Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing

 
 
By M. David Stone  |  Posted 2008-02-05
 
 
 

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Pick a Printer by Price

Faced with a choice of two printers, both of which give you acceptable speed, quality, paper handling and other features, it may seem obvious that the less expensive printer is the better bargain, but that's not necessarily true. If the more expensive printer has a lower cost per page, it may be the less expensive choice in the long run.

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Pick a Printer by Price

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Pick a Printer by Cost Per Page

Don-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Pick a Printer by Cost Per Page

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Ignore TCO

Picking by initial price on the one hand or cost per page on the other can be summed up as ignoring TCO (total cost of ownership). Yes, it takes time, energy and work to figure out the TCO for each printer you-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Ignore TCO

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Focus on the Cost of Cartridges

When you consider consumable costs as part of your buying decision, don't just compare the cost per cartridge. What matters is the cost per page -- the cartridge cost divided by the number of pages it prints. If a cartridge prints enough pages, that shockingly high price for the cartridge will translate to a low cost per page.

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Focus on the Cost of Cartridges

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Focus on Toner Cost Only

Don-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Focus on Toner Cost Only

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy the Cheapest Cartridge: Lasers

For printers you already own, you may have a choice of cartridges, with higher-capacity cartridges costing more. For lasers, the less expensive cartridges may look like a bargain, but here again it-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy the Cheapest Cartridge: Lasers

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy the Wrong Cartridge: Ink Jets

Choosing ink jet cartridges can be tricky, because cartridges have a shelf life and nozzles can clog, forcing you to throw out the cartridge. If you print every day, the best deal is probably the most expensive cartridge. If you often go without printing for days or weeks, the least expensive cartridge may be the better choice.

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy the Wrong Cartridge: Ink Jets

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Use Third-Party Cartridges

Some third-party cartridges offer a lot more than others, but in too many cases they aren-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Use Third-Party Cartridges

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy a Cheap Ink Jet for Color

Getting an inexpensive ink jet to supplement a monochrome laser is one way to get inexpensive color, but the price for color lasers is getting low enough that you may be able to pay the same price to get both the monochrome performance you want and color in a single color laser -- especially after you consider the laser-

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Buy a Cheap Ink Jet for Color

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Outsource What You Can Print Yourself

More and more color lasers today offer output quality suitable for marketing materials such as trifold brochures and one-page glossy handouts. If you try to save money by buying monochrome lasers and outsourcing this sort of material for small quantities (and high prices per page), it may be costing you more than buying your own color laser and printing it yourself.

Penny Wise, Printer Foolish: 10 Ways Not to Save Money on Printing - Outsource What You Can Print Yourself

Rocket Fuel