Is it worth the money to repair an inkjet printer?  Can they even be fixed?

HP Laserjet printers are widely distributed. Almost every model of HP laser printer was made with the mindset of providing a printer that would last a long time and be easily repaired. Not only did HP provide parts for their laser printers, but hundreds of aftermarket part providers make HP repairs cheaper by selling less expensive parts. Someone in need of an HP Laserjet printer repair literally has hundreds of choices, as far as whether or not they want to fix it themselves, where they'll buy parts, if they'll hire someone else for the job, and how much they'll pay.

But what about the inkjet printers?

What about the Officejet, Deskjet, and Photosmart series printers, many of which cost less than $300 new?

Unfortunately, HP never made very many parts for their inkjet printers. In fact, very few manufacturers make parts for their inkjet printers. They didn't make parts, they didn't write service manuals, and they have no certification for technicians. In other words, service centers for HP inkjet printers do not exist.

But why?

The answer is in the price of a new printer. It's so low, that even if parts were available, the price to repair one would almost be more expensive than the price to replace one. Most companies charge more than $100 for a service call. If you added parts, it would usually be better for the customer to just buy a new machine.

While some people might still prefer to fix rather than replace, those few aren't enough to provide a profitable market for parts. And if there's no profit for parts, then no one will provide them.

At Cincinnati Printer Repair, we do, occasionally, repair inkjet printers. Generally, when someone sees that something has 'popped' out of place and can't get it back together, we can help. We might also be able to help with paper jams, when something is obstructing the paper path and the customer isn't able to get at it. But if a piece is physically broken, there isn't much we can do. Also we can't help with most errors, as these generally come from either faulty parts or blown PCBs.

This is very frustrating to someone who bought a good inkjet printer last year, and now it's broken. Replacing some of the higher end printers can be expensive... especially if they've spent a lot of money on ink.

If you have a lot of ink for a broken machine, your best bet is to look through ebay to find the same printer. Also, you can look for a printer that takes the same ink. An easy way to do this is to look up the cartridge number on a site selling ink, and then find a list of compatible printers.