Why People Go for Printer Ink Refills?

Last Sunday (January 23, 2011), my daugthers went to SM North Edsa Cyberzone to buy HP printer inks. My youngest needed to print something for her school requirement. Upon reaching SM North, my second asked me if we’re going to refilled inks or are we going to buy original inks. I said we are buying original inks. We are actually One HP Black ink and 4 HP colored inks.

The first stop was Silicon Valley, unfortunatey they run out of stock. So the next shop we went in to was Octagon Computer (located beside Silicon Valley). The only stock Octagon has at the time was the HP Black ink which cost PhP 650.00. We decided to buy the HP Black ink from Octagon because we thought that particular HP ink model is running out of stock.

We still need to buy four HP colored inks so we decided to visit CompLink, which is just across Octagon. We were able to get the four HP inks for PhP 470.00 each. Then my daughter noticed that the tag price of the HP Black ink was just PhP 530.00. Yes, the very same ink we bought from Octagon for PhP 650.00 was selling at PhP 530.00 in CompLink. A price difference of PhP 120.00.

After paying for the colored inks, I decided to go back to Octagon to ask why their HP Black ink is higher by PhP 120.00. The lady cashier simply said “Sir, we are simply following the SRP (Suggested Retail Price). I left Octagon in disbelief.

Now my question is simple, we are talking of HP original inks here. How can CompLink sell its ink for PhP 530.00 and Octagon is selling it at PhP 650.00. Which one is the real SRP here?

My daughters asked me “Dad who’s fault is it?”. I said “Ours. we didn’t ask around first”. Yes its partly our fault for simply trusting that since its an HP origninal product, the prices will be somewhat standard – but we are wrong.

The reason why I am writing about this incident is the fact that if the pricing of original ink are like this, I am not surprise why the printer ink refill business is growing fast – because it is really affordable. For a price of around PhP 300.00, your printer will be up and running. And even they talk about quaity or refilled ink cartridges might damage your print heads, at least you know the dangers and the risks you’re taking.

Unlike what happen with our experience, knowing that original ink cartridges are more expensive but we got it even more expensive from Octagon Computers. I think HP, Epson, Canon, Brother, Fujitsu, Fuji, Samsung and other printer manufacturers should look into their pricing scheme. There should be a ceiling somewhere in their ink pricing.

They should remember that they are not up against each other but they are up against an industry (refilled inks) that surely is a threat to their consumable products.

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