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While the world may be becoming increasingly digitalised, all businesses still rely on a great deal of printing to keep their day to day operations functioning. Whether it’s for marketing or for various other documents, printing is a necessity for any small business owner. As such, finding the right ink for your printing needs is paramount, and yet most business owners know little, if anything, about how to judge the quality of the ink they are purchasing. Without knowing everything you need to know about what kind of ink cartridge your company needs, you could be wasting thousands of dollars. Below we go through three basics of ink cartridge shopping so that you can start purchasing them smartly and cheaply.

Clone Inks

Have you ever wondered why printers are so cheap, but ink cartridges are so expensive? It’s not because printers are cheaper to produce than ink cartridges (in fact, the opposite is true), it’s because many printer companies are willing to take a loss on selling you a cheap printer because they know they can make more money by forcing you to buy overpriced ink cartridges over the life of your printer. One way to get around this is by purchasing what is called clone ink. Clone ink contains the same ink that brand name ink cartridges contain, but at a fraction of the price. While some alarmists will tell you that it is dangerous to subject your printer to an ink cartridge not specifically approved by your printer’s manufacturer, this is often nonsense. Clone inks are a great way to get around the juggernaut many printer companies currently hold on the ink cartridge industry, and will potentially save you thousands of dollars. A word of warning, however: using an ink cartridge that is different from your printer’s manufacturer could void your warranty, so it is best to only use clone inks on older printers that you don’t plan on keeping for very long.

Why buying in bulk isn’t always a money saver

Buying ink cartridges in bulk is often one of the first ways small businesses save money on their printing needs. After all, buying bulk can decrease the per unit price of ink cartridges dramatically, thus saving you time and money as opposed to buying ink in smaller quantities. So what’s wrong with bulk buying? The ink in your cartridge is an organic material and, as such, it has a limited shelf life ranging from one to two years depending on whether the ink you are purchasing is remanufactured or not. If you go through a lot of ink quickly, then go ahead and buy in bulk. For many small businesses, however, their printing needs aren’t quite as great as large companies’ are. For these small businesses, buying ink in smaller quantities is often the best decision financially.

Ink Quality

Aside from making sure your ink is fresh, there are a couple of other actions you can take to make sure you are maintaining the quality of your ink. Printing at least once every week is a good method for maintaining quality, and for most businesses this shouldn’t pose a problem. Cleaning your printer regularly, however, is something that does often get overlooked. By maintaining a clean printer, you also help extend the life of your ink cartridge, which, in turn, saves you even more money.

Printing is vital for any small business to survive, and it follows that keeping track of your ink purchasing needs and habits is also of the utmost importance. By following the advice above, you will not only save money on your printing needs, you will be making sure that your ink cartridges are being kept in the best shape possible.

Kathryn Thornton is a business printing specialist. She enjoys consulting businesses on their printing needs and sharing her know-how through blogging. Visit the link for more information.

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