On Printers and Printer Ink
It’s New Year’s Day. There’s not a whole lot going on. I have a beef brisket in the oven, football on TV, and nothing on my schedule. It’s a Wednesday and a holiday so beyond football and brisket, there is not much else is going on. I’m going to use the day to catch up on things.
Today, I’m going to set up my new printer.
The other day, I ordered a printer (free delivery) to replace a 2-year-old printer that says it has ink, but prints illegible things. It’s my 6th or 7th printer. I’ve had so many I lost count. Oh, don’t worry, I don’t have 6 or 7 printers sitting around my house waiting for me to issue the print command – I only have one printer.
The rest are resting in the landfill.
Let me back up. I had no working printers at all until UPS delivered my new printer yesterday – and hopefully, when I get it set up today, I’ll have one that works. And one that is full of ink.
The printer I was using (an HP by-the-way) was two-years-old. I replaced the ink in it twice, but it was haunted. It was haunted right from the start. My travails started last week, I needed to print out a bank statement to see why the bank showed I had $61.26 less than what I had – I hate it when that happens. Much to my chagrin when I punched the print button, my printer responded by printing 4 illegible pages that looked eerily like Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Oh, Nefertiti, I do love you, but not in my printer.
Yep, I did all the usual stuff you’d guess I’d do. I ran the print-head alignment thing, I did all the “Troubleshooting” things. I ran the HP Doctor. And, of course, I checked the ink levels. The ink levels were low but not empty. I thought I’d try putting in new ink cartridges and see if that would fix things. I hopped in the car and drove to Wally World (Walmart). Yep, they’re open today, the only holiday they honor is Christmas. Happy employees, I bet.
Wally World just “modernized” its local store. This means they remodeled nothing, they just moved things around. Modernized means shuffling stuff around and getting rid of the brands and items I like so they can replace them with brands and items I don’t like – or make more room for stuff I don’t like.
To get to the point: It took me ten minutes to figure out where they moved the printer-ink section.
After sorting though hundreds of different ink brands and model numbers, I found the correct ink cartridges for my printer. And what to my bloodshot eyes should appear – the new remodeled (read “higher”) prices. The black and white cartridge was $18 and the color cartridge was $29. In my world of limited math, that equals $47 not including a 7.5 % sales tax. With tax included, even my limited math skills, I could figure the total cost was going to be slightly more than $50. For INK? REALLY?
I was standing there surrounded by printers. Some of them were selling for LESS than the cost of ink for my cheap HP printer at home. For instance this Canon Pixma printer for $29…or an HP DeskJet wireless printer for $35. And they come with ink. The same ink I am about to pay $50 for!
This was not the first time I have tossed a printer because it cost more to replace the ink than it cost to buy a new printer. Big wheels keep on turning, my mind just keeps on burning … if I spent $50 for new ink cartridges and then my printer still printed hieroglyphics — I’d be out $50.
I don’t have $50 to throw away. I left Wally World without the ink cartridges.
When I got home I decided to do some online shopping – for a new printer. After searching Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Staples, etc. I ended up ordering an HP printer from Wally World – online – for $54.73 including tax and free shipping. AND INK!
It is a much better model than the cheapie I’m about to toss. For about $4 more than it would have cost to replace the ink for my HP DeskJet 2600 El Cheapo printer, I bought a new HP 5200 series – not-so-El-Cheapo printer – complete with ink.
I removed the El Cheapo, threw it in the garage. Then I set up my new HP 5200 series printer – which promised easy 1-2-3 setup.
Ha! There was no laughing going on here.
Oh, don’t worry. I finally got it set up but only after I realized that to proceed with the printer set up, I had to turn down the “HP Smart Ink” offer that was on my screen before I could finish setting up the printer. I clicked “Maybe later” (dumb mistake) on the free offer to join HP’s “Ink of the Month” club.
Anyway, my new printer is set up and printing real words, letters, and pictures. No more smudgy hieroglyphics for me!
Instead of spending $50.53 for two ink cartridges for an old, genuine El Cheapo printer, I’m am thrilled to tell you that for $54.73 – including tax –for a brand new, not-so-El-Cheapo printer, complete with two FULL ink cartridges. And it prints pages that I can read.
Why does ink cost as much or more than a new printer?
Thanks for reading my RANT.