Of all the annoying things about owning and using a computer, having to regularly buy printer ink ranks quite high on my list. First, it’s hard to buy generic substitutes because the chains are all in cahoots with the manufacturers, and second, is that it tends to run out when you need it the most, (I have an old printer and no longer get notifications that the ink levels are running down).
So Wednesday night I decided I would take a trip and shop the St. James strip and find new ink for my printer. I would have tried this downtown, but of course downtown rolls up the sidewalks after six most days.
So, off I went to Polo Park. When I got there I decided I would try Zellers. Much to my delight they carried a variety of generic as well as brand name inks. Much less to my delight was the fact that they had neither of them in stock. (In the long run this turned out to be to my advantage), but I digress.
Next I tried the emporium formerly known as Radio Shack(A.K.A. the source). They had some brand name in stock for $28.88 or .99, I can’t quite remember. However, having seen that generic existed, I decided to try some of the other stores down St. James Street.
Here’s a brief summary before I reach my solution.
Best Buy – name brand $32.99
Future Shop – Owned by Best Buy but posing as Canadian – name brand $35.99
Staples – name brand $28.32 (undercutting The Source by a whopping 2%)
Computer Trends – Don’t carry, told me Staples have the market cornered.
CBiT – Didn’t have it in black, the generic coloured unit they carried was more expensive than the name brand coloured.
The Real Canadian SuperStore – name brand $34.99
Wal-Mart – Also $28 something, at this point I wasn’t paying such close attention. However, I noticed a clearance rack in the Wal-Mart electronics section featuring one D-I-Y ink refill kit for $9.00. This is what I took home with me. Sure I ended up with some ink on my fingers as a result, but my black ink cartridge is working fine. I have still enough ink for two more refills, and I have bottles of yellow, cyan and blue when it becomes necessary to fill those up to. When all is said and done I’ll have saved between $80-100 dollars on ink. Well worth the 45 minutes of walking.
Oh, and I also got some much need exercise. All in all life as an ink-stained wretch isn’t so bad.