Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ink costs more than wine; outrage ensues

I bought a new color ink cartridge for my Dell computer printer today. It cost $37.99.


I am befuddled why this little black rectangle filled with no more than a few ounces of tinted vegetable fluid costs as much as a 750 ml bottle of a modest Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine is much more enjoyable, can be shared with friends and provides an air of romance even in a smelly, cigar-smoked room. Ink is ink.

A business model that dictates giving the device away on the cheap but getting money through the backdoor is strange to me but clearly profitable to others.

Braun does it with the alcohol-filled automatic cleaner cartridge for my shaver and Verizon does it with new phones that keep me tied to two-year service agreements. I'd probably look at it differently if I was a Dell, Braun (Procter and Gamble) or Verizon shareholder.

Getting ink to paper, however, shouldn't take you down the yellow brick road. Or is that the gold brick road?

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