OT: Toner Cartridges, What a Racket


DFO Star
Aug 10, 2005
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Los Angeles, CA
Printers and razors are often sold at retail for less than it cost to manufacture them. The "profit" is in ink cartridges and blades, which is reoccurring for as long as one owns either. This approach can be quite lucrative when one considers that these items aren't typically replaced until they break or are lost, which for a printer can be five-to-seven years, depending on use.

A different version of this idea is used in the auto industry with respect to parts, a business model that returns revenue over the life of the car. Manufacturers who offer models priced for less than other brands with similar features often have very expensive replacement parts (just for Schlitz and giggles, compare prices for commonly-replaced parts like water pumps or alternators for a Hyundai or Kia against those for a BMW or Mercedes and you'll get the idea).