Charge for the Printer, Not the Ink!
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On to my normal subject matter… business ideas!
As everyone knows, printer companies get their revenue off the back end and not so much the front end. Meaning they charge an arm and a freaking leg for ink cartridges but you can get a decent printer now a days for $40. The conventional wisdom is to get them in the door and then charge the heck out of them to use the printer.
What if a printer company came along and ENCOURAGED 3rd party sellers to make ink and cartridges for their printers? (Can you say open source?) This would create competition which would result in lower ink pricing. But then they could charge their profit on the front end. Instead of charging $100 for your really nice printer, charge $400 for it. But make sure the customer knows that your ink is practically free, it’s so cheap. All other factors being equal (quality, etc) I would buy that printer in a HEARTBEAT over their competitors. I can’t begin to tell you what names I’ve called HP after my $25 cartridge runs out every week. It pisses me off to no end. I also have a color laster printer that I got under Xerox’s free color laser printer program. Let me tell you, there t’aint nothing free about it. One set of ink sticks cost $200 bucks. And that’s just for ONE COLOR! There are three colors plus the black sticks.
If there were a company brave enough to operate against the convential wisdom of emphasizing back-end profits, they’d be selling printers left and right. Then, of course, when you can get ink much cheaper, you’re more likely to print a LOT more. If you’re printing a lot more, your printer is going to wear out faster than the other print companies that use gold in their inks. When your printer wears out, who ya going to go too for your next printer? Yep.. and so the cycle continues and hopefully putting all these other greedy bastards out of business in the process.
Please, someone make an expensive printer and practically give away the ink. Please! You have your first customer, right here.
Update: Case in point. Read this. How long are printer companies going to get away with crap like this without the customer finally saying enough is enough and not buying their stuff anymore? Hopefully soon. I know I’ll never buy a HP printer again. Never. Bastards!