The trouble with toner

by Bill Cable
on 2020-03-25, 07:59:36

Since I was about half-way through my run of Lando Skiff customs, my laser printer has been whining at me to change the black toner cartridge. And it's obviously a scam to maximize profits for HP... it asks how long it should wait to prompt me again. 100 pages? 200 pages? 400 pages? If there's even a chance the printer is gonna spit out 400 more perfectly fine pages before the cartridge needs to be replaced, I certainly don't need a warning. Especially not multiple pop-ups every single time I print!

What I typically do is look at every page as it prints, and if I notice flaws due to low toner I pull out the cartridge, shake it side to side a bit, and reprint. And I can usually get through another 20 or 30 pages like that before I need to swap in a new cartridge.

Since it's been screaming at me for a while, I decided it was probably time to get some replacement toners so I'm ready for when they ultimately fail. So I go to Amazon to the link I used to replenish last time. And I was aghast!

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NINETY-FOUR DOLLARS for a single official HP toner cartridge! That's a nine, and a four, and a dot, and two zeroes! Rounded. That's insane! To restock I'd need to spend $400!! To buy a brand new printer, exact same model, costs $489, and that includes 5 toner cartridges. So toner it would only cost $20 more to replace my entire printer than it would to buy the replacement toner. I know it was about $70 per cartridge last time I restocked. And I figured - splurging for quality... that's what good artists do. But $94 is just untenable. So I decided to look on eBay for alternatives...

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And here we find a 4-pack of compatible toner for $33 shipped. A savings of $343! The seller has 5000+ positive ratings, and 99.8% positive. So I'm confident the product is going to deliver the same quality as the official ones I've used to date. If not, I'm only out $33. And that's a risk I'm happy to take.





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