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How to Save Big Money on Your Printer Ink

$8,000 a gallon. No, that isn’t another spike in gas prices but what your printer ink is costing you. It’s a dirty little secret of the office equipment world that you can make more money in supplies than you can in machines. But you don’t have to fall victim to it if you follow these tips.

1) Go Paper Less – A few years ago everyone was talking about the paperless office where everything would be communicated electronically. Clearly, that hasn’t happened. But you can use technology to use less paper and at the same time less toner or ink. Do you print out information only to turn around and then fax it to your customer? Instead just email the file as an attachment (save it as a .pdf to make sure that it is readable cross platforms and unalterable) or get a LAN faxing program that allows you to fax from your desktop. You can also have your faxes delivered to your email inbox so you can read them and print only the ones that you need.

2) Lose the Color- Color supplies are more expensive the black and white so only use color when you need it. If you do need to print something in color but don’t care if it is perfect try using draft mode to save on the supplies that are used.

3) Use User Codes- Check and see if your office equipment has user codes. By enabling the function you can limit who can use the equipment in your office and what functions they are able to use. User codes can also be used to bill copies back to your clients. By giving each customer a unique code and then entering it when you print documents for them you are able to recoup the money you spend on supplies.

4) Do the Math- If you have multiple pieces of equipment in your office how do you decide which one to use? If you are just choosing the device closest to you it may be costing you big time. Instead you should determine your post per copy on each piece of equipment. You can do this by taking the cost of your supplies and dividing it by the estimated yield (most manufactures have this information available on request). Run your bigger jobs on the machines with the lowest cost per copy. Any very large jobs may actually cost less if you outsource it to a copy shop. But until you do the math you won’t know.

5) Shop Around- Most people wait to reorder supplies until they are completely out and then they just go to the nearest store. But if you use the internet or mail order you can save as much as 50% on your supplies. You can possibly save even more if you use after market supplies instead of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) but you may void your service agreement by using unapproved products. And never buy supplies from people who call you on the phone, especially if they’re telling you the price is about to go up. Many of these calls are scams coming from people who will bill you at a price high above retail.

Keep these things in mind and you can slash your expenses. Also, when it’s time to upgrade your equipment take into account the cost of supplies. Often times the machines with a higer initial cost will end up saving you money over time with cheaper supplies.