Published: Sep 22, 2009
Category: Gifts and Gadgets
I now pay $9.95 for two ink cartridges for my Hewlett-Packard printer.
I used to pay Amazon.com $23.99 for two Hewlett-Packard ink cartridges filled with just enough black ink to run my printer for only a week or two.
I didn’t mind spending an extra $14 per order --- well, I did mind, but I put up with it because these cartridges didn’t foul the environment.
If you used to buy HP cartridges, you may recall what I mean. With each new cartridge, you got a pre-paid envelope so you could return the old, empty one to an HP processing center. And then HP would properly dispose of the used cartridge. The HP pledge: “No cartridge returned through Planet Partners ever goes to landfill.”
But around the time the economy headed south, HP stopped putting those little envelopes in boxes of new ink cartridges. (You can still get them, I’ve just learned, if you buy your cartridges --- in bulk --- direct from HP.)
Okay, so Hewlett-Packard is in business to make a profit. And in its world, when demand for products slows, you look for ways to cut costs. You can’t very well do that in the printer cartridges --- as it is, customers scream about the thimbleful of ink they contain. So you find savings in cutting services.
But here’s the thing: The only reason I was willing to pay $23.99 for two HP cartridges was because of the return envelope. That’s right. Fourteen dollars burned, every few weeks, just to feel like a good citizen of the planet.
But if HP doesn’t care about the planet --- and they sell gazillions of these cartridges --- why should I care about a dozen or two a year? [I know. Two wrongs don’t make a right.] Better to leave HP products, buy cheaper cartridges, and launch a “Shame & Shun” campaign against that Big Bad Corporation.
This I now do.
Here are reasons you may want to join the recycled cartridge movement:
--- Save $7.50 per cartridge (on HPs, anyway)
--- Free shipping on Amazon.com
--- No independent bookstores are hurt in this transaction.
--- The quality of the recycled cartridges is equal to new HPs --- and so, it seems, is the quanity of ink.
--- Did I mention the savings are outrageous?
I’ve used HP cartridges as my example because that’s the printer I own. But if you’ll click on the link for the HP 92 cartridge, you’ll see a line up top for “Other products by OCIinjet” --- just click on that link to find a recycled cartridge that’s right for your computer.
If enough of us abandon HP cartridges --- and the cartridges of every other manufacturer of small printers --- HP might get the message and bring back those pre-paid envelopes. Maybe it will even lower the price. I’ve heard the rumor that competitive pressures can, in a capitalist society, work that way. Let’s see if they do.
Meanwhile, if you print as often as I do, hold this thought --- you can save around $170 a year on cartridges.
To buy 2 HP 92 recycled black ink cartridges for $9.95, click here.