How do people select a printer thats good for their needs?

Here is a story that was relayed today by a customer.  A very informed customer that is that cares about saving money and refilling his printer ink.Today I walked into Best Buy, and browsed the printer section.  I asked the customer service rep what printer he would recommend. He wasn’t sure how to answer me, or what questions he should ask me to ascertain what elements or functions of a printer I am most interested in.  He coughed, said a few unrelated things, and beckoned someone to help.  That someone was very “cool”, called me dude, and also did not ask me any questions.  He just zoomed past the printer aisle (passing by at least 10-15 printers on the way, mostly inkjet by the way – not sure why laser toners don’t feature as much on Best Buy shelves), and quickly pointed to 3 printers: a Canon, an Epson and a Lexmark (called Genesis).  I said “why did you suggest these 3?”, he said “Because they are newer and cool.  But it depends on how much printing you do”.  Go figure.  Anyway, I thanked him for his time, and began to do some investigating myself.All 3 printers were multifunction (that is they scan, print and fax), and I think also copy.   I did not pay attention to the printer models, I was more focused on the cartridges they use as I am interested in the cost per page and long term usability cost (something I think the store sales rep should have asked me about).   The Canon used the CLI226 and PGI225 cartridges.  The Epson used the T09 series ink cartridges.  The Lexmark Genesis (very cool looking printer) uses the Lexmark 100 and Lexmark 100xl inks.  So I pulled out my blackberry, did some online searching and landed on – promising to save me money on inkjet cartridges, printer ink and cartridge refills.  I looked up the CLI226 and Canon PGI225 inkjet cartridges.  Original brand – around $20 or more.  Remanufactured / compatible? Around $7 each.  Refills available? Yes, but they need chips.  Chips coming soon.  On to the Epson.  Refills are very complicated apparently (read some reviews).  So scrap that.  The Lexmark 100, also available.  Long story short, I decided on the Canon because I have had good experience with Canons and because Atlantic had the cartridges in stock.

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