a new printer for less. At home I have a color inkjet all-in-one (Canon) and a Brother 2040 B&W laserjet. We only use the Canon if we want color. I recommend Canon or Epson for Injet’s and Brother for B&W laser. Stay away from HP and Lexmark. They are over priced and usually don’t last as long and the consumables are at least two times more expensive.

  38. Marie says:

    One more suggestion: I purchase most of my replacement cartridges (both inkjet and laser) from an online company called Databazaar.com. I’ve used them for years. They have good prices, both on name brand and generic cartridges, free shipping, prompt delivery (2 or 3 days) and online chat if you have questions. I order from them both at work and at home.

  39. Kris says:

    I’ve been refilling old cartridges for years, and usually get about 3 rounds with a cartridge before refilling loses its effectiveness. But it does save money, and isn’t that hard to do (if you don’t mind some funny colors on your fingers for a few days!).

  40. Erik N. says:

    There are two businesses in my town that will refill printer-ink cartridges for 60% less of what you paid for them. This is one area where I think its worth paying for the refill. It only takes them 10 minutes max. the company makes its profits refilling the large corporate.

  41. Eric says:

    Doing the “math” = Dollars ÷ Milliliters!

    When shopping for Refill Ink, Ink Cartridges, or Continuous Ink Supply Systems (CISSs) what you should be looking for (along with quality) is value.

    A few years ago, HP (and other printer manufacturers) cartridges were filled with a maximum designed capacity of ink. The price per mL (milliliter) of ink it held was in the $0.50 – $0.80 range. The price per milliliter in some of the newer printer models is now close to $3.00 per milliliter.

    Gradually over time, the volume of ink in OEM cartridges has declined, and lately cartridge sizes from all printer manufacturers are getting smaller. In comparison, the retail prices of inkjet cartridges have not decreased at this same rate.

    Now, HP has stopped disclosing the volume of ink in each cartridge and on their packaging. As a result, consumers can no longer do comparative pricing per milliliter. HP is now free to hide the true volume under the veil of the cartridge “shell”, while adjusting the prices without comparison.

    The HP “shell game”
    The volume of HP black ink cartridges has decreased in size:
    • The 940XL (currently 49mL) actually use to be the 940.
    • The revised “low capacity” 940 (currently 42mL) use to contain 69mL of ink.

    The volume of each HP color ink cartridges have also decreased in size:
    • The 940XL (currently 16mL) actually use to be the 940.
    • The revised “low capacity” 940 (currently 10mL) use to contain 28mL of ink.

    Even these new XL “high capacity” cartridges have less ink volume in them than they are designed to hold. All 940XL and 940 have exactly the same size ink bladder inside them. The black cartridge bladder’s designed capacity is 69mL, and each color cartridge bladder’s designed capacity is 28mL.

    For my money, the best systems are MADE IN THE USA by Adaptive Ink (www.adaptiveink.com). All of their complete products come out to be less than .31 cents per page. How’s that for doing the math?

    They have maximum capacity, dye and pigment filled refillable cartridges for $34.95 (.23 cents/mL). The amazing thing is you don’t even have to remove the cartridges from your printer to refill them! They also have CISSs with 400mL total ink volume (5000 color printed pages) and larger systems with up to 2,880mL total ink volume (38,000 color printed pages).

  42. Tyler says:

    The best way to save money is by getting a black and white laser printer. It costs more up front, but if you do a fair amount of printing, it is totally worth it. I get about 1000+ pages on a toner cartridge that costs the same as an ink cartridge which would last me 40-50 pages. Also, buy Brother. Lexmark’s drivers are really terrible and force you to waste a lot of ink. Believe me, I’ve looked for workarounds, but basically Lexmark drivers are impossible to work with and include a bunch of annoying software. Brother, on the other hand, has simple drivers with no photo editing “suites” and has the best help software I’ve ever seen.

  43. reulte says:

    When computers first came along, they were supposed to provide the “paper-free” office. Well, we all know how that’s turned out but I try to keep to paper-free. I don’t own a printer so its easy for me to not print and if something is absolutely necessary for me to print — I email it to myself and print at the library. I never said to myself that I was too frugal to buy a printer, I simply never had the need. This will probably change as the boy gets older and starts turning papers in at school so I will keep this very helpful information in mind.

  44. Dave Hamblin says:

    On Sept 28th, Trent posted to The Simple Dollar Facebook feed: “Is there an article topic you’d like to see addressed someday on The Simple Dollar? Just let me know!”

    I commented on that post with the following response: “Some of my favorites have been the posts where you break down the costs of doing something into specific dollars saved per hour, etc. to help determine if it’s “worth” the inconvenience and time. A suggestion along those lines: If you use (like me) an inkjet printer, is it worth it to save money buying refillable ink cartridges and refilling them yourself? I’ve done this and I’m still not sure whether it’s worth it…”

    When I saw this article posted today, I have to admit I was surprised/shocked that he (apparently) chose to write about my suggestion. There were several good ideas shared, not to mention all the other material I’m sure he has. So, thanks, Trent, for the article!

  45. Natalie says:

    I get my cartridges refilled at Walgreens and I think it saves me quite a bit. I am happy with the quality. I have an HP printer.

  46. Deb says:

    Interesting timing. A few months ago Walgreens was running a one-day special where they would refill an ink cartridge for $1. We took two cartridges in as an experiment, figuring that if it worked, we saved roughly $30, and if it didn’t we were out $2. When they tested the cartridges, they didn’t work, so when we came to pick them up we weren’t charged anything. For the sake of finishing the experiment, I kept the cartridges around, and just today put one in the printer. It works great. We don’t print anything high-quality – in fact we’ve been using draft mode since May or so with no problems. If the other cartridge also works well (which I won’t find out for another three months, at least), then we may watch for the $1 special and do this again. Though I’ll probably insist on paying for the ink anyway, even if they think it won’t work, since I know that it probably will. I can afford $2 when I’m saving $30. :)

  47. Deb says:

    @Marie: Interesting that you mentioned databazaar.com. My mother just ordered ink for a printer and toner for a copier from them – both very old machines. She has had a lot of trouble getting what she ordered, so I’m glad to see that someone has had positive experiences with them.

    I agree that Lexmark ink is more expensive. However, I have nothing but good things to say about Lexmark’s printers. The first lasted five years, through the abuse of college, and it may have been a bad ink cartridge rather than the printer croaking. I upgraded for $50 so I would have a scanner, and I’ve had this printer for seven years. The only reason I can see to upgrade it will be when we finish upgrading the computers to Windows 7, because Lexmark refuses to provide drivers for the newer Windows.

  48. Emma says:

    I’d just like to reiterate what Jane said in comment 3: don’t believe your computer when it says the printer is out of ink!

    My husband’s PC and my Mac share a Cannon printer, and for some reason his comp always says the printer is out of ink, even when I can still print hundreds of perfect-quality pages before it’s time to switch.

  49. Melissa says:

    I buy ink off ebay for cheap (it’s a calidad solo inkjeft refiller) and refill my canon pixma mp printer several times for cheap. When I want to print out nicer photos I upload to Costco for 10-19 cents photo depending on coupons. Once uploaded you can pick up within the hour.

  50. Mike says:

    There are many ways to refill cartridges. In reading the commnets, I noticed that no one has mentioned the refill service available at Costco. Information is available at http://www.costcoinkjetrefill.com. Excellent prices and high qualty as Costco backs the service. Hope this helps

  51. Moinca says:

    The solution at COSTCO is the way to go. Their quality is far superior to the rest of the refillers AND their pricing is better! $8-$10 gets you a quality refill.

  52. R S says:

    I’m a satisfied Laser Printer owner. My HP LaserJet from 10 yrs ago is still running strong. Unfortunately, since I bought it 10 yrs ago, it was a whopping $350.
    I was the one everyone ran to, to print out their lab reports, problem sets, resumes, etc in college, when all their inkjets inevitably ran out of ink.

    It’s still going strong, albeit slow, with only 2MB of memory, but my biggest worry is that it will outlive my computer, and I will struggle to get a computer with:
    1) A reliable printer port (USB wasn’t standard 10 yrs ago!)
    2) Windows XP… It doesn’t look like there’s any effort to make a Windows 7 driver for my precious..

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