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A few years ago, my husband and I found a great deal on a wireless Brother printer/fax/scanner combo (similar to this one). We’ve been pretty happy with it. I love the wireless, although it occasionally has some connectivity issues, and it’s so nice to have my own scanner for old pictures and contracts.
But when it came time that the issued ink ran out and we needed to buy new … my heart sunk. I worked at the college bookstore for 4 years and I remembered the steep prices of those tiny boxes of ink that hung behind the counter.
The whole reason we had basically stopped using a printer for years was the high cost of ink cartridges.
Well, I decided I might as well see if the prices were any lower on Amazon. And was stopped in my tracks when I saw a pack of four cartridges—all three colors and a black—for about $4.
Was it too good to be true? Well, over the past three or four years, I’ve NEVER paid more than $6 for this 4-pack of cartridges and NEVER had any problem with the ones I’ve purchased. At $4, it was worth it to me to take the risk that they wouldn’t work at all. And I’ve not been disappointed.
Now, I don’t think I would go printing pictures with these refurbished pieces. But for printing your basic forms, coupons, contracts, and whatnots, it works just fine for me.
Let’s do some cost comparison, shall we?
- If I bought the four catridges for my printer [Brother MFC-490CW] at BestBuy.com, it would cost me $54.98. At the current Amazon prices, it would be $29.44. Or I could buy the compatible cartridges for $1.46 and $1.99 shipping for a grant total of $3.45. That’s a 94% savings off the Best Buy price!
- Now, not ALL printer ink is as cheap as mine. Let’s say I have an Epson Workforce 545. I could pay $66.48 from Epson.com for the three colors and black or slightly less from Amazon. Or we could get the compatible cartridges for $21.97, a 67% savings.
How do you find these little gems? Just do an Amazon search for your printer model and the term “non-OEM.” OEM means “original equipment manufacturer.” So you are telling Amazon you want ones that are compatible, not from the printer company. (If you are anti-Amazon, you can just do a Google search and see other online ink suppliers as well.)
So … that is my most sought-after secret. No one wants to know about my old boyfriends, if I partied like a wild child in college, or the time a really cute EMT hauled me out of the Y on a stretcher only half-dressed. They just want to know how on earth I get my printer ink so very cheap.
Do you have an amazing money-saving secret?
Disclaimer: I am NOT promising that your non-OEM cartridges will work. Please don’t come after me if they don’t. But I am saying mine have always been fine.