Are you a self-publisher in search of a new printer? Well, there are certainly a lot of great deals to choose from, so you can rest assured that there is a model out there to suit your needs. However, with so many versions it can be a struggle to know which one is best for you.

Whether you just need to print word documents or lots of color photos – here are five tips to help you find the best one, saving you money and time.

Purpose

There are many types of printer available, each tailored to suit a specific purpose such as business purposes or printing high quality photos. So it’s important you consider what you need from your new printer before you go and buy one.

The main types of printer are: Inkjet, laser, dot-matrix (an impact printer) and thermal printers. You can also purchase multi-functional printers, which will allow you to obtain a range of images and functions from your printer- although be aware that these cost more.

Black And White/ Color

Don’t go spending money where you don’t need to. If you only need a bog-standard printer to print out word documents, you can save yourself a great deal of money if you opt for a cheap model, stripped of all the exciting (but costly) extra features you don’t need.

Color printers not only require more expensive ink cartridges, but also better quality paper for printing images and photos. What’s more they’re not so good at printing in black and white, so think about whether you need color before purchasing a color printer.

Laser Or Ink

With regards to cost-effectiveness, Patrick Stead head of a cartridge recycling company suggests that, “Laser [printers] can be better value over the longer term, but the initial outlay can be a lot more.” Thus, if you’re hoping to find a model that will suffice for the long-term, a laser printer may be your best option with regards to ink-use efficiency.

However, if you’re looking for a model that is neither bulky in size nor particularly costly, the ink printer is probably your best bet. Printing off instantly with no warm-up period necessary, it can be an attractive option – but bear in mind as a self-publisher you will be printing a lot more than most people, so a quick fix may not be the best choice!

Customer Reviews

Perusing through customer reviews before buying a printer is a must. Who knows better about a printer and its efficiency than those who have already bought it? Learn from the mistakes and recommendations of others, and save yourself from scouring the internet for hours, only to wind up more overwhelmed by how many printers there are out there!

On most reputable website you should find a list of customer reviews, and ratings for each product they sell. So take the time to look through a significant number (if there aren’t many – try looking at another product) first, if they weren’t disappointed – you probably won’t be either.

Cartridges Cost

One factor many buyers don’t consider is the cost of the cartridges they’ll need for their new swanky printer. One way customers can be caught out is by choosing a printer because of its cheap price tag, only to find it runs off costly cartridges.

Instead, look at the cost of cartridges first and research how often they need to be changed. Sometimes choosing the more expensive printer can result in you saving more money later on.

Now you are prepared and ready to start hunting down your ideal printer. Keep in mind what you need the printer for, what your budget is and what the reviews have said, and you’ll find a model you’re happy with that will last long-term. Make sure to invest in good quality printing supplies as well for maximum performance.

Do you have any other tips? Maybe you have a printer model to recommend that has served you faithfully? Comment below!

Image by LaMenta3

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