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Why Are Toner Prices So Outrageous?

September 12th, 2022 by Kevin Box

Different colors of toner

Did you know that toner is the eighth most expensive liquid in the world according to According to a list published on the site, toner is just behind the cost of Insulin and Mercury at $2,700 per gallon. Most organizations buy HP toner online from outlets such as Staples, Office Depot, and CDW. HP heavily regulates online toner prices, so if you look at these three sites and compare prices with HP’s online prices, the price will be nearly the same. So, no matter where you go, this is the price most organizations are paying for HP OEM toner. And, according to, it’s the eighth most expensive liquid in the world.

A chart showing the most expensive liquids in the world, with Black Ink/Toner at 8th

Online retail prices are often 30 to 40% higher without any service or break-fix included as compared to the cost of having a Managed Print Service provider include toner and service in an all-inclusive Service Level Agreement. The former approach means higher cost for consumables and the IT department must carry the burden of fixing the printer fleet when the machine goes down or even worse the device becomes disposable which means a new device must be bought. In the end having a Managed Print Services agreement in place allows the organization to reallocate assets to more worthwhile projects such as growing market share or improving infrastructure. The moral of this story is, get a quote for a full Managed Print Services agreement and compare it to what you’re currently paying for toner alone. You may be surprised at how much your organization can save.

If you need help with evaluating your organization's cost of retail toner, Function4 can help you make sense of your current toner spend through our MPS Cost Benefits Analysis. Reach out today for your free assessment.

Posted in: Managed Print Services

Function4 serves Houston, Beaumont, Paris, and the surrounding areas.