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TonerTopUp supplies toner refills for laser printers, fax machines and copiers from the UK. We supply bottles of toner and laser printer refill kits to make refilling cartridges easy. Laser toner cartridges can be simply refilled several times to save you money. Environmentally friendly! We supply HP Hewlett Packard Brother Canon Epson Lexmark Konica Minolta QMS OKI Samsung Xerox laser refill toner and many other types!

Razors and Razor Blades

A rip-off marketing technique? Decide for yourself!

Almost 100 years ago, brilliant industrialists and their marketers realized that in many cases the "real" money didn't come from the selling of the "big item" at a huge, one-time premium, it came from the regular-as-clockwork sale of inexpensive, yet high-margin support items necessary for the on-going operation or maintenance of the "big" item. They learned first-hand that if you practically give away the big item, the profit to be made on the regular sales of the "little" support items can mean huge profits.

No better example of this pricing strategy can be found than "Razors and Razor Blades". Companies like Gillette, Wilkinson Sword and Remington, to name but a few, made millions upon millions of pounds (and continue to do so to this day), "giving away" their razors (selling them at or below cost), so they could earn the regular-as-clockwork profits on the sale of proprietary, patent-protected razor blades.

This "give away the big item and just wait for the profits to roll in on the proprietary support items" strategy is so well known that it has come to be referred to as the “Razors and Razor blade " pricing strategy. This pricing strategy works better than ever with laser printers, plain-paper fax machines, photocopiers and their toner cartridges.
You would think that this would have stopped companies using the "Razors and Razor Blades" approach, but no! .. it is still a powerful technique and it still works! On the whole companies rely on the natural inertia of their customers. After all, consumables are purchased in relatively small amounts, not like the initial capital investment. They therefore are often subject to less control and it is easy for customers to take the simple route and just order the branded supplies from the original equipment manufacturer. (OEM)
Nowadays, the best example of "Razors and Razor Blades" pricing takes place in the laser printer, plain-paper fax and small office photocopier markets. Industry estimates suggest that Hewlett Packard makes less than £60 on the sale of a £600 to £1000 laser printer. But the industry estimates also indicate HP looks forward to making £600 to £1000 annually on the sale of toner cartridges to that laser printer purchaser. Who wouldn't accept a small £60 profit on a big ticket item knowing that the chances of making another £600 to £1000 in annual profit on that item are nearly 100%?

Actually in the UK about 85%! That is the current market share of the OEM in the replacement cartridge market. Most of the rest of the market is taken with remanufactured cartridges and compatibles from other OEM’s. The use of TonerTopUps for customers to refill their own cartridges with toner represents currently a tiny part of the market. Of course neither the OEMs nor the remanufacturers like the idea! Remanufactured cartridges are significantly cheaper than OEM ones, and refilling a cartridge that is empty but still good is significantly cheaper again.
Cost is only a part of the story though; the quality of printed output is of vital importance to you. Fortunately that is firmly in your own hands with the TonerTopUp approach. Every cartridge will at some time fail and it is up to you to decide when the quality becomes unacceptable. This will depend to some extent on the material you print. A cartridge that is not up to a perfect standard for pictures will often be quite acceptable for letters. At that stage you can transfer any unused toner to another cartridge, if you wish not to waste it. With remanufactured cartridges, you need to rely on a decent guarantee from the supplier. Reputable ones will replace any cartridges that fail to last for their full toner load.

The other part is convenience. For some cartridges a filler plug is conveniently included in the design. Others require a screwdriver or our special kit to melt a filler hole into the toner chamber so you can pour in the toner. Once you have discovered how easy it is to refill a cartridge you will probably never look back! You have nothing to lose in trying it! If you would like more detailed information you will find detail about your specific model of printer, copier or fax machine on our product selector page, and you can visit our refilling instructions or Frequently Asked Questions" page.
This marketing strategy has been around for a very long time now. Whereas in the past there was little customers could do about it once they had made the initial purchase, for a long time now in most countries it is not possible for a manufacturer to ban the use of substitute consumables. (Provided they can be made by others without infringing patent rights!) It is not possible for them to refuse to honour warranties on the equipment because of the use of other suppliers’ consumables, unless it can be shown that the consumables have caused a problem. (That is not the case with toner powder!)
It is easy for the manufacturers to suggest that there may be problems if their own supplies are not used. They can even suggest (wrongly!) that their warranty will be invalidated if other consumables are used. They can introduce technical devices to make it difficult such as the “killer” chips we are beginning to see. They can introduce discounts in return for agreeing to buy from them alone. All these techniques make it hard for customers to avoid the sting in the policy.
You can beat the sting of the manufacturers' "Razors and Razor Blades" marketing approach by refilling your own laser printer, copier and fax machine cartridges, and buying remanufactured ones in the first place and as they wear out. This combination gives you the lowest cost overall.
As well as saving a lot of money you will be doing your bit for the environment, saving oil, energy and reducing landfill.
Your starting point is our product selector page!

Cost of Printing with Laser Toner

We are commonly asked by our customers and others to suggest what printers they should buy to reduce to a minimum their cost of printing. Sources of unbiased advice and analysis a few and far between.

On our Cost of Printing page we show some articles which compare a ranges of models in a particular price and performance range with details of the Total Cost of Printing.

Of course these figures do not take into account the availability and cost savings you can make by refilling the cartridges; for that you must use our Refill Toner selector page.





TonerTopUp is a trading name of Smith & Young Sales Ltd
The White House, Toys Hill, Westerham, Kent TN16 1QG England
Tel: 01732 750364

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Any names used on this web site are used for descriptive purposes and are hereby expressly acknowledged as the trademarks of their owner.
Bottles may contain more or less toner than is required for any specific model.
Prices are subject to change without notice from those displayed.
Registered in England Number 2965587 : VAT Registered Number 644470732
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