There is, much like anything these days, a few technology options when looking at purchasing a printer. In my experience, home printers are now of a very high quality (and I don’t want to be too general here) pretty much across the board.
Nonetheless, they can still have hidden costs. Lets’ look at what retailers and producers can (but don’t necessarily do) –
A printer can be undercut in price, i.e. become a loss leader. In other words, the manufacturer lowers the cost. Why? In order to then add a higher cost to all consumables. This essentially ‘price links’ all their products. With a high install base, significant returns on the initial ‘hit’ of falsely creating the lower price are possible.
So, what will your printer consume?
- Cable – $20
- Ink (colour and black) – $30 each
- Paper – $10
- Parts – $30 or more
With that and those prices in mind what can you do?
- Keep the printer clean and tidy
- Regular use should ensure continued operation
- Don’t allow objects to fall inside the printer
- Use economy – even on basic printers this tends to be a very acceptable quality setting
- Use scrap (things that have printed incorrectly etc) as note sheets
Finally, much like owning an old car, cheap or older printers can go wrong. Before you rush to the repair shop though do bear in mind that you may be able to buy a new one for the same price. By all means get a quote for a repair, but remember that sometimes parts aren’t too expensive depending on the brand.
Of course, there a number of different printing technologies available, each with their own differently layered costs, but the initial outlay for the printer tends to always be the smaller cost in the overall lifespan of the machine. We’ll look at the various technologies available in a later article.