Why is Printer Ink So Expensive?

Printer ink is so expensive for multiple reasons, including the research and development involved with creating the ink and printer companies trying to increase profits. This isn’t likely to change, and ink will remain expensive. 

This post will take a look at why printer ink is so expensive. I’ll provide you with some information on several factors related to the cost of ink. I’ll also give you some other relevant and useful information. 

Let’s jump into it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Printer ink is reliably expensive for multiple reasons related to the printer companies that manufacture it. 
  • One reason the ink is expensive is that a lot of research and development goes into getting a good blend of ink for every type of printer. 
  • Another reason is that printer companies keep printer prices down and profit more from ink in the long run. 
  • Printer ink is likely to always be expensive for the reasons mentioned above, and there aren’t many ways to avoid the high cost as a consumer. 

Why is Printer Ink So Expensive? 

Printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. You read that right – on the planet. Anyone with a printer knows that getting new print cartridges always costs more than you’d expect. Let’s take a look at why this is the case. 

One reason printer ink is so expensive is that each model printer generally requires a special type of ink. This means that printer companies need to make special ink for every printer they sell, which ups the price. 

The ink and printer companies also put a lot of research and development into ink. They aim to make a product that will hold its color and provide everything a consumer needs. This adds to the cost as well. 

Not all factors keeping the price of ink high are related to customer satisfaction and product quality. Some of them are simply because printer companies want to make more profits, and they can charge whatever they wish for the ink they sell. 

This might seem unfair, but it’s simply economics. As long as people keep buying printer ink at higher prices, there is no need for the companies making the ink to reduce the price. There aren’t many options for competition, and that keeps demand high. 

Printer companies also say that in order to keep the price of printers low, they need to keep the cost of ink high. They don’t make that much profit off the actual printers, and most of the extra cash they make comes with ink. 

You can think of the cost of ink kind of like a way to pay off your printer. The printer companies might not want you to realize that, but it’s a better explanation than saying they are just trying to reach the highest profits possible. 

Cheapest Printer Ink

If you are trying to find the cheapest ink possible for your printer, you’ll want to keep things in black and white. Black ink will be more affordable than color ink with almost every type of ink or printer you use. 

This isn’t to say that black ink is cheap – it’s still relatively expensive. It’s cheaper than color ink because there isn’t as much research and development going into making it from the manufacturer’s perspective. 

To reduce your ink costs, you’ll want to focus on printing less rather than finding cheaper ink. Some companies offer slightly lower ink costs than others, but it depends on the company and the model of the printer. 

If you can print fewer pages, you’ll save money. It’s as simple as that. This might be difficult if you need hard copies of things, but there are many ways to complete forms online and other ways you can reduce the need for printed pages.  


Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to why printer ink is so expensive. 

Is printer ink worth more than gold? 

It may sound crazy, but most estimates state that printer ink is worth more than gold. This assessment is based on how much the ink costs per ounce compared to how much gold costs per ounce. 

Is printer ink the most expensive liquid? 

Printer ink is definitely one of the most expensive liquids on earth and is up there as the most costly. When you look at how much printer ink costs per gallon or ounce, it’s much more than gasoline or other commonly known and used liquids. 

How much does the average person spend on printer ink? 

If you have a printer and use it regularly, you can expect to spend anywhere from $60 to $120 a year on ink. The variance in costs depends on what type of ink you use and how much ink you use. 

Is black ink cheaper? 

Black ink is generally cheaper than color ink. Printer ink prices vary by brand and model, but black is typically more affordable across the board. Some types of black ink are cheaper than others as well. 

Final Thoughts

Printer ink is expensive! It’s one of the most expensive liquids on earth and more valuable than gold when compared ounce to ounce. That’s pretty wild, but it’s the truth!

Printer companies can charge these high prices because people keep buying ink, and each model needs a special type of ink. But some companies say that to keep printer prices low, they need to charge a lot for ink to get by. 

How much do you pay for printer ink? What type of printer do you have? Let me know in the comments below.

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