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Printing costs-- using a laser printer vs. photocopy

Hey all,

So I photocopy my zines cause I usually don't make more than 100 copies of the same zine at a time, maybe twice a year, which comes down to 5 cents a page.  Now, I don't care too much about the aesthetic perks of using a laser printer, but does anyone have any experience with the approximate costs of using one for zines (I know, impossible to get a cents/page, but something rough). 

I figure that I can pick up some okay printer for $30-$50 used and maybe rig up refillable cartridges-- even if I still used a photocopier most of the time, a laser printer would allow me to print on demand when I need to, which would be cool.  Ok.  I don't know much about printing on computers (all my zines are cut & paste, so I'd be scanning mine)-- any personal experience with cost?

Thanks so much, everyone!

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I think I figured out that paper and toner comes out to about 10 cents per double-sided page on my laser printer.

We bought a nice, new, couple hundred dollar printer though. I generally really appreciate having something that prints nicely and quickly.

For zines, I really like being about to print them at home and print however many I want whenever I want them. I think saving time and energy is something worth factoring in.
I print at home on a laser printer. We had the printer anyway, and I buy refilled/refurbished toners from a dodgy wee shop nearby, which are £30 (about $50) each and last for 100s and 100s of pages printed. I've not worked it out exactly but it's definitely no more than 50p ($0.80) to print each copy of my 40 page 1/4 size zine, which is the same as/less than it would cost in photocopying.

Major advantages to home printing for me, aside from the cost, are that I can print more copies whenever I need to, and I can do it at home without people asking nosy questions about my zine (as it's a perzine I wouldn't want to have to discuss it with copyshop staff, especially as I live somewhere where everyone knows everyone).
Cool, thanks for the replies!

Dan C: It's definitely worth factoring in convenience...although I'm sure I'll eventually miss the convenience of not having to deal with a broken machine!

Hannah: I've been looking into refilling ink cartridges at home using a syringe and blocking the pins that detect if the cartridge is empty...I found a bottle of black printer ink for around $20 that is supposed to be the equivalent of 15 cartridges, but I don't know how foolproof the system is. In the meantime, it's nice to know that buying refurbished is still cost effective. And yes, it'd be nice to have some privacy now and again, like when I'm waiting for the printer to inevitably jam while it's copying a drawing of dudes making out or something.
Dan C,

Are you printing color copies? or B/W?




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