Christmas Eve, and following through on an idea I had six months earlier for fantastic presents, Fridge magnets and customized T-Shirts featuring smiling images of the whole family. Gifts like these would be well received by anyone blessed by them.
I’m not a big fan of inkjets, but several years ago we needed a scanner and the cheapest way of acquiring one was by buying one of those scanners with a free, built in inkjet printer. For some reason they’re sold in the printer section of the store. Knowing that inkjet cartridges don’t like sitting unused for extended periods, I didn’t install the cartridges. Until Christmas Eve 2009.
Things were going swimmingly well, with print-head alignment and test pages coming out, looking a little odd but they were very speedy drafts. A final print of a sheet of photos (well over 15 minutes to produce) didn’t come out so good. It was obvious yellow was missing. A few attempts to clean and clear the cartridge were attempted. One Christmas Eve, I decided to go shopping for a replacement colour cartridge. We’ve seen the movies. I knew what to expect.
From personal experience I can tell you that the afternoon of Christmas Eve isn’t all that crowded. Parking was bad, but not Boxing-Day-terrible. I picked the easy, undercover park that’s a substantial walk to the shopping centre, and all was good.
The plan was to check out cartridge prices, compare to new printers, and decide what to do. Turns out the inkjet pricing tactics haven’t changed since I bought the scanner. A replacement cartridge, just one of two required cartridges, was $45. A new printer, $48 (different brand). Given I didn’t know when the black was going to fail on me, I went with a new printer and fresh cartridges.
The new printer is much faster than the old one. And it came with same photo paper too. The T-Shirts could have gone down better, but the fridge magnets went down a treat.
The pricing model does seem a bit bizarre, but one thing to keep in mind is that the ink cartridge that comes with the printer is usually of considerably smaller capacity than one bought seperately. Still seems to make more sense to buy a whole printer if you are just going to use it once a year…
Whatever your printer, eBay will probably have a set of refillable cartridges for it with the appropriate ink in bottles. The process is a lot less messy than it used to be and will save you considerable amount of money.