Feeling ripped off? It pays to compare prices when shopping for in cartridges
When you started to use your first printer – whether it was a home or office-based one – you probably just gritted your teeth and paid the high price for branded ink cartridges. After all, to use compatible or refilled cartridges would destroy your printer and invalidate your warranty, wouldn’t it? Or at least that’s what most manufacturers put in their literature about replacing ink cartridges. So we begrudgingly buy branded ink to avoid any issues – or more cost. But is this really the case?
Nowadays, you have an entire online universe out there, full of ink, just waiting for you to buy it. There are so many sites out there, too many to comb through while you’re looking for deals on your inkjet cartridges. It does pay to spend some time researching and comparing prices, though, as you can make significant savings. Here’s why the time spent looking through at least a few different supplier websites is worth it; cartridgepeople.com is a great place to start.
Once you find a supplier you like, you can stick with it
Online ink suppliers are much cheaper than physical stores to start with, so by finding a retailer you “fit” with, you’re starting a good relationship that should save you some serious money over the years. Online stores have much smaller overheads than physical shops, so they can pass their lower costs onto you, the customer. There may be a good loyalty scheme – something you should have in your search criteria from the start – which enables you to get better discounts as you rack up your orders.
You can weed out any suppliers that don’t offer guarantees and warranties on their products
Chances are these retailers will be among the cheapest around, but that doesn’t mean you should jump at them! Make sure that you can get your money back, or some replacement cartridges, if the ones you’ve bought fail or leak. This requirement will add a few pence per unit, but it’s worth it. It’s not about getting the cheapest deal going, but the most reliable and affordable deal.
You can get the best deal for you, whether you’re a bulk buyer or just an occasional buyer
This will make a difference to how much you have to spend. If you’re a heavy ink user, then you can take advantage of bulk order rates, as you’ll zip through your supplies before the ink degrades (this is a serious consideration when buying ink, as it has a relatively short shelf-life). If, on the other hand, you only have the one printer, you won’t need so much and so you’ll need to be more careful with your selection as you won’t get the bulk discounts. There’s no point buying in a year’s supply if you won’t use it, as you’ll just end up having to bin the cartridges when they don’t work!
You can find a supplier who offers reasonable shipping or delivery rates
This is important as well, because order charges can really rack up over time, so if you find a retailer that waives delivery charges for larger orders, or offers a loyalty package, you’ll be saving money.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.