Printing costs can vary significantly from one brand to another. This is because each printer works with a certain cartridge series that's set at varying price levels.
You can be wasting around 1 to 3% of your business’s revenue on unplanned printing expenses, yet almost no business tries to keep track of its complete printing costs.
So to simplify things, we have to calculate the cost per page (CPP) of each printer, compare them, and then choose the most efficient.
This includes the cartridge's page yield and the cost of the printer cartridge.
How to Estimate a Printer's Cost per Page
The page yield refers to the approximate number of pages that one cartridge of ink or toner is capable of printing.
You can find this number on the side of the cartridge box or look for it in the printer’s user manual.
Since there can be a lot of fluctuations across printer cartridges when it comes to the page yield, the calculations are based on 5% page coverage –meaning that 5% of the page has been printed on.
So if a specific printer has an approximate page yield of 600 pages, you can print 600 pages at 5% page coverage.
A 5% page coverage is good enough for short paragraphs or emails. This is a standard for comparison, but the page yield can change a lot depending on the kind of documents and files you print.
The Cost of a Printer’s Cartridge
Just like the page yield, the cost of a printer’s cartridge can vary significantly from one printer to another and from one cartridge to another.
This is because a lot of factors are taken into consideration to set the price of an ink or toner cartridge. And of course, because some are OEM cartridges, some are remanufactured, and some are compatible or generic.
Knowing the type of printer you have, the cartridges available for compatible use, and page yield can help you make smarter shopping choices.
Calculating Per Page Cost
This is the golden number that tells you how much you’re going to be spending on your printing.
Calculating the per page cost requires information about the page yield and the printer cartridge cost.
However, before we dive into it, you should know that there’s a difference between black and white printing and color printing. So let’s see how it works.
Cost per page = Printer cartridge price / Page yield
- Cost Per Page for Black and White Printing
So if you're buying a 37.99 dollar cartridge that has a 600-page yield, your cost per page is going to be 6.3 cents.
On the other hand, if you're buying a 16.79 dollar cartridge with the same 600-page yield, your cost per page is going to be 2.7 cents –which is significantly lower if you’re going to be printing a lot of things.
- Cost Per Page for Color Printing
The idea and the formula are the same, but the difference is that instead of taking the price of one cartridge into account, you take the price of all the color cartridges.
So, using the same formula, you should calculate the cost per page of each individual color cartridge.
The problem that might face you is if different colors have different page yields. Then, you calculate each cost per page on its own and add them up.
So if you have a cartridge that costs 50.99 dollars and has a 1,100-page yield and another that costs 56.99 collars and has a 900-page yield, your total cost will be around 10.9 cents.
How Can You Save As Much As You Can On Cost Per Page?
The most effective way to reduce your printing costs is to choose the cartridges with the lowest cost per page.
A lot of printers nowadays have a low cost per page and a lot of companies have printer lines specifically for that.
Getting compatible or remanufactured cartridges can help you remarkably cut the costs down.
At the end of the day, it’s not exactly the printer, the page yield, the cost per cartridge, or the cost per page that determines the total cost of printing but rather a combination of all of these factors.
That’s why you need to carefully plan your printing out before you make a decision on which printer to buy and which cartridges to opt for.
By managing your business's printing expenses wisely and economically, you can save up from 10 to 30% of the printing budget and utilize it in a more effective way.