Loss Leader, Money Maker

Does anybody print anything anymore? I ask that because there is still a large section—at least two racks—of printers for sale in the average big box store. Most of these printers have evolved into all-in-one machines that scan, copy and fax as well as print, but there seems to be no end to the variations of models and brands of these machines out there. And they keep making them. And I wonder why. I have several printers in my network, two are all-in-one (or should that be all-in-two) and one is a general inkjet and one is a photo inkjet. I rarely use any of them.

All of my photos are digital and I don’t use actual photo albums anymore, so I don’t print pictures often. I rarely have a need to print a document at home; sometimes, but not often. So, why do I have all these printers? Well, one was included in a camera purchase so it was free. One I bought for work, but after a while I didn’t need it at work anymore. The other I got to help with my mad scanning project to digitize all my old photographs. But have them, I do and I do occasionally use them. I guess I must because I just had to buy new ink cartridges.

For more than $100!

Now, I am no spend-thrift and nor am I a miser. I buy that which I need and sometimes what I want and I am not afraid to spend money on some things. But seriously, $100 for ink? It occurs to me that the relatively low price for the device now makes sense. We paid something like $200 for what is essentially a top-of-the-line dev ice—which seemed like a steal at the time—only to have to pay significantly more to actually use the fool thing.

To paraphrase Leo Getz (ne. Joe Pesci) they get you coming and they get you going. You think you’re getting a good deal and then you find yourself out of ink and it costs almost as much as a new printer to get the ink to use it.

It’s almost as bad as these new online games. You have to pay something like $40 to buy the actual program, then you have to pay anywhere from ten to 25 dollars a month to actually play the fool thing. It is a rip-off, which is the main reason I no longer play video games (that and the fact that I get bored by them too easily).

A hundred dollars…it still makes me shake my head. Granted, I bought the “extended use” cartridges so we would not have to replace them as often, but still, it is WAY overpriced. I can only imagine the markup on them. Probably 1000% or more. For that much money, the printer should not only print the document, it should edit it, spell check it and correct the grammar for me.

I understand the principle behind the pricing. The printer is actually a “loss leader,” a device sold at a loss in order to compel the purchaser to buy the accessories at a significant markup. This is where they make their money…on the ink and specialty paper.

I will get over it, I’m sure. And I know there will come a time when I will need to print something and I will be glad I have ink. I just wish I didn’t have to pay through the nose to do it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Loss Leader, Money Maker

  1. Ha! That’s I buy ink at DollarTree and refill my printer cartridges at home.

    For photos, on the very rare occasion we want actual prints, I google up a coupon for SnapFish or wait until one of the drugstores has a loss leader.

    Like

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