How many pages will I print from my Ink Jet Cartridge?
We get this question all the time at Ink & Toner Solutions. It’s extremely frustrating for the consumer to buy an ink cartridge and not have any information as to what they are getting in terms of how many prints they can expect to get from it. Unfortunately that is exactly what the consumer encounters when they purchase their ink jet cartridge.
After you buy your inkjet cartridge and get it home you will notice there is no information whats so ever on the box itself stating how many pages you can expect to get from that cartridge. Asking the sales rep will usually yield (pun intended) very little information. You could go on line and attempt to find what the page yield is on your cartridge, some times you can find it and sometimes you can’t. But in my opinion this is the type of information that should be spelled out on the box for all to see. Why would the manufacturers not do this?
When your looking for a new printer wouldn’t it be nice if this information was printed in plain sight right on the box in bold letters? In this way a customer could make an intelligent decision as to what printer model will best suit his or her needs.
On the rare occasion that you do find the page yield it can very misleading. Let’s say the stated page yield is 600 pages, the consumer automatically thinks, great I’ll get 600 pages. Wrong! You could get as little as 200 or 300 pages. Let me explain.
Let’s say you print a short letter with a header, one or two paragraphs and a signature. That would be considered about 5% coverage on a 8 1/2 X 11 standard sheet of paper.Here’s an example of what 5% coverage looks like:
Believe it or not this is what the manufacturers are basing the Page Yield on. There’s a few problems with this. The main one is if the page yield is not printed anywhere how is the consumer supposed to know how many pages he/she is supposed to get? If it does state a page yield it sure doesn’t say it is based on only 5% coverage. Just for this example lets say you do find out your cartridge is supposed to get 600 pages. You happen to be printing flyers that have graphics and text that covers the entire page. Your happily printing away and your cartridge runs out after printing only 200 flyers. What happened? Your page coverage is most likely around the 75% coverage mark. Of course the reaction is you got screwed, the cartridge was not full and you want your money back, good luck with that one.
If the cartridge happens to be a “remanufactured” cartridge the consumer immediately jumps to the conclusion that the refilled cartridge was not filled to capacity. Because the consumer does not have the correct information they need it causes a lot of confusion. Ink & Toner Solutions sees this all the time and for that reason we keep examples of what 5%, 10%, and 40% page coverage looks like, I’ve included images of these examples so you can see for yourself what the different coverage’s look like.
This really helps in clarifying page yield but invariable elicits the response “why the hell don’t they just put that on the box”. Good question and I don’t have an answer, other than that the boxes are too small to fit this article. Maybe that’s why?
Even though New Jersey passed legislation that requires manufactures of ink jet cartridges to display the estimated number of prints each cartridge should get they fell short in that they did not include in the legislation that they should also add that page yield is based on the 5% coverage standard. The manufacturers fall short because in my opinion they should not have to be told to add this information to their product.
If a prospective buyer only prints short notes or letters than the system works and you get what you’d expect. But what about a customer that prints a lot and completely fills each page with text or graphics? Then this system makes no sense at all. We need the manufacturers to step up and fix this lack of concern for the very people that are buying their product. Imagine any other industry not stating on the label what you are getting and how much you can expect to get out of it? How about the paint industry, right on the label it states how many square feet the amount of paint you are buying will cover, this is just common sense.
Could it be that the manufacturers don’t want the consumer to know this critical piece of information? Could it be that they make so much money on the sale of ink after you have purchased the printer that this kind of information would likely hurt them?
Even the 5% standard is a dodgy one. Different fonts can yield different page yields. For example if you took the standard 5% page coverage example above but changed the font to bold and increased the size of the font you still won’t get the stated page yield for that cartridges.
One way to get the most printing out of your cartridges is by using the Calibri font, (available with most versions of Windows from Vista and later as well as most modern versions of Microsoft Office)as it is narrower and uses less ink per character.
There’s also a company called Ecofont that has software that is supposed to save on ink and toner by printing in their own proprietary font.
As New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty said, “Printer ink could possible be more expensive than Dom Perignon Champagne or the most expensive Paris perfumes because you get less than an ounce of printer ink in those cartridges and yet sometimes you’re paying $50 for less than an ounce.”
Think about this the next time you are in the market for a new printer. Ask the question, how much does the ink cartridge cost and how many pages can I expect to get from each cartridge.
Another way to save on the cost of ink is to look into high quality remanufactured cartridges. Always buy from a reputable business that backs up what they sell with a 100% guarantee that you are getting a cartridge that matches the page yield and quality of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version. By going this route you save your self some cash and at the same time you’re helping to recycle and reuse products.
No matter where you buy your ink jet cartridges make sure to research what the actual page yield is so you can match the printer and cartridges to your printing requirements.
We would love to hear if you have run into this problem and what you did about it.
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