You Thought Gasoline is Expensive? Printer Ink is Over $5,500 Per Liter

You Thought Gasoline is Expensive? Printer Ink is Over $5,500 Per Liter

Jason Yang
Mar 15, 2013

If you're shopping and comparing price per unit, forget about gasoline, milk, and other daily supplies. Consider how much you're spending on printer ink. Nine MSN presents an impressive infographic that illustrates the cost of printer ink at over $5,500 per liter. That's absolutely insane! Read on for the rest of the infographic to see how other products stack up in price.

Here's what the inside of an inkjet cartridge often looks like. Here's additional information about the ingredients that go into making the pricey ink.

You can use good old Google to convert liters to our American units of measure or just approximate that 1 liter is a little more than a quarter gallon or 34 ounces.

So how much does it actually cost you to print? You'll need to know the ink cartridge purchase price and divide that by how many pages it can print, or the yield. While printer manufacturers do their own testing, there are many variables such as print settings and page coverage.

Most printer manufacturers provide yield information based on ISO standards that adhere to the set testing standards. The guidelines imply that your mileage may vary, but at least provides a starting point for manufacturers to feign honesty in their numbers. But as this video below shows, it might be worth checking the ink levels for yourself:

  • Coverage of 5% following ISO normation. If you are printing photos, please keep in mind that you could be printing nearly 100% coverage. In that case your costs will be significantly higher. Printing photos as such is NOT included in the calculations.

  • Usage of - if possible - extra-large cartridges (XL versions - high capacity). If you are using regular cartridges, your costs will be significantly higher.


For more in-depth analysis of ink costs per page, QualityLogic provides intense comparative analysis across the world for your reading pleasure. Read more on Apartment Therapy for tips and tricks to save money on printer costs and make printer ink last longer.

5 Ways to Save Money on Outrageous Printer Ink Costs
Printer Ink Mostly Water, Still Costs More Than Champagne
Burning Question: Why Is Printer Ink So Darn Expensive?
An Interesting Peek Inside an Inkjet Cartridge
Are You Wasting Money on Printer Ink?
Three Ways to Make Printer Ink Last Longer

(Images: Nine MSN; HP Ink Cartridges)

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