Ink Subscription Plans

Here is a question that I get often. Should I do the ink plan when I buy a new printer? If you are not familiar, most printer manufacturers now offer a plan to keep you supplied with their ink. They will monitor your printer and automatically send new cartridges when your current cartridges are running low. They typically charge you an amount monthly like $3, or something similar to cover the cost based on your usage. 

This can be helpful since you can actually budget your ink usage and not have to shell out close to $100 when your ink finally runs out. It is also nice not to have to worry about ink and it just shows up at your door. But there are a few things to consider before you actually go down this road.

 Once you sign up for these plans, you CAN’T just go to the store and purchase ink if your supply doesn’t arrive in time or if you get a defective cartridge. You can only use the ink that they supply. I had a customer that had this happen. His current cartridges dried up because he hadn’t printed anything in a while, so he decided to just run to the store and buy some ink. His printer would not accept the store-bought ink even though it was made by the printer manufacturer. He had to wait for his shipment from the manufacturer.

You must keep your printer connected to the internet to use the ink plans. If you disconnect from the internet and use the USB connection your printer will not work.

If you cancel your plan, the cartridges you currently have will not work. You have to go to the store and buy ink. All ink plan cartridges belong to the manufacturer and the empties must be returned to them.

There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons to these plans. If you do a lot of printing, you should buy a laser printer. The cartridges for laser printers last a lot longer so you will run out less often and you should have plenty of time to purchase more when your printer notifies you that the cartridges are low.

Another newer option is the “tank” printers that don’t use cartridges. Instead, they have a tank for each color ink, and you just fill the tanks from ink bottles which are a lot less expensive. This seems like an efficient way to do this. I have seen a few instances where the tank gets clogged and this can be a hard thing to fix, but this is not a common problem. 

If you need a new printer and just have questions about what brand or what type of printer to buy, call me and we can discuss it. There is no single answer. It depends on your needs and your usage.