EVER WONDER WHY INK COSTS SO MUCH ?

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EVER WONDER WHY INK COSTS SO MUCH ?

 user 2005-12-26 at 9:50:00 am Views: 50
  • #13630

    EVER WONDER WHY INK COSTS SO MUCH?
    refilling printer cartridges are nipping at the big boys
    Franchise, franchise, franchise…
    Printer
    makers have long known that ink is as good as gold. Just ask the folks
    at market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. Analysts say ink and toner
    supplies made up more than 50% of fiscal 2004 profits for the computer
    giant, although they brought in less than a quarter of the company’s
    $80 billion in sales.
    But now a new breed of fast-growing upstarts
    is out to crash the profit party. Across America, retail stores are
    cropping up in strip malls among the Gaps and Wal-Marts where consumers
    and small-business owners can go to have empty printer and toner
    cartridges refilled — usually for half of what it costs to buy a new
    one. The largest of these outfits, Cartridge World, based in Australia,
    just passed 1,000 stores worldwide, and its North America affiliate has
    opened 275 stores in the U.S. since mid-2003. The company is signing up
    a new U.S. franchisee daily and plans to top 3,000 stores in the
    country by early next decade.
    What’s driving this latest franchising
    craze? Prices that draw nearly as much ire from consumers as does a
    trip to the gas station. Burt Yarkin, chief executive of Emeryville
    (Calif.)-based Cartridge World North America, likes to point out that
    the ink inside a new cartridge from HP, Lexmark, or Canon costs more
    per ounce than Chanel No. 5 or Dom Perignon champagne. “People know
    they’re getting ripped off,” says Yarkin. “We’re giving consumers and
    businesses a choice.”
    ……There have been ways to reduce printing
    costs for years for shoppers willing to deal with messy do-it-yourself
    refill kits or buy from online outfits with iffy-quality products. But
    the new retail chains will make reuse an option for millions of
    mainstream PC owners. Customers can either wait for a few minutes for
    their cartridge to be refilled, or pick up a “pre-filled” one in stock.
    Rapid Refill Ink International Corp., based in Springfield, Ore., even
    sets up drop boxes at coffee shops and dry cleaners. Most refill
    franchisees also have their own vans to do pickups and deliveries to
    local businesses, usually at no extra charge……