General

Saving Money on Printing Costs

If you own a business then you are well aware of how much printing can cost. At a claimed $4,731 per gallon, printer ink is more expensive than vintage Champagne, rare whiskey or Russian caviar so saving money on printing costs has become an issue that has to be dealt with. This has been a fact for over ten years and instead of this commodity going down over time like everything else does in consumer electronics, ink prices are going up, some reports say as much as 30 percent since 2009. You can easily pay $20 to $35 per ink cartridge that may yield any where from 200 to 1000 pages, if your lucky. It’s easy to see how printing can become very expensive very quickly for business. Continue reading

HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless Review

HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless
HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless Printer

If you’ve been looking for a color printer but can’t afford the cost of a laser printer, look no future, this machine could just be the answer to your prayers. The HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless all in one printer can print, scan, fax, copy in record time and does it all with high quality results and a price tag you can live with. But wait there’s more, it has autoduplexing, 802.11 b/g, a 3.45 inch touch screen, 50 sheet automatic document feeder, and a legal-size scanner. You can get one of these for about $399.00, that may seem high to some but when you compare that price to a color laser and the supplies cost this baby is a winner.

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Is a Printer-Less Office a Possiblity?

I just read a short article in a trade magazine I get, The Recycler, asking the question is a printer-less office a possibility? Back in 1985 when I owned my first business and we bought our first computer and a printer to go with it I heard this same statement. The company that sold us the computer said that within 5 to 10 years at the most, we would be paperless! As he stated, why would you want to buy the paper, print it and then have to file and save it. Now that we have computers, you can just save it to the hard drive and that’s it.

As we all know that did not happen. Why? Industry figure Nathan Dube speculated on the concept of the paperless office in early 2012, noting that it was “a myth for the simple fact that human beings truly have an intense and emotional attachment to the printed page”. Funny, that’s how I felt back in 1985 when I was told we would be going paperless, I had a thing about holding that piece of paper in my hand. Not only that but if you are going over your financials isn’t nice to have paper in hand and a pencil to jot down ideas, notes and anything else you want as you are reading the numbers? Of course you do, try doing that on a computer. Or try telling a CPA that they are not allowed to print a hard copy of financials but will have to save everything to a hard drive or even better “in the cloud” and notice the reaction. I’ve had a number of bookkeepers and CPA’s work for me over the years and not one of them bought into this concept, period. As far as their concerned you have to have a hard copy and save it for 7 years. Yes, they do save to the hard drive and many of them now save off site in the cloud, but not one of them that I have ever met will trust in that alone, print a hard copy is their motto.

Personally, I can think of many instances when I want to print what I have on my computer, like when I’m going through my e-mails in the morning and I see something from a customer that is going to take my attention by having to call him and discuss the issue. I print it out and make whatever notes I feel I will need before calling him. When on the phone I now have that piece of paper to jot down important points that are brought up during the conversation. This seems like a small thing in and of itself but you really can’t do this on the computer, Sure you could copy & paste the email into a word doc and have that window open as you are talking and make notes on the document that way, but it’s just not the same and besides, you can’t doddle with a computer. Sounds silly but again, human nature.

How about when you have a meeting? Sure you could bring you’re laptop to the meeting and you’re document saved in Word and reference that during the meeting. But what about the other people in the meeting? Oh yea, they could have their laptop and reference the same document that you have shared on DropBox. Still leaves the problem of people wanting to take notes as the meeting progresses which is pretty hard to do on a shared document, hell everyone is going to be taking notes and doodling on the same document, this is going to get pretty messy really fast. No, in this situation the best course of action is to print out the meeting notes and pass it out to everyone so they each have a copy and they can make notes as they wish. Save a copy in the cloud, of course. When the meeting is done you can go in, revise the document, everyone can see it and most likely will print it out so that they can follow up on whatever it is that needs to be done.

This is just a few examples that I can think of where I would want that printed piece of paper. I’m sure you can think of situations that you also want a printed piece of paper in front of you. Should we be careful of how much we print? Of course, going green means a lot of things now a day’s, it’s just not CO2 pollution. Saving on paper helps to save our forest and reduces the amount of fossil fuel that is used to produce that piece of paper. Like anything else in life, moderation is key. The day’s of printing any thing and everything just because you can are gone, be careful and only print what you really need. Will we bring this to the point of being a paperless society, I think not.

To be fair there are some companies out there that have saved thousands by attempting to go as paperless as possible. In the court case of Boris Berezovske v Roman Abramovich in Britain by virtue of utilizing cloud computing technology they managed to save five million pages. Not that’s saving a few bucks in the cost of the paper itself, not to mention what it would cost to store this much hard copy material for many years.Granted this is a large case with thousands of dollars that were saved but scale it down and the same system can be used on a much smaller scale. The point is paperless is great for some applications and not good for others.

In the heyday of the printer it was not unusual to find a printer on ever other desk in large offices, this is ridiculous and unnecessary. Many larger companies have done away with this and installed one or two large copiers per floor where everyone prints to those machines. But the point is that they print, why? Because they have to. Even if the company is using The Cloud and discouraging wasteful printing, office workers are still printing but only what they need. Need is the key word here, remember human nature, we like to hold that piece of paper in our hand. I don’t think that will ever change.

So one way to help our environment is to only print what you need to and use the cloud for storing and saving everything you can. Another way you can help save our environment is to use re-manufactured ink and toner. Our specialty at Ink & Toner Solutions is the aftermarket Eco-friendly re-manufactured printer cartridge. If you do use these brands of printer cartridges, you are recycling what would otherwise end up in the landfill. The cost and resources used to make a new printer cartridge is twice that of re-manufacturing what has already been made. If you are interested in trying these high quality cartridges you can order on line at www.inksolutionsma.com.

 

 

What Is Cloud Printing?

Most people know that you can store and retrieve documents from the cloud, but did you know you can have your documents printed via the cloud, also? Thanks to the increased functionality of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, these devices have managed to become an important tool for business users. The ability to print documents from these devices is a useful feature that many users would love to have. However, most smartphones and tablets don’t come with any printing system of their own and the ones that do barely support most current printers.

Cloud printing works by giving smartphone and tablet users a way to print important documents from devices that otherwise lack the ability to print. Without any print drivers to worry about, there’s less concern about how to accommodate a multitude of mobile devices or enable support for legacy printers. Business users don’t have to be anywhere near a printer to initiate printing jobs – they can either pick up their documents at a later date or have them printed directly onto a client or associate’s printer for expediency’s sake.
How It Works
Cloud printing is an amazingly straightforward affair that’s being pioneered by efforts like Google Cloud Print. The major search engine giant has been hard at work for years pushing this technology to fruition, leading up to its launch back in late January 2011. Similar to other solutions that are soon to follow, it works on all mobile devices and it utilizes APIs (Application Programming Interfaces, like when you share something on Facebook without being on Facebook’s site) to collect data on custom print options.

The key to this technology’s potential success lies in its simplicity:

  1. Files to be printed are uploaded via an Internet connection onto a cloud computing service that facilitates printing (such as Google Cloud Print).
  2. Using a web-based application, the user initiates a new printing job for documents pushed through that cloud service. A wide assortment of options and special features are available, depending on the API.
  3. The printing job is sent from the cloud service to a cloud aware printer, where the printing job is completed. Non-cloud printers must rely on information sent via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or wired LAN connection to a print server or the printer itself. Jobs can also be sent through a desktop properly connected to a printer.

 

Technical Issues
The technology works best with cloud-aware printers, a new breed of printers that would make it much simpler to print documents directly from cloud share, if they currently existed. In the meantime, users must send their printing jobs through ordinary printers connected to a Wi-Fi connection or an on-location desktop networked to a printer. That means your printer has to be configured correctly for reliable, guaranteed printing.

Some people wonder why business users simply can’t fire off an email and let the recipients on the other end handle the printing. Time is of the essence and every minute counts in intense business situations, so having a quick and sensible solution to common issues is the key to enjoying success. Cloud printing promises to help make it easier and more convenient for business users to get things done even when they’re away from the office.

For an average home user, you can bet this will change our thinking about when we can print something. Haven’t you been somewhere and you find something on your smartphone that you wish you could print so you don’t forget about it? Instead of doing that you’ve waited until you got home instead and looked it up a second time just so you could print it out? Those days may be gone, with this new technology printing anywhere in the world has become a reality.

Can’t find Aftermarket Cartridges For Your New Printer?

color-ink-384867__180If you like the idea of using aftermarket or re-manufactured ink or toner cartridges in your printer and have been doing so for years, there’s nothing more frustrating than buying a new printer and finding out there are no aftermarket supplies for it yet. Why is that? The answer is pretty simple, greed on the part of the major printer manufactures.

Here’s what happens, each year the  printer manufactures need to come up with new models to please the masses, this in and of itself is good and it’s how business is done. Consumers want bigger and better, it’s just the way we are. All of the big players in this field like HP, Canon, Epson and Brother make huge profits on selling the ink and toner for their machines, that’s no secret. They want to keep that market all to themselves  they will sell some printers at a loss or break even knowing that once you have their printer you are now locked into buying their ink, period. The one place that they can lose market share is through the re-manufacturing industry so they have to try and find way’s to disrupt the flow of aftermarket ink and toner cartridges.

The best way for them to do this is by inventing new cartridges, chips, software and ink that their new printers will use. OK, so you ask how would this disrupt the re-manufacturing industry, simply, we now have to reverse engineer these cartridges before we can re-manufacture them and they know that. This presents a slew of decisions and problems that we the re-manufacturing industry have to solve before you the consumer ever see a re-manufactured cartridge on the shelve.

The first is will the printer be a hit or a bust? Imagine if we spent hundreds of hours on reverse engineering cartridges for a new printer, creating the inks, collected enough empties to start production and then find out the public just did not like the product and decided not to buy. All of that time and money is wasted. So one of the holdups for us is keeping an eye on who the winners will be and who will be the losers, this takes time.

Next, the ink or toner that many of these new models use has just been formulated so they to have to be reverse engineered in such a way that they meet all of the specifications of the original without infringing on any patents held by the parent company. Again before spending thousands and thousands of dollars we need to be certain that there will be enough demand for those particular cartridges. Once we know that, the ink manufactures will figure out the formulation and start mass producing the ink and get it over to the manufacturers.

But even with all of these hurdles, believe it or not the most critical part of this puzzle is getting our hands on enough empties to meet the demand. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufactures) know this and know that this is the weak link in the process. If they can stop or curtail the supply the re-manufacturing industry would grind to a standstill. So what have the OEM’s done? They have implemented all sorts of programs and legal barriers to prevent or make it very difficult for us to get the empties we need! They are basically trying to strangle us by preventing us from getting the raw materials we need, and I thought we lived in a free enterprise system.

HP has made a global effort to remove as many empties from the marketplace under the guise of recycling. Since they started this campaign they have been very successful in keeping millions of cartridges from being re-manufactured. Now the difference between recycling and re-manufacturing is huge. What HP has done is built a huge facility that uses tremendous amounts of energy breaking these cartridges down into their different components with some being used in the production of cartridges but most just being melted down to make something else. It has been proven that re-manufacturing uses much less energy than what HP is doing. Also by re-manufacturing the product is being reused for it’s intended purpose which saves time, money and resources. HP should be ashamed of how they are deceiving the public. If they really wanted to help our environment, they would collect there own cartridges and re-manufacture them and sell them back to the public at a reduced price. We all know that will never happen.

Lexmark has brought to court and won on a little known law about how and when someone can use a printer cartridge for re-manufacture. In a nutshell any manufacturer can use a toner that has been used once in the United States as raw material for production. But if the same toner was used once offshore he can’t use it and could face huge fines by Lexmark, you can read about it here. Our industry collects empties from around the world that feeds our industry and then in turn pass on the savings to the end user, you the consumer. The only reason Lexmark dragged this law out of the closet is they are desperate and need to find and use any and all means available to them to try and stop us. The sad part about this whole story is that the courts are backing them up. To add insult to injury, Lexmark is asking that the offending parties buying the empty cartridge pay what the cost of the toner would have sold for here in the United States in a retail store! Here’s what that means, let’s say a toner sold for $150 in Staples. The re-manufacturer has been paying $3 for that empty cartridge, then he has to put it though the process of re-manufacturing and then sell it for a profit. The middle man gets it and then sells it to the retail operation to sell to the consumer at a reduced price compared to the original, let’s say for this example it would sell for $99.99.By Lexmark asking that the re-manufacturer pay the OEM price of $150, he just put that person out of business. This is free enterprise? Laws like this should be removed from the books or modified for modern times, this is insane. Our government talks about creating jobs and then we see this type of behavior.

Epson has sued and won using basically the same strategies, US business’s can only use empties that are acquired in the United States. Again the only reason businesses would do something like this is they are very concerned about the inroads we as an industry are making. We are taking market share and they don’t like it, but as the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. Using these tactics will in the end backfire and not work.

The consumer has spoken and they are saying they are sick and tired of paying so much for printer cartridges. We are listening as should the OEM’s. They know our products work and if they had any sense they would jump on the band wagon and re-manufacturer their own cartridges and make some money off of them in stead of just shredding them or spending millions of dollars on legal cost trying to prevent our industry from providing the consumer with an alternative.

We at Ink & Toner Solutions keep a list of ink jets and toners that are in R&D. As our customers ask for these items we explain to them the process and then put them on a list so we can inform them as soon as their cartridge model comes on line. Our customers like the savings but more importantly they understand that they are also doing their part in helping save our planet by using recycled products. Hell if you can spend less money, get the same quality as the original product and help to recycle at the same time, why would’t you do it?

We would love to hear your comments on this situation. Have you run into this before? Did you find a solution?

Click The Link Below To See If We Carry The Cartridges You Need. If You Don’t See What Your Looking For Contact Us.

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How Do I Fix a Paper Jam?

 

We all own printers and we all have run across the annoying paper jam that always seems to happen at the worst possible time. So how do you fix the jam and what in the heck causes paper to jam? In this post we are going to look at those questions and try to give you the information you need to prevent or fix a paper jam without having to call in a printer repair tech that is going to charge you anywhere from $80 an hour up to $180. Continue reading

Can an Ink Cartridge explode in your printer?

Here at Ink & Toner Solutions we hear this all the time: “my inkjet cartridge exploded in my printer and there’s ink all over the place!”

Can an inkjet cartridge “explode in a printer”? The simple answer is No. Period. It’s just not possible. Let’s start with the way a print head is built: Continue reading

Customer Service Lesson

Picture this, I walk in to a car dealership one day to look around and see if there’s a car on the lot that might interest me. Standing there looking around and here comes the sales associate that will be working with me.  He asks me how I’m doing and we do the normal small talk for a few minutes and then I’m asked what I’m looking for. He seems very nice and say’s he believes he has a model that will be perfect for me. He walk’s me over to where the car is. It looks real nice, right color, right model and the price seems to be just about what I think I can afford. He proceeds to tell me what’s under the hood and the options the car comes with. You won’t believe what happens next! Continue reading

Are On Line Return Policy’s Good or Bad?

Ink & Toner Solutions is in the business of selling eco-friendly remanufactured ink and toner cartridges in Northampton, Ma. We have been doing it now for 9 years and we have a very easy to understand return policy. Our ink & toner products carry a one year warranty  from date of purchase. Your cartridge is defective, we replace it, bought the wrong cartridge, we trade it for the right one, the cartridge you bought for the printer you had just died, bring it in, we will either give you store credit or refund the cost of the cartridge. No gimmicks, no small print, no hidden cost, 12 month warranty, period. Now lets look at typical on-line return policy’s. Continue reading

Salespeople Etiquette!

 

There are a few things to get straight about my job: I love sales but not selling and I really hate salespeople. I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman at an expo tabletop event hosted by a local chamber, whose type you might have already met. He coiled and attacked the second I gave my friendly hello (I was tired and read to just meet fellow businesses, not be sold.) Not a good start. He had on a full suit and in 30 seconds told me about every disease and industry report to back up his holistic product claim- of which there were at least 25 to listen to…I was drowning and he was bombing. The only was I could escape- and at this point it was considered escape- was to grab his card and say “Thanks I’ll check out your website.” Continue reading