Ink-flation: Printer Cartridge Prices Are Climbing Quickly

If you get the feeling that the cost of replacing the ink cartridges on your inkjet printer is getting out of hand, your impression may be more accurate than you realize.

Between 2009 and today, the rate of inflation has increased by seven per cent. During that same period, the cost per page of some vendors’ inks has risen by anywhere from four per cent to 30 per cent. Yes, 30 per cent.

We review 50 or more printers per year, and we price the cartridges for every one of them. About eight months ago, I began noticing that ink cartridge prices for some models were going up–sometimes sharply. When I dug deeper, I also saw that the price increases seemed to be selective: Some inks went up; others stayed the same; and one even dipped slightly. The biggest hikes I observed came from Lexmark and Kodak, but Epson’s colour ink costs have been rising as well.

Meanwhile, HP seems to be nudging ink costs upward in its newer models.

Most vendors declined to comment on my findings. Only Kodak readily acknowledged the price changes, noting that its inks were still among the cheapest available.

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