How to Avoid Getting Ripped-Off When You Purchase A New Printer

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It's no big secret that printer companies like HP and Brother are marketing their printers with the cost of refilling the cartridges in mind. Just the other week my family and I were at our hometown Wal-Mart and we were amazed at the price of a new printer. With joy we threw it in the cart never once thinking about the cost of refilling the contraption.

Let me tell you, that was mistake number 1, mistake number 2 was not looking into all of the other accessories that you have to consider when you decide to purchase a new printer. Did you know that you could also be looking at some seriously expensive add-ons that are all consumables?

Should you decide to go with a color model like an HP Color Laser Jet you'll be looking at replacing drums, condensers and a bunch of other parts. Listen, don't do like I did research the total cost of the operation of the printer before you purchase.

Forget the local warehouse store, you'll be better off at a place with a knowledgeable sales staff that can break down the cost of daily operation in dollars and cents. There are times when a big warehouse store might be able to help you out but this isn't one of them.

Whatever you don't shop by the price of the unit! Ask some questions of the salesman, like "How much is a refill toner cartridge?" How many copies will I get out of an average refill? If you are purchasing a color unit ask how many cartridges there are and how much they cost. Also, be sure to inquire on how many color copies you'll get out of an average refill.

All in all you should be happy if you do a little research. When this is done you'll know what you are getting into and there won't be any unwelcome "surprises" down the road...

Alexis Allen is a self-described consumer advocate in the Home Electronics Industry. You can check out her latest articles at

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