This is a question we get all the time at Ink & Toner Solutions. It’s very frustrating for the consumer to buy an ink cartridge and not have any information as to what they are getting in terms of how long or how many prints they can expect to get from it. That is exactly what has been going on in the ink jet cartridge industry.
When you go to the office supply store to buy your ink jet cartridge 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. Sure you can go on line to research your cartridge and sometimes you will actually see a page yield stated. But really, don’t you think this is the kind of information that should be plainly spelled out on the box, of course it is.
When your looking for a new printer wouldn’t it be nice if the information about how many pages you are going to get from the cartridges that come with the printer is printed in plain site. 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 is very misleading. Let’s say the stated page yield is 600 pages, what this means is you can expect to print 600 pages with 5% coverage. Let me explain what that means.
Let’s say you print a short letter with a header, one paragraph and the signature section, that may take about 5% of the page. This is what the manufactures are basing the Page Yield on. Problem is most people don’t know this so when they read somewhere that they should get 600 pages from an ink cartridge and go home or their office and start printing pages that cover 25%, 50% or 75% of the page all of a sudden they are getting 1/2 or less of the advertised pages from the cartridge. Of course their first reaction is that they just got burnt or in the case of remanufactured cartridges such as Ink & Toner Solutions deals with, they jump to the conclusion that “refilled” cartridges don’t work as well as the originals. When an ink jet or toner cartridge is remanufactured to high quality standards it will get the same page yield as the original but the consumer needs to know what that is and what it means.
Even though New Jersey passed legislation that requires manufactures of ink jet cartridges to display 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 manufactures should also have readily available on line or in the stores examples of what this means. If a prospective buyer only prints short notes or letters than the system works. But what about a customer that prints a lot and completely fills each page with text or graphics, this system makes no sense at all. We need the manufactures 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, just common sense.
Even the 5% standard is a dodgy one, as different fonts can yield more or less page coverage per word. The picture above shows a few examples of what 5% looks like, but each one uses a different font. For PC users who want to get the most printing out of their cartridges we suggest the font Calibri (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.
At Ink & Toner Solutions we have printed examples of what the different page coverage’s look like (see the “More Resources” section at the bottom of the post for examples). When a customer ask us what is the page yield we can explain to them what this means so there are no surprises. At least now when they print they know why they are only getting 300 pages instead of the stated 600 pages, why would the major manufactures not give out this information? Could it be that they don’t want the consumer to know this critical piece of information? Because they make so much money on the sale of ink after you have purchased the printer, this kind of info would likely hurt them. As New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul Moriaty 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 next time you are looking to buy a new printer, ask the questions, how much is the ink cartridge for this machine and how many pages can I expect to get from each cartridge. One way to save on the cost of ink is to look into high quality remanufactured cartridge. Buy from a reputable business that backs up what they sell and carry’s a 100% guarantee on their products and you will get good quality that matches the original product with great savings. But where ever you buy your cartridges from make sure to remember the 5% coverage and what it really means.