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Mystery Shopping Discussion

What is the most economical printer/scanner?
Posts:878
I need a new printer and want to get one that is

1. relatively cheap to purchase
2. reliable
3. easy on ink

It would also need to include a scanner and copier. Any suggestions? What do you use that you are happy with?
April 25, 2013 10:44PM
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Posts:3,503
Any canon will do.

The ones under 100 are fine and the ink lasts forever and is cheap to replace
unlike HP's overpriced ink

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April 25, 2013 10:53PM
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Posts:1,941
I really like my HP Photosmart Premium all-in-one printer/copier/fax for ease of use. It doesn't foul up on me like other printers have. It's relatively inexpensive to buy. I get the ink in bulk at Costco, and print mostly on the "fast draft" setting to save on ink.

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April 25, 2013 10:58PM
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Posts:246
I have a HP Deskjet 3052A. I believe I paid under $50 for it at WalMartt.
It does a great job.
The print cartridges run under $20 for black.
I bought this one because it is more economical than most.
April 25, 2013 11:17PM
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Posts:1,896
I rarely use inkjet printers or a scanner. I rarely have to print anything for MS, and my camera is usually sufficient for capturing images of printed materials. If I need to print or scan something, I borrow a printer/scanner or go to FedEx Office to get things done.
April 25, 2013 11:58PM
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Posts:4,933
I agree with the HP's. I get my black ink carts refilled for $10...smiling smiley

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I'm still learning 24/7.
April 26, 2013 01:31AM
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Posts:1,789
I have been very happy with my HP 8600 Pro I got at Office Max (print/fax/copy/scan). Watch for their deals. They had it on sale for $149.99 (down from $199.99) and they were giving a $50.00 trade in credit for ANY printer you brought in. I had a very old broken one sitting in my basement. Plus, I had one of those $10.00 off coupons, so I ended up getting it for $89.99. This one is MUCH better on ink that my last HP and it as the three separate color catridges, so you only replace the one color that actually goes out. It also has wireless printing, so I can print from anywhere in the house. I would buy it again.
April 26, 2013 09:25AM
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Posts:7,936
For economical operation, skip all laser jets and go for a monochrome laser printer. When I bought my Dell multifuntion printer/scanner/fax four years ago, I saved enough on ink in the first year to pay for half of the machine. Yes, the toner cartridges seem expensive, but the per page cost is a small fraction of what laser jet inks cost.

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April 26, 2013 09:34AM
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Posts:5,614
cruiseguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a HP Deskjet 3052A. I believe I paid under
> $50 for it at WalMartt.
> It does a great job.
> The print cartridges run under $20 for black.
> I bought this one because it is more economical
> than most.




I have one of those too, at our local Wal-Mart the black ink runs $14.

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April 26, 2013 11:15AM
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Posts:500
Wallyworld has a Canon (don't recall the model) for $39.95 p/c/s which includes a color and black regular cartridge (not a starter cartridge). This is actually cheaper than the ink itself, so you could get a new printer every couple of months smiling smiley
I believe that Kodak is still rated as the most economical to operate but I went through 3 of them in a couple of years so I don't find them reliable.
Right now I'm using an HP3050 which I believe was about $60. It's very economical to operate if you buy the XL cartridges which last about 3-4 times as long as the regular but cost less than twice as much. Staples quite often has 20% off on ink which is a great deal since the name brands are apparently priced fixed throughout the retail stores.
There is also a MS at Staples in which you order ink online and pick up at the store. This shop reimburses $10 plus pays $8 so that's a healthy discount.
As for buying refilled or having cartridges refilled I've had varied luck with that.
April 26, 2013 11:21AM
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Posts:1,346
I would NEVER go with another Canon. I bought a tricked out one a couple of years ago. It lasted 9 months. I called Canon and was told that I had no recourse with repair or warranty. They knew about the problem I was having and said that there was nothing they could do. The last straw was when the rep said, "Well, I don't understand why don't you just get a new one?" I wish THAT was a phone shop!

Also, the Canon was an ink hog! At least I got a bunch of Staples rewards from all of my purchases. Of course, the ink was not available in any stores--I always had to order it.

I dug out an OLD HP from the basement that my daughter got for free with her laptop in college. Still using it and actually printed out her wedding invitation envelopes on it last year! They looked great!
And the ink is cheaper, more available and lasts longer.

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April 26, 2013 12:32PM
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Posts:754
I agree with Wales; laser units are much more cost effective and certainly faster.
April 26, 2013 01:54PM
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Posts:380
I like my HP 6600. It can scan multiple pages. I also have it set up to print wirelessly. I had a previous HP also and liked it. I also got it at Office Depot on sale with a coupon. I don't remember what I paid, but it was probably around $100 or less.
April 26, 2013 02:34PM
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Posts:24
epson workforce 435, paid $57.00 for it plus $12.00 for 2 year warranty,copies, b&w or color, scans, prints, i buy generic cartridges on ebay, easy to install
alsohas a fax attached, ahd it 1.5 years, not a problem
sher
April 26, 2013 04:34PM
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Posts:4,933
Just befor xmax, Walmart runs online specials on printers. Did the free site to store thing. I bought 5 for $19 each. The HP 1051 all in ones. Removed the new ink carts for 3 and resold the printers for $20 each. I use one constantly and keep a second one for a spare. Just the black and color ink carts run more than the printer. When the first set ran out, I had the empty carts refilled for $10 and $12 each...grinning smiley

Shopping Bama and parts of Georgia.
I'm still learning 24/7.
April 26, 2013 08:05PM
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Posts:17
I have the HP Officejet Pro 8500, which goes on sale at Staples from time to time. The ink was exorbitant for a while, even though I never print in color; until I learned that it sprays all four tubs of its own ink as "test" every time I turn it on. Now I have not turned it off for several months, and the ink lasts much longer now. Also: I don't change the ink as soon as it indicates that it is low. It continues to print for quite a while after it signals that it is low. With these two changes, it has been a good, reliable printer at a reasonable ongoing cost.
April 26, 2013 10:47PM
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Posts:878
Thanks everyone. You have given me a lot to thnk about. I have a bottom of the line Epson and I like the printer, but the scanner part is somewhat unpredictable. The worst printer I ever had was Kodak. It worked fine until we changed the ink. It was never right after that. My favorite was an HP black and white laser, but I didn't have to buy the toner, the school did. I am glad you think that it is actually cost effective, Wales and Bob. They have really come down in price. Busy, I am impressed with your economy. But I don't have a smartphone yet. Did a smartphone shop today, though.
April 28, 2013 02:04AM
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Posts:583
I used to be a technical rep for Epson, and as far as all-in-ones, even I have to admit that HP wins hands down. The simplest way to say it is that Epson focuses on photos and image quality, while HP focuses on home office and business needs.

I still use an HP all-in-one that I have had for a decade. It prints and copies, but the driver for the scanner wasn't updated to work with Windows 7. So I purchased an Epson scanner, which is a much higher quality than you need for mystery shopping, and still use the all-in-one for everything else. I get refurbished HP cartridges dirt cheap from companies on Amazon. One reason that new HP cartridges tend to be so high is that you replace the print head when you replace the cartridge. Occasionally the ones on the refilled or remanufactured cartridges may be damaged or clogged, and you may need to return them, but you can usually refill them several times (I'm not sure how many) without it being an issue.

One thing to be aware of is that if you let an ink jet printer sit unused, it can dry out and the print heads can get clogged to the point that you can't use the printer. Some inkjets will use a little bit of ink periodically to help prevent this from happening - as long as they are turned on. This is not an issue with a laser printer, which uses toner (a dry powder), and another point in their favor. While toner cartridges tend to be more expensive, they also generally last much, much longer, so the cost per page is much lower. So if you are only going to print in one-color (black), then a laser is usually the way to go. Be aware that sometimes new laser printers don't include a full cartridge when you buy them, and when you look at the price of the replacement toner cartridges you'll understand why. In as far as color laser printers and toners go, they used to be too expensive for most home offices, but I know that even several years ago, they were getting much more affordable.
April 28, 2013 03:10AM
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Posts:3,470
SandiAigo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would NEVER go with another Canon. I bought a
> tricked out one a couple of years ago. It lasted
> 9 months. I called Canon and was told that I had
> no recourse with repair or warranty. They knew
> about the problem I was having and said that there
> was nothing they could do. The last straw was
> when the rep said, "Well, I don't understand why
> don't you just get a new one?" I wish THAT was a
> phone shop!
>
> Also, the Canon was an ink hog! At least I got a
> bunch of Staples rewards from all of my purchases.
> Of course, the ink was not available in any
> stores--I always had to order it.
>
> I dug out an OLD HP from the basement that my
> daughter got for free with her laptop in college.
> Still using it and actually printed out her
> wedding invitation envelopes on it last year!
> They looked great!
> And the ink is cheaper, more available and lasts
> longer.


I've had a Canon MX-310 and purchased it in 2007, I beat it up everyday with scanning, printing and this baby keeps going and going.....like the Energizer Bunny smiling smiley

I also have a Canon LIDE Scanner ($79) that I have had for 3 years now and when I say it has scanned HUNDREDS upon hundreds of receipts, (likely over 1,000 by now) cards and quotes, I mean it!

I would definately purchase another LIDE when this one finally dies and I would most definately purchase another Canon as they have both been kind to me as I demand ALOT from them everyday! smiling smiley
April 28, 2013 06:58AM
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Posts:15,339
I have a Canon MP180 and have no idea how old it is right now. Ink is not cheap, but I rarely replace it since printing is kept to a minimum. Today I'm off to do an gas audit and printing the forms from the MSC website would probably be at least 7 or 8 pages. With my handy dandy cheat sheet, it will be one page for the authorization letter and one for the report.

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April 28, 2013 10:13AM
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Posts:86
I have a Canon, which I love, and I buy the ink on ebay; it's much cheaper and I've never had any issues with the cartridges.

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April 28, 2013 10:36AM
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