£6,528 per Gallon

Yesterday I needed to print a document at home. I switched on my printer, an Epson XP-950, only to see the front panel light up with an error message – one of my ink cartridges needed replacing.

The printer wanted me to replace the “light magenta” cartridge (this model uses 6 separate inks), even though I only wanted to print using black ink. I checked, and some of the other inks were getting low. I would need to re-stock – at least 4 different colours.

OK, it is what it is. Off to Amazon, where I quickly determined that the cheapest solution was to buy a complete “ink pack” for the printer. I’m not sure how long this link will remain active, but you can find it here. Just in case the link breaks, here’s a screen shot of that page:-

So the pack turned up, and this is what the container looks like on the front:-

Can you see on the bottom right corner of that label, where it tells you that it contains 10ml of black ink, 8.7ml each of dark cyan, dark magenta and yellow, then 9.8ml of light cyan and light magenta? It tells you that in total you get 55.7ml of ink. for £79.99.

But hang on a second… there are 4,546.09ml in one gallon.

So if we divide 4,546.09 by 55.7, we’d know how many of these units of Epson original in would be needed to have one gallon of ink. The answer to that is 81.617414722. More than 81 packs of ink.

But if each of those packs of ink cost £79.99, how much would a gallon of ink cost? We can multiply 81.617414722 by £79.99 to get our answer, which is: 6,528.577003591.

In other words, Epson are selling their packs of ink for £6,528.58 – per gallon.

Oh – and did I mention that Epson printers also have detectors/readers in them which can tell if you put in non-Epson ink cartridges, or if you take out an empty cartridge and re-fill it with 3rd party ink and then re-fit it. I’m not going to claim that if you do this then your printer may randomly stop working but there certainly seems to be some evidence of this happening.

So… pay Epson £6,500 per gallon for ink for your printer… or be prepared for “accidents”.