/ Technology

This week in comments – cheap ink, multibuys and LPs

Lots of speech bubbles hanging mid air

We’re all talking about saving money this week – whether it’s finding the cheapest printer ink cartridges, getting a good discount rather than opting for multibuys or being given free downloads with LPs.

Quest for cheap ink

Our technology researcher Katie Waller has been tracking down the cheapest printer cartridges, but wants to know if you’ve found any cheaper. Raymond Lima has one recommendation:

‘I get my HP cartridges from Justinkandpaper online – they are very cheap and are genuine manufacturer makes. Very speedy delivery and had mine within 24 hours.’

Wavechange suggests getting older cartridges to save money:

‘Watch out for the ‘use by’ date if you decide to take up Katie’s challenge. Prices can be discounted when cartridges are approaching the date, and substantially discounted if they are out of date.’

This is something Richard has become adept at:

‘I have bought out of date HP ink cartridges on eBay very cheaply (bought four complete sets for £3.50 the lot) – most work but those that don’t can often be persuaded to by soaking the jets at the bottom in ink cleaner.’

Structural surveys – what exactly am I paying for?

Serena Cowdy, our senior money researcher, isn’t happy with the vague report she got about structural surveys. Andrew Thompson thinks he has the answer:

‘The public on the whole never speak to the surveyor before the inspection and just ask for a template report. In the commercial property market a client would have a detailed discussion with the surveyor before the inspection. Nothing stops the public following this route. If you are considering any form of extension or building project a bespoke report could save time and money helping you obtain the right property for your project.

‘All you need do is Google Chartered Building Surveyor for your local area. The problem is the public are lazy and instruct a surveyor via a middle person such as the bank or estate agent.’

Gerard Phelan agrees that talking at length with your surveyor is key:

‘I found the best part of a full survey was the hour-long discussion on the phone after I had read the report. My surveyor was very helpful, especially in explaining what he could not confirm.’

Asda phasing out multibuys – should other shops follow?

Asda announced last week that it’s cutting down on bulk-buy offers such as ‘three for the price of two’ and ‘buy one, get one half price’, a move that many of you welcomed – like Dr Shumi:

‘Proper price reduction is a much better option than multibuy offers. In that case you would be able to buy as many items as you like (not buy two and third is free, but you could choose one, two or three).’

Lila steers clear of multibuy offers already:

‘Whenever I want an item and then see it is marked as ‘two for the price of one’ I resist buying it because I know that the “one” item is overpriced.’

Vinyl’s making a comeback – where are the free downloads?

Would you buy more records if they came with a free download? Our cars editor Richard Headland is keen on the idea:

‘My turntable’s currently out of action, which has prompted me to (occasionally) pick up a duplicate copy of some classic LPs on CD or via MP3 download. I feel like a mug for paying the record company twice, but I simply don’t have the time to convert my entire record collection!

‘I’d be pretty happy to get a slip for a free download with future LP purchases, but I’d be over the moon if I could get a free download for all my existing vinyl! I can but dream…’

But Vynor Hill doesn’t see the attraction:

‘I don’t understand this retro surge towards gramophone records. For me the CD was an emancipation. No longer did I have to worry about worn needles, off centre pressings, static and surface noise from dust or careless handling.’

Holy drip! It’s a drought – how will you save water?

Much of the southern and eastern parts of England are officially in drought, but will you take up the challenge to save water? Argonaut of the Seas has other solutions:

‘Build desalination plants AND infrastructure projects to transfer water to London and other drier parts of the country from regions richer in rainfall/water.

‘I don’t believe in the palaver and inconveniences associated with a hosepipe ban or anyone telling me to restrict my use of water. I feel no guilt at all in the way I elect to use water the way I want it, it’s something I’ve paid for and had probably considerably underused in years past.’

Our commenter of the week, Par ailleurs, despairs at how we waste water:

‘I wouldn’t necessarily want to return to the standards with which I grew up (no bathroom and one outside toilet). However, it beggars belief that water technology hasn’t kept up with our increasing demands. Why do we still flush the loo with perfectly good, potable water? Why do domestic systems waste litres waiting for the hot tap to run at a decent temperature?

‘There needs to be a sea change in attitudes from consumers and from the legislative authorities to ensure that we change our ways. Why have this recurring situation of drought or near drought and then not do a thing to change house design?’

And finally…

It’s my last day on Which? Convo – at least for a while – as I head off on maternity leave. Make sure you all keep the discussions flowing while I’m gone, and look out for me dropping in myself from time to time!

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).



I was not suggesting that anyone should buy old ink cartridges. It not might have come out right but I was cautioning that anyone who wanted to take up Katie’s Ink Quest challenge should be looking at prices of in-date cartridges rather than those for old stock.

I have never bought cartridges out-of-date but have used spares that I have kept too long or have been given to me. I would always risk using an old print cartridge with an integral printhead but I would not be keen to do this on a printer with a built in print head, since blocking this could make the printer beyond economical repair.

I hope that all goes well when you are on maternity leave. There are plenty of consumer issues relating to baby products. 🙂

You’ll find that gripe water makes the urge to carry on working go away while a little baby oil on the infant stops all the squeaking.
Best wishes.

Sophie Gilbert says:
3 March 2012

All the best, Hannah!

Sophie xxx

on page to find cheap printer ink. where the f is it and stop waisting my time. have a link to product reviews duhh