Best Place to Buy Printer Ink

Printers: Best Places to Buy

One major challenge in buying a printer is factoring in the cost of ink and paper.

In this regard, consulting an in-store expert can make your life dramatically less confusing (and less expensive).

The Winners in Printers

In our evaluations, Best Buy captured the top spot, followed closely by CDW and Staples. Best Buy stores have a good selection of printers and, overall, well-informed salespeople.

We also asked salespeople questions that tested their knowledge of printers in general and of some specific models.

During a 25-minute phone call we made to a Minneapolis Best Buy, the sales rep asked insightful questions, made sound recommendations, and remained upbeat and enthusiastic throughout the process.

Online, Best Buy offers even more printer models, along with useful product information, even though its ink-cartridge data was not conveniently located.

Similarly, CDW's Website had a vast inventory, and its product listings included multiple photos, specifications, and ink-cartridge information. We ranked them second (click to enlarge the accompanying chart to see how all the stores fared in our rankings for printers).

The Others

Staples came in a close third behind Best Buy and CDW in the printers category. Its in-store staff gave fairly knowledgeable responses to our test questions. Its Website was easy to use, but the selection was smaller than the two higher-rated sellers'. earned a middling grade for its offerings. Because Amazon (like aggregates third-party retailers, it can present a larger selection than many other re­­tailers can, which makes comparing prices much simpler.

But aggregating also makes the data less consistent and forces you to dig deeper to find the shipping and return policies that apply to your particular purchase.

Though we found the Sears Website to be an acceptable place to shop for a printer, at least one of the retailer's brick-and-mortar stores was not.

Our in-store shopper found minimal inventory on the premises, and none of the specific products we targeted. When asked for advice, the store assistant relied on personal experience, rather than hard data, for recommendations.

Our least favorite retailers for printers were RadioShack (in-store and online) and TigerDirect (online only) . RadioShack had sparse inventories, and many items listed at the site weren't in stock. TigerDirect had an okay inventory and useful product data, but a cluttered interface and high shipping costs turned us off.

HP Photosmart PlusShopping Advice

The cost of consumables (ink in particular, but also special photo paper in the case of photo printers) is the hardest printer data to identify, so the most useful Websites provided links to the relevant ink cartridges directly from the printer's product page.

Unfortunately, all too often, cost-per-page information was difficult to obtain, both online and in conversations with store staff.

Products We Shopped For and Test Questions We Asked

We asked each store about the availability of four color inkjent multifunction printers: The Canon Pixma MP560, the Canon Pixma MX7600, the HP Photosmart Plus, and the Lexmark Interact S605.

Here are the test questions we asked the retailers' sales associates (along with the correct answers we were looking for) for the printers category:

Q: How can I determine this printer's print cost per page?

A: Find the printer's ink or toner cartridge prices, and go online to look up its page yields. Divide price by page yield to calculate the relevant cost per page.

Q: Which of these printers has the lowest cost per page?

:Again, price the cartridges and check the page yields on the packaging or online; alternatively, if you buy a printer equipped with high-yield cartridges (in this case either the Photosmart Plus or the Lexmark Interact S605), you'll at least have lower thatn if you ran the same printer with standard-yield cartridges.

Q: Which printer would be best for photos?

A: First you have to decide whether you want a printer with media-card slots or a PictBridge port. It's important to be aware, too, that photo paper gives the best results; and if you plan to print a lot of photos, you might want to consider buying a dedicated unit-either a snapshot printer or a high-end photo inkjet.

Brother Printer Brother TN580 High Yield Toner Cartridge - Retail Packaging - Black
CE (Brother Printer)
  • High-yield toner cartridge delivers professional results in minutes
  • Yield of 7, sheets based on 5% coverage of letter-sized pages
  • Quickly and easily pops into place
  • Produces rich, clear, precise black text
  • Compatible with Brother models DCP-8060, DCP-8065DN, HL-5240, HL-5250DN, HL-5250DNT, HL-5280DW, MFC-8460N, MFC-8660DN, MFC-8670DN, MFC-8860DN, MFC-8870DW
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Sharp Sharp EL-1750V Portable Printing Calculator with Clock and Calender
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Brother Brother DR360 Drum Unit - Retail Packaging
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  • Works with TN330 and TN360 toner cartridge (sold separately)
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  • Expected 12,-page life based on 5% coverage
  • Dedicated drum unit provides clean, sharp prints
  • Works with TN330 and TN360 toner cartridge (sold separately)
  • Snaps easily into place
  • Expected 12,-page life based on 5% coverage
  • Compatible with Brother HL-2140 and HL-2170w laser printers
Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Professional Photo Inkjet Printer - Bundle - with CLI-42 Color 8 Ink Value Pack, and SG-201 Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss 13x19" 50 Sheets
CE (Canon)
  • e Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer features a 4800 x 2400 dpi resolution and Canon s FINE technology with an ink drop as small as 3.0...
  • he PictBridge cable is not included Print SpeedsPrint an 8.0x10 image in approximately 51 seconds and an 11x14 image in approximately 1 minute 30 secondsCanon...
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Sharp Sharp EL2630PIII Standard Function Calculator
CE (Sharp)
  • Uses a 120 Volt, 60 Hz AC adaptor
  • Printer includes 1 paper roll, 1 ink ribbon installed, and an operation manual
  • Prints approximately 4.1 lines per second
  • Extra-large 12-digit display with punctuation
  • Calendar/clock function displays and prints date and time
  • Extra-large 12-digit display with punctuation
  • Quiet ribbon printing in black and red
  • 4-key memory, grand total, average, mark-up functions
  • Calendar/clock function displays and prints date and time
  • Uses standard paper roll


epson sx125 printer ink, best place to buy? | Yahoo Answers

I used to buy my printer ink (multipack-Cyan, magenta, yellow and black) from for about 30euro. For some reason they have raised the price to about 74 euro. Its the same capacity, just more than twice as expensive. Argos sells it for 48 euro. Where can I buy this ink for a reasonable price??

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