I’m from Illinois and everybody in Illinois “know’s a guy”. It really doesn’t matter what your talking about.
You broke your leg… “Don’t worry! I know a guy how can fix that."
I’m having problem’s with my car.. “I got a guy who can handle that."
My “friends” alway’s send me pictures of clowns… “Call my guy he’ll take care of that."
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I start complaining about "the printer Ink racket", and more than a few people claim “I know a guy who just buys a new printer instead of buying that F*^&!ng ink. 'cause it's cheaper”. Of course that's alway's followed by the inevitable “Call my ink guy”.
A few months ago when I heard about HP's Instant Ink program I thought to myself well that’s interesting but let’s face it I just don’t print enough to justify yet another monthly service to pay for.
If you haven’t heard of the Instant Ink program and don’t feel like clicking the link to read about it, let me summarize it for you.
HP will charge you $x.xx a month for ink. Your printer tell’s HP when it’s about to run out and they ship you more ink before you do. They have 3 plans :
$2.99 per month for 50 pages - $1.00 for every additional 15 pages
$4.99 per month for 100 pages - $1.00 for every additional 20 pages
$9.99 per month for 300 pages - $1.00 for every additional 25 pages
You can roll unused pages over to the next month.
As a family we don’t print much. When we do runout of ink it's when the kids wait until midnight to print their homework that’s due the next day. That’s when I make them drive me to Walmart (hey, they shouldn’t have waited) and I plunk down at least $75 to buy ink and I know I will have to do this again in 6 months.
When this all to familiar pattern reappeared last month I thought to my self “There’s got to be a better way”.
That’s where the Instant Ink program popped back into my head and I started to do some quick calculations. Let’s say I spend $75 a year on ink but I’m printing less than 50 pages a month I’d save myself $39 a year, plus gas, and dealing with Walmart, and having to be woken up because the printer is out of ink. Hmm maybe this is something worth looking into.
So let’s deal with your comments now :
- You know you can get ink online cheaper right? - Yes but I don’t really use the printer so that mean’s when other people in the family get the low ink message that would have to tell me or take it upon themselves to buy ink. That hasn’t happened in 15 years. I really don’t expect that to change.
- HP is garbage you should use XXXXX! - I don’t care. This isn’t a brand loyalty thing it’s a printing thing. I hate that I even have to think about this. If it were just me I probably wouldn’t even own a printer. I hate researching printers, I hate dealing with printers, I hate printers!!!! I think I spent to much time when I worked in tech support dealing with printers. I should just hit the print button and it prints and that’s all I want to think about printers.
Is it worth even looking into it :
- I'm currently out of ink.
- I narrowly avoided the dreaded midnight ink trip thanks to Grandma.
- I've got to get Sezduck off my ass about not posting in a year.
- This could be an interesting experiment at least to me.
Yea I'd say it's enough to at least look into it.
Let's run some number :
My current printer doesn’t qualify so I need a new printer. Realistically what will ink cost me today? After some research I found ink for my current printer is $63.25 on Amazon. According to the HP website these should be good for 300 pages. Look at that my printer keeps some stat's. I can tell I replaced the ink in March of this year. While I’m not sure how many pages I printed since then I can tell I’ve printed 2022 pages since I’ve owned the printer. The printer is 5 years old.
2022/5 = 404.4 Pages a year
404.4/12 = 33 Pages a month on average.
Since I’m replacing ink 2 times a year this all sounds right which means if I plan ahead and get ink twice a year.
63.25 * 2 = $126.50 a year on ink.
Since I'm averaging 33 Pages a month the 50 page a month plan should be fine.
2.99 * 12 = $35.88.
Yea but I would have to replace my printer with a special HP printer so that will probably wipe out any savings I could potentially gain (at least in the first year).
So let’s researching printers :
What do I need out of a printer? Well it has to print. The printer I’m replacing has a scanner so it’d be great if it had a scanner but it’s not a game breaker.
What’s my budget?
126-36 = $90
Well If I’m spending $126 a year on ink and go with the $36 plan and want to actually save money this year I’d have to keep in under $90
I found this
$70.49 and it’s has a scanner. I wasn’t going to mention the fax since Bill Clinton was still in the White House the last time I needed a fax, but I do find it cute so I will. $70 not bad but what’s this I can buy a Refurbished model for $53.29. Game on. I will bite the bullet and call it an experiment for the website. Printer ordered.
Printer received :
Printer looks brand new, ink, cables, so far I’m impressed for $53. What’s this a coupon for 1 month free on the Instant Ink service if I enter the code FREEINK. Wow a $2.99 Savings. Printer setup. Time to sign up for the service.
Sign up process :
Sign up is fairly straight forward address, credit card. Make sure your printer is communicating. They don’t start charging you until you install your first Instant Ink cartridge. Since the Printer came with ink I’m not really sure how long that will be before I need to install new ink. You don't think I will actually have to install the instant ink when it get's here in up to 10 days? Stay tuned and I'll let you know when it get's here.
I promise to keep you updated as I move through the process and let you know if it’s worth it or not. By my quick math I stand to save $37.21 this year $90.50 every year after that. If I never have to go to Walmart again it will be worth it.