Great Pitney Bowes Ink Alternative

A while back I wrote about the unbelievably egregious price Pitney Bowes charges for the ink cartridges on its mailing machines:

Today I bought what may be the most expensive consumer printer ink available.  We have a small Pitney-Bowes postage meter
that has a little built in ink-jet printer to print out the metered
postage symbol (that sort of red looking stuff that replaces the
stamp).  One of their little print cartridges doesn't last more than at
most a thousand envelopes, which represents at most the
equivalent of 50 pages of text for a normal printer.  For this little
cartridge with its smidgen of ink, I paid $39.99.  At the same time, I
bought two-paks of the HP cartridges I needed (no bargain themselves)
for $25 per cartridge, and these cartridges last for hundreds of
pages.  I can't directly compare the volume of ink, but my sense is
that the P-B cartridge is priced such that it would be over $500 with
an equivalent amount of ink to an HP cartridge.

A reader named Randy Hooker sent me this email, which read in part:

Read your blog post with glee! Almost four years ago I felt the same and developed alternative ink products for many Pitney machines. Our trademarked name is NuPost.
Google that and you'll see there are hundreds of places to buy.

Just as background on the Pitney machines and ink usage: As these meters print "money" rather than images it is critical that the cartridge have ink available at all times.  So, the meter "purges" the print head on a regular basis to insure performance.
This purging uses massive amounts of ink as compared to the printing of a
single indicia.

The Pitney Bowes published output of the cartridge for your machine is 400
to 600 impressions OR 4 months.  If you do not use the meter at all, the purges will exhaust the cartridge over a 4 month period. Infrequent mailers will get very little value from these cartridges, compounding the total cost of ownership.

He was nice enough to send me a sample, which sat on the shelf and I forgot it (sorry).  Then, the other day, I noticed when I ran some mail that the printing looked a lot better than normal - none of bad banding that is typical.  I opened it up and found Randy's cartridge.  This thing is great - its half the price at OfficeMax of the Pitney Bowes cartridge and actually prints better.  Thanks!  (Many online sources of NuPost cartridges here).

  • http://finedrywit.blogspot.com le

    Thank you for sharing your discovery! I am going to check into it and if I can, I will pass on the information. I hope to lose PB some business.

    le

  • http://finedrywit.blogspot.com le

    Thank you for sharing your discovery! I am going to check into it and if I can, I will pass on the information. I hope to lose PB some business.

    le

  • lg

    keep in mind before losing PB some business.

    the prices for these pitney ink cartridges is ridiculous compared to the amount of stamps they print. for instance my cartrigde cost $134.99 for approx. 44,000 impressions. that's one month for me ($134 plus the actual postage every month--whew!). the point made that 'pitney meters' print money is important. if the stamp doesn't print or is off track, missing meter number... etc., the money is spent & gone.

    NOW PAY ATTENTION TO THIS: to get this postage refunded from the u.s. post office COST money. charges are assessed at 10% off the face value of the indicia, if the total is $350 or less. if the total face value is more than $350 , a charge of $35 per hour is assessed for the actual hours to process the refund, minimum charge is $35.
    so basicly if you get a miss-stamp, you could just chalk it up as a loss.

    NOW THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND: if you use a generic ink cartrigde, it'll wear out the printing components of the machine faster (x4 is what i hear). IMPORTANT: if you use a generic or other name-brand cartridge, or try to refill the cartridge your self; then later call for maintenance, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. no more free service from p/b.
    just some thing to keep in mind while you try to save money.

  • Michael

    Can't most of the purges be avoided by removing the ink cartridge when you're not using it? You'd have to cover up the ink holes with Scotch tape or something to stop it from drying out, and perhaps do a "printer maintenance" when you reinstall it, but a 0 cent test print will use less ink than a typical purge.

    For more information about manufacturers refusing to service printers where the consumer chose ink cartridges from other suppliers, try a Google search on "illegal tying" and "antitrust".

  • haiki

    To be perfectly clear

    Hewlett Packard recycles their ink cartridges by promoting that HP cartridges be returned for recycling, using a self addressed, stamped envelope. Allowing HP, through their “refurbishing and reselling” effort to conserve resources, using the various recycling facilities of manufacturers around the world contracted by HP. Thus, the mere fact that there also are other recyclers available to refurbish, and recycle ink cartridges, but except for lower cost, and the free choice of the consumer, HP has restricted the consumer the full use, and the operation of HP printers.

    Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, ninth edition. West Publishing. Chapter 43; ANTITRUST.
    “Characterizing a type of restraint as per se illegal therefore has a significant effect on the prosecution of an antitrust suit. In such a case, the plaintiff need only show that the type of restraint occurred, she does not need to prove that the restraint limited competition.....Tying arrangements. A tying arrangement occurs when the seller of a product, service, or intangible (the "tying" product) conditions its sale on the buyers purchasing a second product, service, or intangible (the "tied" product) from the seller....Because tying arrangements limit buyers' freedom of choice and may exclude competitors, the law closely scrutinizes such agreements.”

    Hewlett Packard has, unbeknownst to customers who purchased HP printers (tying product), tied as a condition, the purchase of new HP ink cartridges (tied product), or HP recycled ink cartridges, through the use illegal anti-competitive consumer practices.

    Again, I say Hewlett Packard, play your silly games by cheating consumers on ink cost, and supplies. I say go ahead! But don’t stop me from the use of my printer.

  • http://www.ABQblogs.com William

    Pitney Bowes is a rip-off! We were charged exorbitant late fees and finance charges for postage when there was no signed agreement between the parties. Debbie, with Pitney Bowes' Purchase Power said, "We have all of the late fees and finance charges of a credit card but you don't have to sign anything." NEWSFLASH: Then you don't have to pay it! A company can bill you crazy charges and hope you pay them but as our attorney told us, without a signed agreement between the parties they hold no weight in a court of law. Think about it, when was the last time you were issued a credit card without signing something?

    Thank God we have other choices:
    Hasler
    Stamps.com
    PSI Systems
    Neopost

    Spread the word!

  • kathie

    Hello

    Does anybody have Randy Hooker's telephone number
    as I would like to buy the Nupost comsumables for my business

    Kathie

  • http://www.algogo.com algogo-com

    Can not they leave enough information?I have many questions to settle!