« Pilot's Pen | Home | Transparent Post-It Notes »

May 7, 2008

When should you trash your printer?


A brand-new Epson C88+ printer (above) costs $79.99 at the Epson store (I know this to be true because I just bought one).

It comes with three color ink cartridges and one black ink cartridge.

Replacement cartridges cost $12.34 apiece for color and $18.99 for black.

So a full set of replacements will run you $56.01.

Here is my question: When the print quality starts to decline as it inevitably does — and does not return to optimal even after repeated head cleaning, nozzle cleaning, alignment checks and the like — does it make more sense to simply trash the printer and order another instead of buying replacement ink cartridges and trying to get by a while longer with less than perfect output?

I think so.


May 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference When should you trash your printer?:


Uhm, your first mistake is buying Epson printers. If that's all you buy, then you don't know any better, and I understand. Epson printers simply only last a short time. I am not an expert on class action lawsuits, but it is my impression that Epson has had more of them for their printers than any other company. Seriously, you should not be buying Epson printers. My clients just have to throw them away periodically. Without explanation. They just die. Too soon.

Secondly, and related to the first point, the print head is either in the cartridge or it is separate, for which it is usually replaceable. I suppose it might not be replaceable on a cheap printer, but I would check. Often, as the printer model ages, the ink price goes down, so it is often in your best interest to keep that printer going. I have a Deskjet 970cxi that prints duplex that is going on 10 years old, it works perfectly, the printhead is in the cartridge, and I get huge cartridges for ~$10 black and $15 color; the price per page is less than 1 penny.

Canon seems to be doing a great job with printers - not without their quirks - but they work and work well. I get this impression that people using Epsons are using them because it's what they always used. Almost anything else is better.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 22, 2008 10:28:17 PM

Hey! We used to use Epson C88s all the time and liked the results but hated the banding that would inevitably start after a few ink tank changes. It kills your ink supply to run the cleaning cycles to remove the bands.

We recently tried the HP Photosmart D7460 and LOVE it SOOO much more. We've had virtually NO problems with this at all, no banding either! AND honestly, the ink lasts and lasts. We print a LOT, nearly full coverage (mousepads!) and we printed for maybe 2 months without changing the black for the first time. So I HIGHLY recommend it. The price is comparable to the Epson.

Give it a whirl. I think you will be pleased.

Posted by: Kellee | May 16, 2008 9:25:32 PM

Wow, thats a pretty good point there, it all makes sense now, if you need assistance throwing away all your printers, try this versacart, which will cart away your printers to the garbage, yes the garbage...


Posted by: Robbin | May 7, 2008 10:44:15 PM

You must live a truly slow life, Milena. I envy you. Unfortunately, my work-at-home business often requires prints immediately, if not sooner. No waiting around for some service to get around to it when it suits them. And their work is never done with the same care as mine. It's just another job in the queue for some underpaid functionary.

Anyway, as for Joe's question, ink jet printers follow the razor blade model: give away the razors, make it up on blades. Printer ink is where the profit is. By the time you've replaced the cartridges one time you've spent more on ink than the printer. It's a twisted system.

Posted by: Al Christensen | May 7, 2008 6:27:28 PM

Here's a thought - don't print color at home. Only do black and white. I upload to Shutterfly or Costco online and have them ship. Costs less, no hassle and fairly quick. Now, if in a pickle and really need a color print like NOW, then I run out to an officemax or something similar. Can't remember the last time that happened though. No more color, nozzle, alignment or other whatnot worries. Did I also mention that you'll be polluting the planet less by not chucking printers or cartridges out every couple of months?

Posted by: Milena | May 7, 2008 3:02:48 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.