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Rip Off Britain Look at Printer Ink

in Blog, Saving Money

The BBC’s Rip off Britain is a good watch (if you happen to be watching TV at 9 in the morning on a weekday) for money savers. Ninja money savers like you and me might find it a bit basic but its worth a watch. This weeks programme had some interesting items including a pretty good look at comparison sites, which basically came to a similar conclusion as us about how to get best value from insurance comparison services. The most interesting piece though was on printer ink and this is one rip off which has bugged me for ages.

The show tested the official ink cartridges provided by companies like Epsom against generic supermarket ink and refillable. I’m not sure how conclusive the test was but essentially it showed what we all probably knew – there’s absolutely no difference in the quality and/ or performance of the ‘genuine’ printer ink with the cheaper alternatives. Its ink for goodness sakes, why would there be any difference!

Still people do seem to get caught out by this or buy into the designer ink lifestyle!

The problem with printer ink is its virtually impossible to get a true view of how much a printer is going to cost you over the years you own it. I’m not an expert in printing technology, in fact pretty much the only thing I print these days are Easyjet boarding passes, but my advice on choosing a printer would be simple;

  • If you print regularly, you’re best off getting a printer which has the cheapest generic ink cartridge or refills available
  • If you only print occasionally (and aren’t too worried about quality) go for the cheapest of the cheap models of printer, but make sure you can use generic cartridges in it.

And when it comes to cartridges – just buy the cheapest one which works on your printer, or if you’re a hands on type of money saver get your hands dirty with cartridge refills.

Here’s the link to watch that Rip Off Britain programme on iPlayer – the ink cartridge bit is around 30 minutes in, but the first item on comparison sites is also worth watching. Look at that, I just saved you time and money!


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