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Have you ever paused in the middle of printing out those vacation photos or the latest report for work and wondered, "How much am I really spending on this ink?" It's a thought that has probably crossed our minds more than once, especially after that dreaded low-ink warning flashes.


You might be thinking that it's just a cartridge here and a refill there. It can't add up to that much, right? Ah, dear reader, that's where things can get a tad sneaky. Today, we’re diving deep into the world of ink and toner to uncover the real cost. And trust us, it’s an eye-opener!


Now, we get it. With our fast-paced lives, it's easy to grab the nearest cartridge from the shelf without giving it a second thought. After all, what's the big deal? It's just ink, right? But here's a fun fact: did you know that, ounce for ounce, printer ink can be more expensive than some luxury items like champagne or even perfume?


But it’s not just about the price of the cartridge. Think about all those times you've printed something, only to find that it's come out streaky or faded, making you reprint and use even more ink. Every drop counts, and those costs start to pile up.


This isn’t about making you feel bad or guilty. Nope! It’s about giving you the knowledge to make informed decisions. Because once you understand the ins and outs of what you’re really spending on ink and toner, you can find ways to get the most bang for your buck and maybe even find better alternatives.


So, ready for a deep dive into the ink-well? Let's unravel the mystery behind those cartridges and toners and help you save some precious green in the process. Stay with us, and by the end of this blog, you’ll be the ink guru among your friends and colleagues!


Latest facts about the average spending of American households on ink and toner per year

The average American household spends $100 per year on ink and tonerThe average American household spends $100 per year on ink and toner
Source: Cartridge World
Source: Cartridge World
Source: Cartridge World
Source: Cartridge World


Average cost of ink and toner 

Ink Cartridges

Printer ink cartridge prices can swing a bit based on factors like brand, type, and cartridge size. On average, you'll find black ink cartridges ranging from $20 to $50, and their colorful counterparts hovering between $30 and $60.


Take the HP 61 cartridges, for instance. A standard black one is priced at $27.99, while its tri-color sibling sits at $32.99. Want something that lasts a tad longer? The high-yield HP 61XL black cartridge comes in at $41.99, and the tri-color version? A neat $49.99.

Now, when it's about cost per page, things get interesting. This depends on your printer type and chosen settings. But ballpark figures? Printing a black and white page usually costs somewhere between $0.05 and $0.10. Color pages? Those will set you back between $0.20 and $0.50.


Sources to check out:

HP's official store
Consumer Reports on printer ink
The Wirecutter's take on best home printers


Toner Cartridges


Ever noticed how toner cartridge prices can feel a bit like a roller coaster? That's because they swing depending on the brand, printer model, and if you're going for the official stuff (OEM) or the compatible kind.


Here's a quick rundown:


1. OEM black toner cartridges? You're looking at $50 to $100.

2. OEM color toner cartridges? Between $50 and $70.

3. Compatible black toner cartridges? That's more like $20 to $40.

4. And compatible color cartridges? A friendly $20 to $30.


To give you a real-world peek, an OEM black toner for an HP LaserJet Pro M404n will set you back around $55. Go for a compatible version, and it's closer to $25.

Image Credit: ClickInks


Now, let's talk the nitty-gritty: cost per page (CPP). This is basically what you're paying for each page you print. Simple math! Take the cost of the toner and divide it by the number of pages it's set to print. So, for a $55 OEM black toner that prints 2,500 pages, it's about 2.2 cents per page. Compare that to a compatible version at $25 that prints 2,000 pages, and you're down to 1.25 cents a page.


Though, keep this in mind: while compatible toners generally offer a lower CPP, many swear by the top-notch quality of OEMs. So, it's always a balance between cost and quality.


Average cost of ink and toner by most popular brands

Brand Black Ink Color Ink Toner
HP $25 - $50 $30 - $60 $50 - $100
Canon $20 - $40 $30 - $50 $50 - $80
Epson $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
Brother $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
Samsung $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
Lexmark $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
Dell $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
Xerox $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70
OKIDATA $20 - $30 $30 - $40 $50 - $70

Upon examining the pricing trends among leading printer brands, there's a clear pattern in ink and toner costs. HP stands distinct with a slightly elevated pricing structure for both black and color ink, with its range falling between $25-$50 for black ink and $30-$60 for color. Their toner cost, peaking at $100, also leans towards the pricier side.


Canon, while competitive, has its ink costs capped at $40 for black and $50 for color, while its toner pricing parallels that of several other brands, hovering between $50-$80.


Epson, Brother, Samsung, Lexmark, Dell, Xerox, and OKIDATA all exhibit a remarkable similarity in their pricing dynamics. For these brands, black and color ink prices are predominantly bracketed between $20-$30 and $30-$40, respectively. The toner costs for these brands remain consistent, falling within the $50-$70 range.


This data suggests a competitive market, especially among the latter group of brands, making it crucial for consumers to delve into other differentiators like quality, longevity, and brand reputation when making purchasing decisions.


Average cost of printers

Ever wondered about the average cost of printers in the good ol' US of A? It really comes down to the type, brand, and the bells and whistles they come with.


Inkjet Printers: Super popular for home use, these guys have an average price tag of around $100.
Laser Printers: A bit pricier than their inkjet pals, laser printers typically cost around $300.
All-in-One Printers: These multitaskers can print, scan, and copy. You're usually looking at about $200 for one of these.
3D Printers: The cool kids on the block, 3D printers whip up objects from plastic and other materials. On average, they're priced at $500.


Quick Takeaway

Whether you're in the market for a versatile all-in-one, a trusty inkjet, a high-quality laser, or the innovative 3D printer, there's a range of options at various price points. On average, expect to spend $100 for inkjets, $300 for lasers, $200 for multifunctional all-in-ones, and around $500 for 3D printers. Dive into the specifics and find what suits your needs and budget



Want to dig deeper? Here are some sources worth checking out:

Statista's report on the average selling price of printers from 2017-2023.
Consumer Reports' list of the best printers in 2023.
Wirecutter's picks for top home printers.


Average printing cost-per-page

Printers that cost $200 and above

If you're spending more than $200 on a printer, on average, you'll be looking at about 3.9 cents per page for black ink and 8.3 cents for color. That's a bit cheaper than printers under $200, where you're paying around 5.5 cents for black and 8.9 cents for color. Cool, right?


But, and there's always a "but," the cost to printing a page isn't set in stone. What can change it? Well:

1. What kind of printer do you have (like an inkjet or laser)?
2. The printer's brand and model
3. The ink or toner you're using
4. How many pages can you get out of a cartridge?
5. The paper type
6. And even the settings you choose when you print


For instance, if you get one of those fancy inkjet printers with those big ink cartridges, you might end up spending less per page than if you had a cheaper printer with small cartridges. And sometimes, even if you spend more on a laser printer upfront, it could be cheaper in the long run than an inkjet printer.


Thinking about cutting down on your printing expenses? Here are some things to keep in mind

1. Look for printers that don't cost much per page.
2. Opt for those bigger ink or toner cartridges.
3. Go with black and white prints when you can.
4. Use a lighter print setting for stuff that's not super important.
5. Try printing more than one page on a single sheet.
6. And hey, recycle that paper when you're done.


Stick with these suggestions, and not only will you save some cash, but you'll still get good-quality prints.


Printers that cost less than $200

When you're printing with these, it's around 5.5 cents for a black ink page and about 8.9 cents for a colorful one. That's a smidge more than the pricier printers over $200, but it's not going to break the bank.


But remember, the cost isn't fixed. It can wiggle around based on stuff like:

1. The printer type (inkjet, laser, and all that jazz)
2. Which brand and model you've got
3. The ink or toner you're using
4. How many pages you get from one cartridge
5. The paper you're printing on
6. And, the settings you choose for printing


Want some money-saving tips for those under-$200 printers? Here you go:

1. Consider non-brand ink or toner cartridges. They're usually cheaper and can still give you sharp prints.
2. Buying cartridges in bulk? That's a win, especially if you're printing all the time.
3. Keep an eye out for rebate deals from printer companies. They sometimes give cashback on ink or toner, and that's more money in your pocket.
4. Use your printer's eco mode. It's lighter on ink and toner, so you'll spend less.
5. Print what's necessary and think twice before hitting that print button. Oh, and if you can squeeze more pages onto one sheet, do it!


Follow these, and you'll make your wallet happier even with a less pricey printer. Cool, right?


Read: Cost Per Page - What Does It Mean?


Average cost of printers by most popular brands

If you've ever been on the hunt for a printer, you know that prices can vary a ton. Whether it's HP, Canon, Epson, or any of the other big names, each brand offers a range of options, from budget-friendly to high-end.



Ever wondered how much an HP printer might set you back? Well, the price tag can swing quite a bit based on what you're after and where you're shopping. That said, most people find HP printers to be pretty wallet-friendly.


Here's a rough idea of what you might spend on different types of HP printers:

Inkjet printers: Usually between $50 and $300.
Laser printers: Anywhere from $200 all the way up to $1,000.
Those do-it-all, all-in-one printers: They tend to hover between $100 and $500.


But, of course, there are always exceptions. You've got those fancy, top-of-the-line HP laser printers with all the cool features that might make you part with a cool $2,000. But if you're on a tighter budget, there are basic inkjet options that could cost you as little as 30 bucks.


When you're in the market for an HP printer, think about what you really need. If you're just printing the occasional document, a simple inkjet might do the trick. But if you've got stacks of reports or loads of photos to print, it might be worth splashing out on a higher-end laser or all-in-one machine.


And hey, here are some shopping hacks to snag a great deal on an HP printer:

1. Shop around and compare prices.
2. Keep an eye out for those sweet sales or promo deals.
3. Think about going for a refurbished model.
4. If you're printing loads, buy your ink or toner in bulk.
5. And always check if there are any cashback offers or rebates from the manufacturer.




Ever been curious about how much an Epson printer might dent your wallet? Well, they're kind of in the same ballpark as HP printers when it comes to pricing. The good news is, Epson printers tend to be pretty friendly on the finances, but just like any other brand, prices can zigzag based on what you're hunting for and where you're buying.


So, what's the price scoop on different types of Epson printers?

Inkjet printers: Think $50 to $300.
Laser printers: Ballpark of $200 to a grand.
Those jack-of-all-trades, all-in-one printers: Usually set you back between $100 and $500.


Now, there are always those outliers. Like, there's the high-end Epson laser printer that's decked out with all the shiny features and could cost more than $2,000. But if you're more about saving pennies, you can grab a basic Epson inkjet for around 30 bucks.


Choosing an Epson? Reflect on what you really want and what you're willing to spend. If you're just printing occasionally, a simple inkjet might be perfect. But if you're in the business of printing loads, perhaps splurge a bit on a snazzier laser or all-in-one model.


Some quick tricks to snag a good deal on an Epson:

1. Don't settle; shop around and check out different places.
2. Keep a keen eye on sales or discount offers.
3. Maybe give a refurbished model a shot.
4. If you're a print-freak, bulk-buying ink or toner is the way to go.
5. And hey, check for those sweet cashback offers or rebates from the folks at Epson.


A neat thing to mention: Epson has a rep for low running costs. Especially those Epson EcoTank printers - they're super cost-effective because of their refillable ink tanks. No more buying expensive cartridges; just fill 'em up!

To wrap up, Epson printers give you a good bang for your buck. Quality printing without making your wallet cry. Pretty neat, right?



Ever peeked at Canon printer prices? They're usually playing in the same league as HP and Epson when it comes to how much you'll spend. The great thing? Canon printers usually don't break the bank, but the cost does shimmy around based on the model, what it can do, and where you're pulling out your credit card.


Here's a quick rundown of what you might pay for different Canon printers:

Inkjet printers: Somewhere between $50 and $300.
Laser printers: Could be $200 or shoot up to $1,000.
The multitasking, all-in-one printers: Around $100 to $500.


But, remember, prices can be a little sneaky. You might stumble upon a super fancy Canon laser printer that's got all the cool gadgets and costs a whopping $2,000. But, if you're more about the basics, you can totally score a Canon inkjet for just about 30 bucks.


Thinking about getting a Canon? Ponder what you really need and how much cash you're willing to part with. A few print jobs here and there? An affordable inkjet could be your new best friend. But if you're looking to print your life's work or a bazillion photos, you might wanna lean towards a pricier laser or all-in-one model.


Some nifty tricks to grab a Canon without emptying your pockets:

1. Browse around and compare those price tags.
2. Stay alert for any sales or markdowns.
3. Think about a refurbished model; they need love too!
4. If you're a print maniac, buying ink or toner in bulk might be your jam.
5. And always, always see if Canon's giving away any cashback deals or rebates.


Fun fact: Canon printers are basically the rock stars of the printing world. Known for awesome quality and being super dependable. Especially the Canon Pixma series—they're a hit for both homes and offices, delivering top-notch prints without being all high and mighty in price.


To wrap it all up, Canon printers? It's totally worth your dime. Awesome prints, solid as a rock, and you get so much without your wallet going on a diet. What's not to love?



So, you've heard of Brother printers, right? When it comes to price tags, they're dancing in the same ballpark as big names like HP, Epson, and Canon. Most folks find Brother printers kind to their wallets, but just like any shopping spree, the cost swings based on the model, its bells and whistles, and where you're shopping.


Quick look at the Brother price range:

Inkjet printers: You're likely looking at $50 to $300.
Laser printers: Anywhere from $200 up to a cool $1,000.
Those super handy all-in-one printers: Between $100 and $500.


Of course, there's always a twist. Spot a fancy Brother laser printer? Some can reach a steep $2,000. But if you're more of a 'let's keep it simple' person, you could snag a basic Brother inkjet for a mere 30 bucks.


If Brother printers are on your radar, think about what you really need. Just a couple of prints now and then? A wallet-friendly inkjet might be all you need. But if you're thinking bigger—like endless documents and all those vacation photos—a pricier laser or all-in-one model could be your match.


A few savvy tips to score a Brother without a big dent:

1. Window shop and compare those price tags.
2. Keep an eagle eye out for sales or special deals.
3. Give a thought to refurbished models; they're cool and cost less!
4. Printing a lot? Think about bulk buying your ink or toner.
5. Check if Brother has any sweet rebate deals going on.
6. Heads up: Brother printers have this rep for being steady and keeping running costs low. Their INKvestment Tank printers are a game-changer. They use these mega ink bottles that last ages and won't make you cry when refilling.


So, in a nutshell? Brother printers are totally worth it. You get awesome quality, dependability, and a bunch of cool features without raiding your piggy bank.


Why is Printer Ink more expensive than a Printer?

Ever scratch your head wondering why printer ink seems to cost an arm and a leg, sometimes even more than the printer itself? Here's the inside scoop on that:


The Printer Money Dance: Picture buying a coffee machine cheap but then paying loads for the coffee pods. That's the printer world for you. Manufacturers might sell you a printer for peanuts, hoping to cash in when you keep coming back for those pricey ink cartridges. It's a dance known as the "razor-and-blades" strategy: lure you in with a bargain and then cha-ching on the refills.


The Art of the Ink Cartridge: These aren't just tiny tubs filled with ink. They're marvels of chemistry, loaded with high-end chemicals and pigments that make sure your photos of Grandma come out looking sharp. And the tech! They're designed to play nice with your printer without causing a ruckus.


The "Only One for Me" Syndrome: Printer manufacturers have this habit of making their ink cartridges play hard to get. Meaning, a Canon cartridge won't romance an HP printer. That's because cartridges are proprietary. This matchmaking game gives manufacturers a sweet monopoly on selling their own ink at a price they fancy.


Deep Dive into Costs

R&D Magic: Before that ink lands in your printer, manufacturers are in the lab, busy with research and development, working to create top-notch printer and ink combos.


Spotlight Costs: Those flashy ads with printers printing pretty pictures? Advertising ain't cheap, and those costs boomerang back to us.


Retailer's Share: Let's not forget our retail buddies, who add a touch of their own markup to those ink prices.


Now, the Silver Lining

While the cost of ink might have you singing the blues, there are ways to jive to a more economical tune:


Think Generic: Step aside, brand names! Generic ink cartridges don't break the bank and still bring decent quality to the table.


DIY Refilling: If you're feeling a little crafty, grab a refill kit. It’s like refilling your coffee jar but for your printer.


Frugal Printing Modes: Got tons to print? Draft mode is your friend. Less ink, more savings.


Print Smart: Every print job consumes ink, so print only when you have to. Let’s call it eco-friendly and wallet-friendly!


Armed with this knowledge and some smart tactics, you can keep your printing crisp without making your wallet weep!


Factors affecting the cost of ink and toner

Ever wonder why refilling your printer sometimes feels like paying for a small gold bar? Let's decode the mystery behind ink and toner costs:


Ink or Toner Type: We’ve got two major players in the game: the wet and wild inkjet and the cool and composed laser toner. While inkjet ink might be easier on your wallet upfront, it might guzzle more in the long run. On the other hand, laser toner is pricier but boasts a better CPP (Cost Per Page).


The Name Game: Big brand ink? That's fancy and often pricier. But there’s a plot twist - generic brands can sometimes match up in quality without the hefty tag.


Yield Power: Think of page yield as the mileage on your car. More miles (or pages) per gallon (or cartridge) might cost you more initially, but will run longer distances.


Your Printer's Taste: Just as we have preferences for brands, some printers have champagne tastes, wanting only proprietary cartridges. This uniqueness can spike costs.


Retail Touch: Your ink has middlemen - the retailers. They sprinkle a little extra on the price for their services.


Lab Goggles & White Coats: Behind that cartridge is a world of R&D. Innovation isn't cheap, and that bill often trickles down to the consumer.


Flashy Ads: Those billboard ads and commercials showcasing printers? They pile on to the ink's final price.


Supply-Demand Tango: Simple economics: if everyone's rushing for a specific ink or toner, prices might soar.


Government’s Take: Taxes, tariffs, regulations – the bureaucratic dance can sway ink and toner prices.


Currency Play: International ink shopping? Exchange rates can either be your best friend or your wallet's nemesis.


In a nutshell, while the little cartridge seems straightforward, there's an intricate web behind its price tag. Knowledge is power - and might just save you a few bucks on your next purchase!