You knew printer ink was a rip-off, but now it seems it's also a blatant scam!

Printer ink cartridge disassembled
(Image credit: Fstoppers)

If you're in the market for a new inkjet printer, those super-cheap entry level machines you see when ordering your options by 'price lowest' can be really tempting. But don't go thinking that means you're getting a good deal - quite the opposite. Just as a drug dealer might give you a cheap first 'sample' to get you hooked, then hikes the price for all future transactions, printer manufacturers adopt a similar business model. They can easily recoup any shortfall from the discounted sale of the printer by selling its ink cartridges at massively overinflated prices. You're then kept on the hook, paying these exorbitant ink fees for the lifetime of the printer - a very lucrative earner for the printer companies. I vaguely recall a statistic that printer ink - at least the stuff you get in those tiny ink cartridges - is the most expensive liquid in the world by millilitre.

(Image credit: Fstoppers)

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.