Printer prices are in free fall – down by 30% in the last few months. But here’s an article going over the numbers to explain why more people are taking their camera’s memory cards to Costco or getting their prints from an online service instead of reaching for the print button.

According to the article, printer manufacturers admit that the cost of a 4×6 print from your home printer is about 28 cents – and Consumer Reports says it’s closer to fifty cents per print. Meanwhile, prints are ten to fifteen cents each at Costco and Sam’s Club and the cheaper online services.

The best comparison from the article drives the point home: “Printers return relatively low profit margins. But the ink, ounce for ounce, is four times the cost of Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagne, which sells for around $425 a bottle. Ink is about the same price as Joy perfume, considered to be one of the more pricey fragrances, at $158 for a 2.5-ounce bottle.”

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