Who sells the cheapest printer ink?

by , Technology Researcher Apps 21/08/2011
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Some of us are reluctant to use the third-party ink, but buying OEM (original equipment manufacture) ink can get expensive. To help you save money we checked the prices at 9 different online stores at 5 times throughout the year just to see who is selling at what prices. You can see the results in the graphic above.

Who sells the cheapest printer ink?

Amazon.co.uk proved the cheapest by selling at 24% less than the average price, followed by Cartridgepoint at 18% below average. Online retailers were the cheapest overall, but generally buying online is a guarantee of a good price.

Who sells the most expensive printer ink?

Despite shopping online being cheaper in general, Comet’s online store had the worst record with printer ink selling for a massive 26% over the average price. Argos’ website and Currys were next but, at 9% each, were some way cheaper than Comet. On average, printer ink on Comet’s website cost nearly 50% more than on Amazon.co.uk!

Who sells the cheapest printer ink on the high-street?

With the exception of Comet, shopping online proved cheaper. But for those who prefer shopping in store, the cheapest we found was PC World. Its prices were 7% over the average price. The most expensive high-street store was Currys at 9% above the average price.

For more advice, read our free guide to how to save money on printing.

87 comments

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Fiona

My Epson is very fussy when it comes to compatible cartridges but I now buy them online from Inkredible at http://www.inkredible.co.uk/ and I haven’t had a failure yet.

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Jeff

I use an Epson Stylus DX5000 at home, and that too is fussy with compatibles, i simply wont pay for original cartridges as they are a rip off!
I found a supplier online, and decided to phone them, they explained to me that some compatibles have bogus chips / or outdated chips installed on the cartridge itself which will supply the printer with error messages. These guys were brilliant, very quality conscious, and they actualy took the time to explain things to me. And great prices, i know use them for all the printers in my office! http://www.inkjets-toners-cartridges.com/

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Claire D

Wow! It’s incredible to see so much heated discussion about printing, I thought I was alone in my worry about printing costs.

I have been going to a local family run business in Aberdeen (Printerwise) for 9years now since they opened and have always received friendly and appropriate advice. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I’ve saved at least a grand using their services, having the right printer and cartridges has made a huge difference.

They provide 100% guarantee quality products and do all of their own research on printers in the market…I have NEVER had a problem with any of the products they have provided!!

They inform all of their customers how to calculate the value for money you receive on cartridges as this is dependent on the amount of ink you get in a cartridge…most manufacturers don’t give you this information – they do, even if you don’t buy from them!

Check out their website http://www.printerwise.com to find out more – they have saved me a small fortune, they can do the same for you :D

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jac

Nice self-penned advert.

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joy

I’ve used IJT cartridges for years without too many problems – apart from it saying the ink is running out when I’ve just installed a new cartridge – now my Canon MP470 keeps telling me the printhead is not installed when I put in a new colour cartridge. I’ve tried three different ones that all have the same code number and look identical to the old one but each time I get the same message yet when I put the old, empty one in it prints (in black, but at least it prints). I saw a previous message that advised taking out the printhead but I can’t identify it – and anyway why would it work with the old cartridge? Can anyone help, please? I’ve got at least half a dozen black and 3 colour cartridges so I don’t want to buy a new printer and waste them. I’d be really grateful for some help.

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johnboy

I would take all the cartridges out and clean the printer and try a canon reset. If you put canon printer reset into google for the MP470 do that and you should be printing in no time.

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Janet

my hp 2575 is doing exactly the same as the canon above! I have used compatibles for ages, often from Asda , then recently I pur hased some from Tesco and then when I kept getting error merrages purchased some on line, and am still having problems. Would cleaning and resetting the printer help – or is there anytthing else I can try?

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Gus Nunes

I have a HP Photosmart B110a. I am forced to put new ink cartridge into the printer although I am not getting any ‘low Ink levels’. On checking the ink levels via the printers own ink level tool, It shows that there is still a small level of ink in the cartridges. Because the printer is out of warranty HP will not deal with this problem. Any remedies to my problem?

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John Potsey

I no longer buy catridges, you can can buy complete & I mean compleat refill kits right down to the rubber goves to keep your hands clean when refilling your catridges colour & black & white &at a fraction of the cost of new catridges all it took me from start to finish was 9 minutes & they were ready to use imediatly , they even have instuction videos to show you how
The address is intecshop.co.uk

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Geoff

I have used inks from internet-inks for a couple of years now. I’ve had 2 or 3 cartridges that haven’t worked and unfortunately not had much response from the suppliers when I’ve queried this. On the other hand, for my Epson SX415 with its 4 colours I buy 2 complete sets plus 2 extra blacks for £21 (this was last August) so will carry on using them. Until you have replaced all existing cartridges you might find some ‘not recognised’ signals so probably better to go the whole hog and and dump the originals all at once.

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pgw

I have just bought my duel Lexmark pack, no..14/15.. cost £48.00
Why are these so much?

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D Symes

Which has published many articles on printers and ink economics but has never mentioned CISS (continuous ink supply systems) available for many printers. I have been using ‘Fotorite’ for 2 years (on a HP C309G) and estimate well over 90% saving with no worries over cartridge replacement or messy filling

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T1tone

I recently bought the all-in-one HP Photosmart 7510 and after using it for several months for just a very reasonable (definitely not excessive) amount of A4 printing I am horrified at the amount of ink it is “drinking”! Up to now I have been using genuine HP replacement cartridges, but I have already spent more on them than the printer cost new – so, well done HP your strategy has worked up to now! This is a far worse performance than my defunct 12 year old Epson delivered – I am very disappointed with this HP Photosmart 7510 and I really cannot see how it came out well in the Which tests – my faith in Which has been as badly dented as my wallet! Can anyone recommend a good non-OEM replacement cartridge supplier to me before I need to take out a second mortgage to run this overrated HP machine?

We’ve recently changed our tests after running some investigations into the ink used by printers to clean their print heads. We’re just starting to see results.
These new tests capture some of the additional ink use experienced when leaving time between print jobs. For more on our investigation go to:
http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/computing/how-much-ink-does-your-printer-waste/

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Jack

It seems people don’t really understand why some cartridges are expensive and some aren’t. Epsons and cheap as they’re just a bit of plastic with ink inside, majority or Lexmark/HP/Canon etc have ink cartridges that have the ‘print head’ attached to the cartridges, this is the expensive part, hence the price of the cartridges. The Epson printers have this built in meaning once it’s gone, you can’t fix your printer but they tend to last for years. The bad thing is that Epson printers if not used frequently will dry up and that’s when you start printing lines appear, and worse cases are the in-correct colours. By using a printer that has a printhead attached to cartridges means 99% of issues are fixed by just replacing the inks. I only purchase inks from http://www.inkcartridgesfast.co.uk as they have the cheapest ink cartridges.

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KEVIN

I’m in the process of buying a new mono laser printer (Samsung a Samsung SCX-3405W and it really is difficult to find reliable information on what level of ink is in their starter toner. It strikes me that printer manufacturers should be required to be more informative about their print cartridges/toners when selling printers. After all a printer is no good if it runs out of ink pretty soon after buying.

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Kola

Interesting stuff… another thumbs up here for http://www.inkredible.co.uk Since first buying my Canon inks a few years ago for the 520/521 range I’ve never encountered any issues, and delivery is quick too. Now buying for the PGI-525/CLI-526 range, they remain as good as ever!

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Frances

I’d like to suggest that WHICH? should offer a check list to find out what people are looking for in a printer [or, of course, any other product]. Price range; clear printing of type; good photo colour; quick printing; quietness; cheap printing; good scanning; wi-fi; etc, all the possibilities. Then their computers could instantly offer names of the half-dozen printers that best match what you actually want. It would save people – specifically me! – a lot of time hunting through unsuitable articles.

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David Tennant

I keep away from none OEM cartridges but refill an OEM one monthly with a syringe before it has chance to run dry. The current black cartridge is 18 months old, the colour one is 30 months old.

I use Snapfish for most of my prints but if I want to do some editing/enlargement then thats when I buy a new OEM colour cartridge. Tips: Try to avoid cleaning/purging in situ as that can lead to ink dripping from the printer or messages saying the collector is full. Instead either use an overarm throwing action or a device that blows air into the filler hole.

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Jack Greer

I used to buy my ink from Tesco but it is so expensive so I now buy my ink from GlobalApe.com who I think are the cheapest ink seller and have very good service. So I recommend them to all!!!

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Simranjit Singh

Nice and informative blog.

I used to buy my ink from cartridge specialist.com the leading ink suppliers in Australia, who I think are the cheapest ink seller and have very good service. So I recommend them to all………

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InkforOffice

That is for sure that we can get better printer ink prices online rather then buying it from a store, your facts are interesting, which guides the users to buy cheapest printer ink cartridges. Great work!

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Dougie

BEWARE of buying an EPSON PRINTER as they have now introduced software in their printers that will not allow generic ink cartridges to be used..

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Bri

I went off Epson for that reason some years ago! Now using a Canon Pixma MG5250, with Inkredible compatibles. No trouble ever. You can remove, inspect and replace a cartridge without getting rejection messages and they indicate correctly on the icons.

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daniel007

I am in the process of buying a new laser printer Brother HL-5470DW Laser Printer and it really is difficult to find reliable information on what level of ink is in their starter toner.

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