Hidden cost of working from home: Big brands’ printer ink is more pricey per drop than Chanel No 5


Hidden cost of working from home: Big brands’ printer ink is more pricey per drop than Chanel No 5 and fine champagne with a pint costing £1,300

  • A pint of the stuff would set you back an astonishing £1,300, research reveals
  • Ink generates massive profits for printer manufacturers, Which? found
  • Savings can be made if bought from a third party, the consumer champion say 


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It is hardly considered a luxury… but printer ink is more expensive drop for drop than Chanel No 5 and fine champagne.

A pint of the stuff would set you back an astonishing £1,300, research has revealed.

Ink generates massive profits for printer manufacturers, Which? found, but huge savings can be made if it is bought from a third party.

The consumer champion said Epson sells a set of colour inks for its WF-7210DTW printer for £75.49 – equivalent to £2,410 a litre or £1,369 a pint.

The printer also requires a separate black cartridge, which Epson sells for £31.99, bringing the total cost of a refill to £107.48.

It is hardly considered a luxury... but printer ink is more expensive drop for drop than Chanel No 5 and fine champagne (file photo)

It is hardly considered a luxury… but printer ink is more expensive drop for drop than Chanel No 5 and fine champagne (file photo)

A full set of black and colour inks from a highly rated third party supplier would cost just £10.99, said Which? It found similar mark-ups with big brand manufacturers such as Brother, Canon and HP.

The watchdog said these inks are more expensive drop for drop than a 35ml bottle of Chanel No 5, which costs £62, and a bottle of Moet & Chandon at £37.99. Its survey found that over half of printer owners use only original-brand cartridges.

But they could be saving hundreds, Which? said – as five years’ worth of third-party ink can cost £165 for the average user, or £1,612 from Epson.

Ink generates massive profits for printer manufacturers, Which? found, but huge savings can be made if it is bought from a third party (file photo)

Ink generates massive profits for printer manufacturers, Which? found, but huge savings can be made if it is bought from a third party (file photo)

Ink generates massive profits for printer manufacturers, Which? found, but huge savings can be made if it is bought from a third party (file photo)

It also found that manufacturers discourage consumers from buying third-party inks and 28 HP printers don’t work with some third-party cartridges.

Adam French of Which? said: ‘We’ve found that there are lots of third-party products that are outperforming their branded counterparts at a fraction of the cost.’

An Epson spokesman said: ‘Epson offers customers a wide variety of printing options to meet their printing needs.

‘The traditional ink cartridge purchase, mentioned by Which? is just one of these.’

An HP spokesman said: ‘HP offers quality, sustainable and secure print supplies with a range of options,’ adding that some third-party cartridges can be used if they have HP chips or circuitry.



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