Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ink Jet Cartridge Refill Fail

So I've been reading about how wonderful it is to refill your ink cartridges at a fraction of the cost you would pay to buy new cartridges. Walmart sells my black + color ink cartridge combo for $47.97 + tax. $52 is a bit steep, so I decided to give the refill a try at Costco, whose refill price ranges between $7.99 - $14.

song chart memes

First of all, it's not all THAT easy. I went to Costco and was told it would take an hour. Ummmm... okay. I was hoping it would be more like 15 minutes, so I can go around the store trying freebie food samples while I waited. No problem, I'll come back in an hour.

An hour later, I was told that the refill for my color cartridge didn't work. (Grrrr.) I was charged $7.99 + tax for the black cartridge refill. Oh, and the Costco guy tried to keep my color cartridge.

Costco Dude: You want the empty cartridge back?

Shtinky: Duh, dude. I can get a $3 rebate from Staples if I do so.

Now I'm off to Staples to buy myself a color cartridge for $28.99 + tax. (I bought the cartridge at Staples for no other reason than convenience.) I recycled my cartridge and was told I'll get my $3 rebate some time before the end of the year. Great.

Once I got home, my printer recognized my new color cartridge but indicated that my black cartridge was empty. WTF? No matter what I did, it still showed the black ink cartridge was empty. *Annoyed sigh*

I returned to Costco to complain. The Costco counter dude asks, "Didn't you read our instructions?"

Shtinky: WHAT instructions?

Costco Dude: This one. [Shows me a print-out of Do's and Don't's of Inkjet Catridge Care and Maintenance that says: 'After inserting the refilled cartridge, some printers may indicate a "Low Ink" message. For help with this or other printer related matters please visit:']

Shtinky: It would've been nice if you would've given me that before I left the store.

Costco Dude: We always include it with our refills. You probably misplaced yours.

I was sufficiently annoyed that I decided to return the refilled ink cartridge for a refund. But of course, Costco kept the black ink cartridge, so I couldn't recycle it for another $3 rebate. I then went to Walmart to pick up a new black ink cartridge for $23.97 + tax.

Color Cartridge: $31.53
Black Cartridge: $26.07
Missed Opportunity to Recycle Black Cartridge: $3.00
Unnecessary Gas Usage + Mileage (Driving to and fro Costco-Staples-Walmart): $2.00 (est.)
SUBTOTAL: $62.60

And keep in mind, I could've just purchased a combo pack for $52.16 and gotten a $6.00 rebate from Staples for future ink cartridge purchases.

Total Money Saving Fail: $16.44

I could've bought couple of nice lunches or atleast 1 dinner with this lost money.

Grrrrrr... I may try to refill again in the future and see if I'll have better luck next time.


K-money said...

There has to be a better design for those things. Either the companies don't care or (more likely) they make it difficult on purpose so you have to spend money on new cartridges.

How easy is it going to be to track your rebate if you don't receive it by the end of the year?

I ponied up for a color laser printer because I was sick of dealing with these issues. High capacity cartridges last a long, long time (almost three years for my black, longer for color). I order a new one, put the old cartridge in the box the new one came in, and send it back for recycling. Easy!

Zyzzyx said...

Similar feelings here as the comment above.

I don't deal with a color printer at home, but if/when the time comes I'll be splurging for a color laser. Ink cartridges are not something I want to deal with. And in the past, with b/w printer, I've had the problem of not using it often enough and having the ink dry up and not be usable. Such fun.

MoneyFunk said...

Oh, I forget about the whole refilling ink cartridges. Just too much of a hassle.

But if you continue to do so, Walgreen's refills them too. Might give them a try.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

hilarious! i didn't know that costco did refills (i'm a new member). i see those signs all the time at walgreens but i never thought about getting the cartridges refilled.

so wait a minute ... staples sends the rebates in the mail and it can take up to 6 months? what in the world?! i usually recycle my cartridges at office depot and i get an instant $3 credit off of my purchase.

Miss M said...

I didn't know costco did refills either. I hate it when I try to save money and only end up spending more, it's so frustrating. Printer ink is some sort of scam, it can't possibly cost as much as it does.

jpkittie said...

OH no!!!! What a pain in the butt!!!

The Lost Goat said...

Ink jet printer companies' entire business model is to sell you printers at a loss and then make money on the ink. They therefore make refilling ink as difficult as possible. I have found that neither refilling nor buying off-brand cartridges is worth it; the savings are not worth the poorer quality printing and printer hiccups.

Codered said...

I'd have to agree with K-money on this one. I have to inkjets and I can only get about 100 pages out of either one before I have to spend another $50 or so to get more ink. The price of color laser printers have come down considerably over the years and they have a higher printing capacity (3000 - 5000 pages).

Matt said...

I agree with K-money. I baught refurb catridges, the color didn't work at all and the black worked for a little while then was detected as empty. Back to name brand catridges. The profit margin on these consumables is so high that I am sure they make it impossible to refurb or refill them properly.

Cartuchos de Impresora said...

in the process of recycling can always have a 5% defective cartridges.

Print Master

PrintFriendly said...

Yaiks! That was so not cool. You can try other stores. I always ask friends for recommendations. If they had a bad experience on a particular store, I surely won't be seen there. You can also try online stores.

Donna Freedman said...

Shtinky: I trade in ink cartridges at Staples, too. Thus far the lag time has been about two months or less; in fact, Abby and I just came back from Staples where I used the June rebate (actually a gift certificate) to pay for boxes for her impending move.
So maybe it won't take too long.
I've never refilled a cartridge, but am thinking about trying it at Walgreens. Anyone else had good or bad experiences doing this? And how many times can one refill before the cartridge gives up the ghost?

Anonymous said...

Refilling is never going to be as easy as buying new. However, if you are willing to learn how to take care of your cartridge and pick a high quality refill place, you can save a BUNCH! First of all, you have to refill when the cartridge is fresh (i.e. recently out of the printer). Dried out cartridges (i.e. in the trunk of your car for a week) will have much lower success. Bring them in within a few days after they run dry.

Then, all refills are not the same. Costco is by far the best solutio -- in in the market, and Walgreens is by far the worst.

If your printer still gives you warning messages, just ignore them. Your printer should still print fine.

To save 60-70% on $60-70 of ink....seems like it's worth learning the process!

Anonymous said...

[url=]where to buy Viagra no prescription no fees[/url]

[url=]web сайты знакомств[/url]
[url=]loveplanet ru знакомства[/url]

[url=]познакомлюсь с семейной парой[/url]
[url=]путаны г перми[/url]

[url=]интим новослободская[/url]
[url=]бляди магнитогорск[/url]
[url=]интим услуги барнаул[/url]
[url=]мамба сайт знакомств самый популярный[/url]
[url=]телефон секс знакомства[/url]

[url=]мама дочь проститутки[/url]
[url=]где познакомиться с геем[/url]

aamirraza said...

Refilling of printer cartridge is easy work you can save your money by doing this.

fox said...

I have been using refilled cartridges for my printer for a while now. Great blog. A very important topic. refill toner

abdul said...

I tried the common fixes and so far nothing has worked.
Black ink cartridges

print head said...

Hey that's really a great post and a wonderful description out here, I really like the way things are being executed and discussed here.

Refurbished printhead

Tricity said...

I was looking this kind of post from long.. Thanks for sharing..God bless!!
Best Cartridge Refilling

Daljeet Kaur said...

Firts of all thaks for information.This information regarding saving money as well as time.
Cartridge Refilling in Chandigarh

lola davis said...

Thanks for sharing! This page was very informative and I enjoyed it. inkjet refills Salem

Shishir Khedkar said...

Thanks for nice sharing. You can also find latest Printing technology in Printing technology has witnessed a sea change with the advent of modern printers, latest software and advanced printing methods. For more information Visit refillable cartridge

Mr SEO said...

First, make sure that there is always enough ink in your cartridge. These cartridges are sensitive and they should always be in good shape. You can monitor the ink capacity of each cartridge by looking at the label. There is usually a limit on how much ink is left in the container. This way, you can easily have it refilled or you can buy a new one.

Printer cartridge refilling in Laxmi Nagar, Delhi

Mr SEO said...

Most people deal with printer cartridges in some area of their lives, either at work or at home. The basics of an ink cartridge are fairly simple. It is a container that holds ink and dispenses ink at specific intervals to print a page.

Printer cartridge refilling in Laxmi Nagar, Delhi