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Is a cheap printer always the cheapest option?

When you make a purchase, it doesn’t always just cost you money at the time – our latest blog gives one instance, when there’s more to think about than just your wallet right now.


Hello there – Zarte again. Yes, a bit like a rash, only without the itching.

I’m going to make a revelation here. Seriously – I’m going to rock your world to the very core. OK, I’m not, but here goes. When a business gives you a quote with a variety of options, they hate it when you just go for the cheapest base price.

There. I said it. Aren’t you amazed? Don’t you feel you’ve learnt something new? Of course you don’t. You think that’s an obvious point to make, and businesses will always want customers to go for a more expensive option.

Well, OK, for sure – businesses want to make as much money as they can, but they also rely on customer satisfaction, and quite often a customer will make the cheapest investment they can, only to be dissatisfied with the result later, meaning not only do we take less money, we also get the blame! In no area of our business is this more true than when we’re selling printers.

Why printers, you may ask? Well for a very simple reason – with a computer, whilst it may break down and need repairing from time to time, what you buy is what you get. You don’t need to buy other things to make it work, unless you want extras to make it work how YOU want to – in which case, you probably should just have gone for a different option in the first place. However with a printer, it’s never going to work unless you buy ink / toner for it.

See, the companies that make printers know exactly this, and it’s how they make their fortunes. Because a printer is a one-time purchase. You buy your printer, and until it dies, that’s your lot. But the cartridges need replacing. And printer ink is, genuinely, one of the most expensive liquids in the world. And if you buy a cheap printer, it tends to be even more expensive, because having got you with the cheap printer, the companies then have to rip you off with the cartridges to make their money. In essence, your cheap buy, is outweighed tenfold by having to pay through the nose to keep it running.

This is why, when you’re purchasing any product, but especially printers, you should look not only at the initial outlay, but at the running costs – which is something that we do with our printer quotes as standard. If you’ve seen a printer you like, work out how much you’re likely to use it, the cost of the cartridges, the number of pages you’ll get out of each cartridge, and then work out your real cost over a five-year period.

See, companies trying to sell you a more expensive option aren’t ALWAYS just being money-grabbing opportunists. Sometimes they’re trying to save you money in the long run and build up a good trust relationship with their customers. So... maybe I did make a revelation after all? Might be food for thought the next time you’re making a purchase.

Oh, and by the way! We're running a great promotion on printer cartridges this month: for every cartridge bought you get an entry into our prize draw to win a Virgin Experiences voucher worth £75! The more cartridges you buy the better you chance of winning so why not ask us for a quote now?

What do you think? Have you got a faithful old printer that’s done you well for years? Or have you got a horror story of your own? Get in touch and let us know – we always like to hear from you.

Until next time,