Calculating Cost Per Label for Inkjet Label Printers


Calculating Cost Per Label

Cost per label is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a printer. Cost-per-label calculation helps illustrate how much it costs each color label. If you want to calculate the true cost-per-label for your printer, you should consider the following factors: cost of ink cartridges, cost of the label rolls, electrical power consumption, maintenance kits, and labor costs. However, for the simplest cost-per-label analysis you can consider from cost of ink cartridges.


Most printer manufactures generate their revenues from the sale of ink or toner cartridges rather than the sale of printers themselves. Therefore before buying a printer, you should calculate the printing cost of each label by dividing the ink cartridge price by the yield. Yield is the number of labels that can be printed with one particular inkjet cartridge or toner.


The typical cost of color ink cartridge replacement for inkjet printers varies between $30 to $75 and can hundreds of labels depending on your design file. For labels that use one primary color, it would be worth it to get a printer that uses individual ink cartridges instead of tri-color ink cartridges.


Calculating Cost Per Label


Black and White Labels: Cost per black and white labels is calculated by dividing price of the black ink cartridges by the black cartridge’s label yield.


For example, if the price of an inkjet cartridge is $45 and its yield is 1850 Labels, then its cost per label will be $45/1850=$0.024 (2.4 cents per label).


Color Labels: A color label printer typically uses several ink cartridges to print a color label. To estimate cost per color label, you must calculate cost per label of each color cartridges, then combine that number with the black and white cost per label to get the final cost per color label.


For example, if you buy an inkjet printer and the cost of its color ink cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow) is $20 each, and can handle up to 2100 labels. Meanwhile the cost of a black ink cartridge is $45 and can print up to 1850 labels. The final cost per color label calculation is equal to 5.2 cents per label (($20/2100) + ($20/2100) + ($20/2100) + ($45/1850) = $0.052).


Examples


When it comes to printing your own labels, you have several choices of label printer such as Epson, Primera and Afinia. The Color label printers are available in all price ranges, but there’s more than purchase price alone. Ink cartridges can be expensive and it’s frustrating to throw away a full ink cartridge because all the cyan ran out. You will find that a entry level line label printer is actually far more expensive to own and operate than one costing much more upfront.


Primera LX500

Primera LX900

Epson TM-C3500

Afinia L301

Afinia L501

Cost Per Label

$0.23

$0.14

$0.08

$0.14

$0.10

Print​ Resolution

4800 dpi

4800 dpi

720 dpi

4800 x 1200 dpi

2400 x 1200 dpi

Label costs per printer vary from one label printer to the next. You should multiply the per label cost times the number of labels you will print each month to find out how much it will cost to print your own color labels. Label printers that use a single tri-color cartridge have the highest ink cost. At first you may save some money with the lower priced printers but, the higher ink cost means you will spend lots more money with this printer in the long term.


Print speeds affect how many labels you can print during any given time period, also note the speed for each of the sample labels and label printers. Make sure to factor in speed, because there’s a huge difference between being able to print two and a half labels per minute and 100 labels per minute.


Primera LX500

Primera LX900

Epson TM-C3500

Afinia L301

Afinia L501

Labels Per Minute

5

11

21

15

31

Print​ Resolution

4800 dpi

4800 dpi

720 dpi

4800 x 1200 dpi

2400 x 1200 dpi


Conclusion


Before you buy a color label printer, you also need to calculate the cost per label, because by doing this you can know whether or not you can save more money for cartridges and ink in the long run. Always remember that if you buy high capacity ink cartridge, of course the cost per label will be lower than the regular capacity one because of its less frequent replacement. There are many ink cost calculators out there for you to determine you cost per label for each project. 


John McIntyre, Writer

John is a American who grew up to be a nerd with a philosophy degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from California to New York in 2013. While he is not writing he is busy taking care of his two kids Claire and Vicky.