Above: Epson inkjet printer-inks. Credit: Epson/fair use.
The price of branded inkjet printer-inks is one of the most grotesque and scandalous rip-offs in British retail history. They are just so over-priced. £46 for 20 ml, makes the ink price-per-litre at least £2000. There is nothing particularly tech about the ink. It costs pennies to produce. Somehow the rip-off became entrenched as just another annoying fact of life. Very often the owner of an inkjet printer has to go out and spend £50 or more on new inks for their printer. If you have limited resources, using an inkjet printer is a waste of money. If you have limited resources and you are getting serious about photography it is probably a better idea to go back to conventional wet darkroom printing. (The point is to get into a printing environment where mistakes are not really a major cost concern, as trial-and-error is a big part of the creative process.) Trying to avoid the great ink rip-off, is important. At the prices charged, a student is likely to become destitute before they have printed up their portfolio or exhibition-prints. But more than that, it is demeaning and humiliating to buy "consumables" that are so patently over-priced. The infant-pleasing images used on the front of the Epson packaging I read as a definite insulting message to the purchaser: to us, Seiko Epson Corp, you are childlike in your honking naivety, we treat you like a child and provide pictures that are attractive to pre-schoolers, since who else but a child would agree to part with £50 for ten-pence-worth of coloured inks? It is important, I think, to boycott: we don't need to support this nonsense, and we won't. We are not going to be treated like sap-heads by these scamsters.
(10 October 2018)