Study claims consumers are moving to non-official cartridges and toner to save money

Gartner: ‘Third party ink to cost OEMs ?8bn’

Third party ink manufacturers could cost OEM print vendors such as Epson and Oki, up to £8bn in lost revenues, according to Gartner.

Gartner said consumers and businesses are increasingly purchasing non-official products in an attempt to save money due to the recession.

It said OEM’s reliance on a ‘razor and blades’ business model, where they sell printers at a loss and recoup money from ink, left them open to competition from third party vendors who do not have to recoup R&D and printer costs from consumers.

"Because printer supplies produce a higher margin than the product itself, this trend is leading to lower profits for printer OEMs," said research vice president at Gartner, Ken Weilerstein.

He added that there is an additional reason for OEMs to encourage their customers to use only OEM inks and toners. "There is potential for damage to the printer OEMs’ brand because of poor quality and counterfeits."

The report comes a day after Kyocera launched two channel programmes designed to promote the stocking of OEM cartridges over third party rivals.

Weilerstein said that marketing campaigns and use of PR and judicial rulings are also effective methods of curbing defection to third party products. "OEMs are well-placed to take advantage of the challenges facing the remanufacturers, and the marketing team must play a key part in this. OEMs already have the advantage of understanding the market, their competitors, and buyers’ preferences."

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