Buying Ink Cartridges Tips

Read these 19 Buying Ink Cartridges Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Printer Ink tips and hundreds of other topics.

Buying Ink Cartridges Tips has been rated 3.1 out of 5 based on 676 ratings and 1 user reviews.
What is the ink cartridge yield?

Printer Ink Cost Is Tied To The Ink Cartridge Yield

When determining the value of printer ink cost, don't simply look at the retail price of the ink. Instead, find out what the ink cartridge yield is. The ink cartridge yield is the output of pages that a cartridge of ink will give you. When calculating page yields, most manufacturers factor that 4 percent to 5 percent of the page will be covered in ink. So don't just look at the bottom line when thinking about how much printer ink will cost you in the long run.

For instance, the Epson Stylus C63 printer may run you about $200. However, you have to factor in the cost of the ink. Say you spend $25 a piece for the black printer ink and an additional $25 for the color ink. However, to truly get an idea of how much it'll cost you for the printer, take a look at the ink cartridge yield. According to Epson, the Stylus C63 ink yields 494 pages in black ink and 237 pages in color ink. Think that tells the whole story? Not quite. If you have text heavy printing, your ink will go much faster because that will take up more than 4 percent to 5 percent of the page. If you're printing color photos, your ink will print much less than 237 pages.

Will printer ink from the manufacturer give me the best quality?

Best Results From Printer Ink - Stick to the Manufacturer

With so many choices in the printer ink market, how do you know where to find the best ink for your printer? If quality is the key to your purchase, you should seriously think about sticking to the recommended printer ink from your printer manufacturer. Printer ink is not all the same.

For many printers, there are reasons beyond simple marketing for why certain printer ink is suggested over others. Some printers will simply not function properly without the manufacturer's ink. From a separate perspective, you should think about using the printer ink recommended by your manufacturer because if you have a warranty, it could very well depend on it.

If the manufacturer states that the printer will only function properly with a certain type of printer ink, you will often nullify your warranty if you choose to use any other type. Double check this, for sure, before you try something different. Should anything go wrong with the other ink, you will want to know if your warranty will still apply to your machine. If you are concerned with saving a few bucks on your printer ink, you can always look for the cheapest available. Just be sure that you don't sacrifice print quality or endanger your product warranty. If you want security and the best quality available, stick with the printer ink from your printer's manufacturer.

The ink cartridge I just bought is faulty, what should I do?

What to do with a Faulty Ink Cartridge

Many products can arrive broken after many different stops along the shipping route. An ink cartridge is not immune to this type of damage and many are sold each day that are either broken or faulty from the manufacturer. If you have purchased a faulty ink cartridge, here are a few tips on what you should do. First, see if your ink cartridge came with a manufacturer's warranty.

If so, you should contact the manufacturer and ask how they can either refund your costs or send you a new ink cartridge. These types of exchanges can take time, more time than you have before your next print job, so ask about express shipping. If the time is a concern, you can also check with the store where you bought the ink cartridge. Many retail outlets will accept exchanges or return on an ink cartridge that was bought in their store. You will need your receipt if you want to return or exchange, so be sure to have it handy and don't throw it out. Between the manufacturer and the retail store, you should have no problem exchanging or returning your faulty ink cartridge.

Why should I buy a remanufactured ink cartridge instead of an original?

Benefits of a Remanufactured Ink Cartridge

Since the advent of the computer age, remanufacturing has become a booming industry. Today, you can buy almost anything as remanufactured and save without sacrificing quality. Remanufactured ink cartridges are now sold by many companies, and here are some of their benefits.

  • Cost – A remanufactured ink cartridge costs the maker far less than the original manufacturing process. This is because the remanufacturer is simply refilling the original cartridge and not producing the casing. This saving is passed on to the consumer through far lower prices than brand new inkjet cartridges.
  • Environment – Ink cartridges are not made out of the most environmentally-friendly materials. With a remanufactured ink cartridge, you know that you are not contributing to the waste that becomes of discarded plastic ink cartridges.
  • Quality – You will not sacrifice any quality with a remanufactured ink cartridge. Most of these are sold with 100% guarantees that the cartridge will provide prints as high quality as the original cartridge.

For these reasons and many more, you should look into getting a remanufactured ink cartridge the next time the little red light on the printer starts blinking.

Will I save in the long run if I buy printer ink cartridges in bulk quantity?

Buying Printer Ink Cartridges in Bulk

The savvy business operator knows that the real secret to shaving costs of supplies is by purchasing from a wholesaler in bulk quantity. This applies to everything from paper clips to light bulbs. Printer ink cartridges are also available in bulk quantities and, for as expensive as printing can get, are the smart solution for any business. The thing about office supplies is that they will always, eventually, get used. Paper clips do not go bad. If properly stored, neither will printer ink cartridges. Why not save money and stock up? Too many people are scared off by the initial expense in buying in bulk.

If you are still hesitant, here is what you should do. Take a few minutes and calculate how much you have spent in the last year on printer ink cartridges, or printer supplies in general. If you itemize your purchases, this should not be too difficult. It should also be mentioned that buying in bulk makes such expense tracking far easier as well.

Once you have a number for that yearly expense, find a wholesale source online or locally. Ask them for a quote on the same quantity of printer ink cartridges you purchased in that same year, but all at once in bulk. L For most who take this little test, they immediately see that they have been wasting money, in the long run, for what they perceive as savings in the short run. Don't make this mistake yourself. Buy your printer ink cartridges in bulk.

How do I know what type of printer ink cartridge I need for my printer?

Buying the Right Printer Ink Cartridge

With so many makes and models of personal and business solution printers, there are also enormous variants on the types of printer ink cartridges on the market. Unlike camera film, or even paper for that matter, there is no standard size for a printer ink cartridge. Manufacturers of printers also are the manufacturers of ink, in many cases, and they are sure to make their printers only compatible with their own size and type printer ink cartridge. Due to this, you should be sure to buy the correct printer ink cartridge when you are next on empty.

To determine your type of printer ink cartridge, you can do a couple of things. First, consult your printer manual. It should have the exact type that you require. Also, you can use the internet to access the manufacturer's website where they should tell you what type of printer ink cartridge matches your model printer. The best bet however, is to simply remove the empty printer ink cartridge from your printer. It will have markings that let you know its type. Bring it with you when you guy to re-buy and you will be 100% sure you get what you need.

Where can I find discount ink cartridges for a photo printer?

Discount Ink Cartridges for Photo Printers

If you have recently purchased a new digital camera, chances are you took advantage of one of the many tremendous deals on photo printers to go with it. Photo printers are great for the part-time shutterbug. The convenience of being able to print professional looking pictures from home is huge over having to go to the local drug store or photomart.

However, ink cartridges for photo printers can get expensive depending on your model printer. Printing photos takes a better ink and the costs per exposure can grow unless you buy discount ink cartridges. Discount ink cartridges for photo printers are available in many places. The best place to start is on the Internet. Many online vendors can save you up to 50% on discount ink cartridges. If you like to point, click, shoot, and print, look into discount ink cartridges to save on your hobby's costs.

Why are printer cartridges so expensive compared to a whole new printer?

Need New Printer Cartridges? How About a Whole New Printer!

A funny irony when it comes to printer cartridges today is how expensive they are. This is ironic due to the fact that a new set of black and color cartridges can sometime be more expensive than buying a brand new printer… which comes with new ink cartridges. Many retail stores today offer such large rebates on their printers that you can even find a brand new printer, with ink, for less than it would cost to refill you own printer cartridges. Why are we not seeing landfills overflowing with printers?

The answer is simple, refillable printer cartridges. The costs of a new printer cartridge is great, yes, but the cost savvy consumer does not buy new printer cartridges each time they run out of ink. They use refillable printer cartridges and save money and the environment. You won't find a new printer for the price of a refill kit. These kits are a great way to save on your printer cartridges and you should look into them if you don't have one already. Your wallet will thank you.

Will cheap ink cartridges give me poor print results?

Cheap Ink Cartridges - Cheap Looking Results?

Nobody wants to spend more than they need to on anything they buy. However, sometimes going cheap can give you sub-par quality. This is where we get the saying, ‘you get what you pay for'. With cheap ink cartridges, you can often fall into the same problem. While many cheap ink cartridges will give you great results, others can cost you more than you bargained for. I decided to go with cheap ink cartridges a few months ago and it resulted in a printing nightmare. When my prints were coming out with lines in them, I removed the ink cartridge to try to clean it. When I took it out, it proceeded to bleed all over my hands and the other papers on my desk.

In my case, cheap ink cartridges cost me a half a bottle of soap and a ream of paper. I know others that have had trouble-free experiences with cheap ink cartridges, so there are some out there that are worth the risk. Just be sure to look for a guarantee on the goods before you buy.

What makes a remanufactured ink cartridge so good for the environment?

Think 'Green' - Buy a Remanufactured Ink Cartridge

For the environmentally conscious office, you can play a big role in conservation by purchasing only remanufactured ink cartridges. To think about how much printing is done in the world today is a staggering thought. Millions of pages are printed a day and what happens to the plastic cartridges when they go empty? If it were not for the remanufactured ink cartridge market, they would fill a landfill the size of a mountain. Thanks to the remanufactured ink cartridge, you can keep printing whatever you need without worrying about waste.

A remanufactured ink cartridge is environmentally safe because the plastic casing is never in the process. Professionals and advanced machines powered by computers make a process that breaks the cartridge down and builds it back up without remolding which requires melting. Melting plastics releases gases and chemicals that can be harmful to your health as well as the environment. Without the remolding process, a remanufactured ink cartridge is almost 100% safe for the environment. Help promote the remanufactured ink cartridge by purchasing only remanufactured ink cartridges for your home or office. They are often less expensive too.

How expensive are color and black ink cartridges?

The Costs of Color Ink Cartridges vs. Black Ink Cartridges

When shopping for ink cartridges, you will notice that color cartridges are far more expensive, on average, than black ink cartridges. There are many reasons why, but one thing is for sure, this is always the case. After comparing several online vendors, I can say that you will spend an average of at least 30% more for color ink cartridges than for black ink cartridges.

Color ink cartridges are a more complex unit. Whereas a black ink cartridge is only a single reservoir for a single ink color, a color ink cartridge needs to contain three separate reservoirs for three different colors. Because of the more intricate design and manufacturing process, color ink cartridges will always be more expensive. To save on color ink in your printer, look into the new printer types that have multiple cartridges for its color inks. This can save you from having to replace the whole cartridge when only one color runs out.

Where can I find cheap ink cartridges for my printer?

Finding Cheap Ink Cartridges for your Home Printer

There are literally hundreds of printer models on the market. For each, there are dozens of ink cartridge manufacturers that make compliant cartridges. For you, this means that there is a lot of shopping and selection available to get a cheap ink cartridge for your printer. If you want to find cheap ink cartridges for your computer, your best bet is to hit the search engines and shopping engines on the Web.

With these great utilities, you can search for your exact model of printer cartridge and get more choices in models and pricing than you can imagine. With the power of this information, you can find cheap ink cartridges for any type of printer. For search engines, we suggest using Google, MSN, or Yahoo. These engines provide the largest set of results and selection for you. With shopping engines, Froogle, Yahoo Shopping, and are great places to find cheap ink cartridges. With all of these resources in your hands, you should have no problem finding cheap ink cartridges for your printer.

Where can I find discount ink cartridges?

Finding Discount Ink Cartridges

For the frugal person, shopping around for the best discounts is a way of life. If you fall into this category, you will be happy to know that finding discount ink cartridges is simple. With the growth of ecommerce has come a wide variety of websites that provide discount ink cartridges… and I mean huge discounts. When you think that a set of ink cartridges for a typical printer at a retail store can cost over $75 for color and black and white, savings shouldn't be so hard to find, right? Well they aren't.

Many people are saving up to 50% by finding discount ink cartridges online. There are too many websites to list here, but you can easily search for yourself and find a plethora of selections. Stop spending far too much on your printing supplies. Buy discount ink cartridges online and save up to half on your costs.

Should I buy my ink cartridges online?

Buying Ink Cartridges Online

For people or businesses that need to keep their supplies on hand but do not have the time to run to the store all the time, ordering supplies online is a great solution. In particular, printing supplies such as ink cartridges are available at huge discounts through online vendors. Several websites can provide you with discounts on almost any ink cartridge for almost any printer. Ink cartridges are expensive when you buy them at a retail store only a few at a time.

With online shopping, you can not only get big savings, but you can also order in larger quantities to keep your supplies always in stock. Use the major search engines such as Google, MSN, or Yahoo to find a vendor than sells your particular ink cartridges. To be sure you are looking for the right make and model, take out the cartridge in your printer and get the ID off of it. Shipping costs are tiny compared to the inconvenience of driving out to pick them up, especially with gas prices. Buy your ink cartridges online and you can save time and money.

Why are printer inks so expensive?

The Truth Behind High Printer Ink Costs

Even if you buy an inexpensive printer, high printer ink costs can send your wallet into shock. So why do high printer ink costs exist? According to, the major printer companies like Epson, HP, and Canon have taken on the same stance the cell phone companies do when it comes to making profits. Printer companies sell the equipment at cost or even below cost and then recoup their fees in necessary accessories, like printer ink. Some of the top vendors are fighting their competing compatible ink vendors via lawsuits, citing patent violations. The printer companies also cite competing replacement inks as inferior products. However, according to, though there are inferior compatible ink brands on the market, you can find a number of quality third party replacement inks.

What are compatible ink cartridges?

All About Compatible Ink Cartridges

If you've been doing some shopping around lately for replacement ink cartridges, you may have seen some compatible ink cartridges on the market. If you're wondering about the merits of the off-brand versions of ink cartridges, keep reading:

  • Compatible ink cartridges are essentially replacement cartridges for your printer that are not from the original manufacturer, but created by a third party.
  • Depending on where you purchase the compatible ink cartridges from, you may be getting a new or remanufactured version.
  • In some cases, cartridges that your printer uses carry a chip. If that's the case, check to make sure that the compatible ink cartridges you're choosing has the same chip so you won't have to reset your machine and deal with the hassle of error messages.
  • Some compatible ink cartridges do come with a warranty that matches that of the original manufacturer. If you can, find one that has a comparable warranty.
  • Using a compatible ink cartridge won't void the warranty of your printer in many cases. However, it's best to check with your manual or the manufacturer to verify this if you have concerns.

What is the difference between the Epson ink types?

Discerning Between Various Epson Ink Types

There are numerous Epson ink types out there to choose from. Depending on what type of printer you own or are contemplating purchasing, you'll likely find one that will suit your needs. In case you're trying to figure out which type of Epson ink type will work best for you, here's the scoop.

DURABrite Ultra pigment – The DURABrite Ultra pigment series is for home office users and general consumers. If you're looking for the ability to print everyday documents along with the option to do quality color photo printing, consider this Epson ink type for versatility.

Claria High Definition Ink – This is a long lasting ink that also provides a high level of photo quality.

Epson UltraChrome High Gloss – Commercial and amateur photographers might want to consider this Epson ink type, created primarily for photography and scrapbooking. The ink works well for glossy, as well as matte photos and delivers archival quality prints.

Epson UltraChrome K3 – For photography and pre-press proofing, the K3 works equally well for color photo printing and black and white printing.

Are there ways to save my printer ink from running out so fast?

How To Save Your Printer Ink

If you're using printer ink with any frequency, you're likely spending a fortune buying new cartridges on a regular basis. However, there are ways to conserve your printer ink so that you're not wasting your precious supply.

  • Set your printer to the economy setting. If you're printing out sheets for your own use, proofreading, or a trial run, check the printer settings on your printer. By printing copies on the economy setting, you'll be using less ink, but you'll still get copies good enough to read for your own use.
  • Do a partial test copy. Are you printing out color photos or graphics on your printer? Don't print a full copy of the entire piece, only to find out you need to tweak the color, change the paper, or the printer settings. If you're using a software program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, you can cover up a portion of the photo or graphic so that you can print a smaller part and waste less printer ink.
  • Clean your printer head on a regular basis. Have you ever printed out full sheets of text, photos, or graphics, only to find out a color is missing or you have streaks on all of your sheets? You can avoid having to re-print by cleaning your printer head on a regular basis.

Are name brand ink cartridges worth the money?

Name Brand Ink Cartridges vs. Generics

In the world of ink cartridges there are two main choices, name brand or generic. Most printer manufacturers also manufacture their ink cartridges, so they recommend these for use in their printers. However, these guys do not have the exclusive right to make these ink cartridges and generics are available for many models. What are the differences you should look for? Here are a few.

The ink in name brand ink cartridges is often of slightly higher quality; however, the human eye would barely be able to notice. Generic ink cartridges will often come at far lower prices, so this is a plus for anyone looking to save a few bucks on their purchase.

There are many other similarities and differences between generic and name brand ink cartridges. If you want more information, visit a local printing supply store or any of the internet resources for office supplies.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Printer Ink Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Lynda Moultry