The printer industry has its own conspiracy theory — the “razor and blades” business model. Many consumers believe big brands are deviously exploiting them by selling overpriced supplies. When ink costs as much as a basic printer, one cannot help suspecting an agenda. Fortunately, you can reduce your expenses easily by abandoning the following habits.
Failing to Research Alternatives
The primary argument in favour of OEM cartridges is guaranteed quality. All you need to do is visit the manufacturer’s store and choose a suitable product. This is a lazy way to approach ink replacement. Savvy customers look beyond this market — for example, this HP 933xl multipack costs just under £21 despite its enhanced volume.
These products are developed by independent companies. Companies like Smart Ink are not affiliated with printer manufacturers and operate on a smaller scale, which explains their highly competitive pricing.
Every compatible cartridge is designed to fit particular printers, yet it does not copy its OEM counterpart. Such products are perfectly legal and safe to use. The law does not allow printer brands to null warranties or punish customers in any other way. What they can do is prevent recognition by means of new firmware, but compatible brands also update their chips.
Independent companies collect, clean, refurbish, and refill original cartridges to sell them again with a discount. Like compatible items, the resulting products meet the requirements of international norms — look for quality marks like ISO, CE, Reach, or STMC.
Using Ink-hogging Fonts
Bigger letters and thicker lines require more ink by default. Some companies have even developed unique economical alternatives with hollow letters or tiny holes. Thanks to ink bleed, empty areas inside letters are invisible at a small size.
For example, Ecofont Sans will help you save up to 50% of ink compared to Arial. You can also use the company software to make popular fonts lighter. Within the standard range, Calibri, Courier, Century Gothic, Garamond and Times New Roman are best.
Ignoring Draft Mode
Draft mode is a special setting programming your printer to work faster and use less ink. As the name suggests, it is best for tasks that do not require aesthetic perfection. To access it in Windows, go to the Control Panel, find your printer in the hardware section and right-click for its properties.
Printing Web Pages With Ads
Many websites are overloaded with ads and annoying images. Of course, you can print an article after copying its text to a web processor. One better way to eliminate clutter is a real shortcut, so spare yourself the hassle.
The Reader mode is a browser setting. It displays pages without ads and non-essential graphics. Turn it on by clicking the corresponding icon in the address bar. If it is not there, use a Reader plugin for Chrome.