Ink cartridge refills??

Felices Fiestas a todos. Well we finally concluded that we're spending way too much on printer cartridges in our organization - plus the added notion that the environment would be better off if we didn't continue buying cartridge after cartridge.

So the question I have is this: Do Nica based organizations, businesses, Nicas and blanquitos buy new printer cartridges or do people go to refillers? Would anybody venture a guess here? Out of cartridges used in Nica, are 70% new and 30% refilled? 50%/50%...or is it really rare that people buy refilled cartridges?. Any impressions? Thanks for any thoughts.

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Thanks very much for the

Thanks very much for the response! Especially thanks for explaining the CIS system....something we're gonna look into.

CIS & Printer sources:

I print about 200-300 pages per day both color & B&W, letter & legal size.
Some scanning too.
This is probably small office quantities rather than home use
You might do better looking around in Managua but this is one easy way:

1st - CIS - eBay is a easy reliable source with several stores to choose from.
Then set up an account with these guys - My experience the best re-shipper serving Nicaragua
I have used them dozens of times >20 pounds is an economical $2.50/lb
Easy to use and excellent online tracking
https://www.myaeropost.com/

2nd - Next I am going to try these guys for the whole deal:
http://ecosystemink.wordpress.com/

Printers - Pricesmart is easy for printers & ink.
Brothers have good rep and I have gone through about 6 of the multifunction MFC using eBay CIS tanks
Document feed works very well! However the yellow print heads sometimes clog.

fyl forgot to mention that an advantage of HP inkjets is that you get a new print head in each cartridge.
A clog does not destroy the printer
But maybe 2-3 refills before the cartridge goes bad so buy after market on eBay as well.

Recently I tried Pricesmart MFC B&W HP lasers - That is the way to go for B&W if you want quality.
About $15 for after market toner cartridges 3000 copies.

Lots of good computer stores in Managua if you want to dig in the Altimira area
Datatex has a lot of stores around Managua and good stock
I bought 2 Xerox color lasers from them - Worst printer mistake ever.
Toner very expensive and laser photo quality is poor compared to inkjet.
Refill bulk toner powder poor quality too.

If you want a real experience buy from these guys
http://www.aliexpress.com/ Huge Chinese marketing company
Search & and select free shipping to Nicaragua
Only buy from stores with good reviews
Shipping China Post, Hong Cong Post etc.- Aduana does not open these & tax you.
About 90% of the stuff gets here - 30 days or so.
Eat the 10% and re-order - low prices make up for that
I have bought a lot from their stores - They sell everything but only the light stuff ships above shippers
Printer supplies, Plumbing supplies, Office/home supplies, AC supplies including Run capacitors etc - Cheap
YMMV

ink

John thanks so much. That's a ton of useful info and it is really appreciated and will not go unused. Thanks for sharing what you know.

Printer choices

While refills generally make sense, what type of printer you buy is also a big issue. Generally, the lower the cost of the printer the higher the cost per page. This is particularly true with HP and Canon low-end printers where you replace the print head when you replace the ink.

Epson and higher-end HP printers have ink tanks independent of the print head. I recently bought an HP 8600 because it seems to end up with a much lower price per page. Low enough that the difference in cost is quickly made up.

There are also companies that offer continuous ink supply (CIS) systems for some printers. Once such company is Ink Products. I have never used one of these systems but if you do a lot of printing they are probably worth considering. I know one internet cafe who uses one on an Epson printer and they are happy with it.

two-sided printing

I forgot to mention this but if what you are printing can be done two-sided there is another possible saving. Paper, of course, but also binders, file space, ...

Returning to my same example, the HP 8600 comes in at least three models. On the higher end (but still only about $250 with some good shopping) you can get the Premium, a unit that includes the duplexer. Works like a charm and saves a lot of paper. Note that this is not just a printer, it is a copier with auto document feeder, copier, ... I believe there are the "just a printer" equivalents.

almost everyone

I have seen doing business here refills the printer cartridges.I would guess that at least 80% of the cartridges are retreads.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)