Why It Pays to Stock Up On Ink Cartridges
If you own or run a small business, or if you do a lot of printing at home with an inkjet printer, then you’ll know just how expensive keeping that greedy machine fed and happy can be! Buying ink can be costly, especially if you prefer to use the original ink to complement your printer’s brand.
Buying ink isn’t so much a recurring expense as a regular pain in the wallet, but it really doesn’t have to be if you think about your ink purchasing habits and you’re prepared to learn some new ones.
With inkjet ink, you buy in bulk-lite
You have maybe, in the past, splurged on a really good bulk deal on inkjet ink only to find that a quarter of the cartridges went past their use-by dates before you needed them. Ink has a fairly short shelf-life – it’s just its chemistry, so you need to buy just six to nine months ahead. Monitor the usage of each colour to keep spending down. If you zoom through cyan and magenta because your company branding needs it, buy twice as much of them as you do yellow and black. However, if you have a few printers at work, then you can make bulk-buying work really well for you, potentially halving your annual spend.
Once your inks arrive, treat them properly
You’re feeling a bit smug as you unpack your cheap inks from the Cartridge People website, but don’t rest on your laurels here; if you don’t look after those precious little boxes you’ll end up chucking them out and chucking money away! You need to store them in the right way.
The right way
You should store your cartridges in a cool dark room or cupboard; between 16C and 20C is ideal and you should avoid temperatures below 10C and over 25C. Fluctuations in temperature can make the ink compounds change and degrade, or dry out, and this can make the cartridge unusable and (rarely, but it can happen) could cause it to damage your printer.
You also need to keep your cartridges out of the light – artificial light and sunlight – as this can also degrade the ink. If the sun heats up the cartridge, the ink will bubble up and possibly leak. Any harsh bleaches or detergents can also affect the ink, so make sure your cool dark place isn’t the cleaning supplies cupboard!
Your cartridges should also stay in as much packaging as possible and the outer packaging should be wrapped and secured with a band. The protective packaging only needs to come off when you’re about to use the cartridge – this keeps the outside out for as long as possible. If you bulk buy, you want to make it worthwhile, right?
What if I don’t use enough ink to bulk buy?
Just because you’re a light ink user doesn’t mean you have to wince every time you pay for it! You could look at buying compatible ink or refurbished cartridges instead of originals, as this can save anything from 30-50% on your ink bills.
Alternatively, talk to friends and business associates to see if you can join with them in a bulk order, as this will drive down everyone’s cost per unit, which is no bad thing!