Wednesday, June 03, 2009

On ink

Last night I needed to print an 8 x 10 on my wonderful Epson R1800 printer, but the ink light was flashing at me. Opening up the lid, I see the Cyan light is solid red, which apparently means that it's completely dry. Of course I try a print anyways only to confirm that there's little to no cyan ink (when the sky has no color at all).

So I head to a large office retailer than I know has a wall full of ink. As I scan the wall looking for the cyan for my printer (ink #T504022 or something like that) I see rows of ink by starting number: 20, 30, 40, 60.... but no 50s. A helpful store employee sees me searching and comes and asks if he can help me find a particular ink, so I tell him what I'm looking for. He gives me the "you have THAT printer" face and says, "Oh that ink is a special order, I can have it for you by Thursday"

Then it hits me. How many people walk into a store to buy ink because they think, "Hmmm, I might be running out soon"? No, we come in deparate need because we need to make a print and some of our ink has run out. Right?

So this is just my little rant to remind all of us with ink jet printers - particular one of those printers that apparently aren't standard - to go buy some ink, just in case you run out at an inopportune time.

I feel better now, except for the fact that I still need Cyan ink.

19 comments:

Laurent said...

Hi dave,
I faced the same with red and green special ink of canon pixma 8500. They NEVER have them in store. Now i order them online and have always some at home.
I hope you'll find your cyan quick ;)

Sean Phillips said...

And the problem for the big box store that you visited is that you are now likely to go and order it online from somewhere cheaper. So if they don't have stock, they're not going to make that sale. It's goet to be a huge dilemma for store managers to decide whether to carry inventory of slow moving products or not...

Zolt said...

Yes, I learned that the hard way too. Staples (maybe others too) has a service to automagically send you the right ink when you send in a spent cartridge (and they supposedly recycle the cart). They don't stock inks (unfortunately not for Epson 3800!), it takes some time, and I guess it's not the cheapest price, but it's convenient, once you get ahead and have a spare cartridge of each ink on hand. Oh, and I don't have any financial interest in Staples.

Alan Hess said...

I have a drawer in my office with spare ink for all my printers, problem is that I never seem to have the one that has just run out.

Epson actually agrees with you. When the ink started to run out of the recently installed the Artisan 700 in my office, a warning showed up not only telling me I was low on a certain color but offering me the opportunity to purchase the ink from epson online right then.

It also shows you the amount of ink remaining every time it prints. I think this should be par of every printers software.

Alan

Jonas Israelsson said...

Maybe it's just me, but I always keep a spare pair of ink cartridges. Must make sure it's not stored too long though. :)

Arthur Agin said...

This is a major reason to install the printer software. My Epson software talks to the printer and starts letting me know when a color is getting low. Unless you're doing a massive print job you'll have plenty of time to order new ink.

Ian Pack said...

I never seem to have the ink I need even though I keep a drawer of spare ink - the trouble is I still use an Epson Stylus Photo 2100 and the ink is more scarce than rocking horse manure and more expensive than good champagne!

Sean said...

I bet if you ordered the print from a certain online service it would arrive before the ink. Personally, I've parked my printer for the most part. Too many headaches, and the online printing services work so well.

everettheller said...

I print on a Canon iPF5000 with 12 ink cartridges at $75 per cartridge. I send myself a reminder at the beginning of each month to buy a new cartridge from B&H (no tax and FREE SHIPPING).

[ griff ] said...

Hey All - This is exactly why I don't use my Epson R1400 any longer. $120 to replace all the cartridges (and they don't sell a bundle). PLUS, it only costs a few bux to have MPIX or ADORAMA print up some beautiful images that are shipped in a few days - and they color correct for free!! printers are dead to me ;) [m]

Rich said...

I have one of each ink for my Canon here at work. When I use that one, I order another. I've always got ink in the printer, and a full set ready to open just for those times when you HAVE to print something and run out. :)

Brian said...

Dave, I know how you feel, so I now keep at lease one extra of each color on hand.
I found that Atlex ( http://www.atlex.com )to be pretty good and with reasonable prices.
They sell OEM inks and papers.

Earl said...

Let's don't forget, Epson offers free overnight shipping on ink if you order three or more carts.

Troy B said...

I live in an area with little access to office supply stores..so I always keep one extra of every color in supply drawer. I order a new one the day I put the last one in...that way I am never out.

Ian Pack said...

Here in the UK my local camera store, ParkCameras.com has a Fuji Frontier printer and someone who knows how to use it, which is why I'm moving away from inkjet printing. At least with conventional silver technology we know that it won't fade. Inkjet is so new that there's no guarantee that a print will last as long as some of my silver based prints.

jeff said...

This is why I love HP they have FREE overnight shipping for all ink and paper supplies from their website

pep9454 said...

HI Dave,

I have a Canon i9900 and at Staples it's almost $14/cartridge!!! PLUS 7% IA sales tax. Go to IT Supplies online and you can get OEM cartridges for $9.95 EA PLUS no sales tax! I go through a lot as a professional photographer, so if I order at least $100 an order, there's also NO SHIPPING! I just spent $200 and saved over $65l!

Sharon said...

I had that printer and had the same problem. I solved it with Staples refill program. Send in your empty cartridge and they send another one in it's place, free shipping. Of course this assumes, you have one to use in the mean time. ;)

Michael Warth said...

Sorry Dave :(

Hope you found your ink...rant all you want...needing one cartridge of ink (no matter what color - or in your case colour) sucks.

My R2400 lets me know when I am getting low but I hate to admit I ignore the warnings most of the time. I also try to keep spare ink ready for "that day the ink runs out" moment but I still seam to "need" one I don't have (rats!).

I have no advice, nor can I help you, but I can say I feel your pain!

Mike