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Archive 2012 · Epson 7900 or outsource...
  
 
equestrianguy
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p.1 #1 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


I've been selling quite a few art prints on ebay that are anywhere from 12x18, to 24x36 to 10x30 and 24x72 in size. A rather large spectrum. We've been outsourcing it for a while and I'm pretty certain the cost of outsourcing the larger prints is roughly 100% more expensive then if we were printing them ourselves.

I saw that the Epson 7900 was on sale today locally for $2499. I thought what a bargain. I checked the paper type we use and it would range from $4 to $7 per print for the paper cost which means our total print cost would go down by over 150% on average. We are most likely going to use a bulk ink setup as we've done this before with success a few years ago.

The questions Im most concerned about are the reliability of the printers. In particular how common nozzle and print head issues get. It's the only real concern I do have as I'm sure the printer will pay for itself within a month or so and then it'll just be profit.

Any input is so appreciated.



Nov 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #2 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


I could say the obvious...the printer is unlikely to go wrong in the first month so from then on it is all profit...as you said!!

That aside, these are industrial grade bits of machinery made to deliver the goods day in day out...so with proper service regimes they should last a very long time. Just check out how it was used, maintained, and so on.

Not sure what you mean by bulk ink setup as these printers take 220ml carts from what I remember. I know here in the UK there are refillable ones for sale...and third party inks that are a lot less than Epson inks. I tend to use German OCP bulk inks but I don't know if they produce ink for that particular printer.



Dec 01, 2012 at 01:25 AM
kdphotography
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p.1 #3 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


With a bit of common sense, regular maintenance, and regular use---a wide format printer should prove to be very reliable. I'm running a 4800 for cards, 9900 for most all printing, and a 9890 converted to K7 B&W MPS gloss and matte printing. If you monitor your humidity levels, keep the printer area clean, replace the wiper assembly at least annually, and print regularly you will probably escape any complaints regarding print head clogging that are voiced over the internet.

I'd skip third party inks. You can opt for the 700 ml cartridges if you really print a lot and want more of a bulk savings. I do quite a bit of printing for my own studio work and for others and find that the 350 ml cartridges work fine, though I'm using all 700 ml cartridges at the moment.

ken



Dec 01, 2012 at 02:57 AM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #4 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


If you are printing so frequently and in such volume as to pay for the printer (in one month!), you will not suffer many, or any, nozzle clogs. Clogs are most associated with extended idle periods, and in dry climates. Extended idle periods doesn't sound like you.

John Caldwell



Dec 01, 2012 at 03:16 AM
 

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equestrianguy
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p.1 #5 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


I should say the $2499 price is brand new not including delivery. We did own the 17" printer a few years back and then started outsourcing to WHCC which has been ok. It's just hard to justify the costs when we know we can print a 24"x36" Landscape for less than $20 and they are charging us $60 for the same print. I think it would pay for itself as we'd be increasing our profit margin by a rather large amount. I'm not sure if it would pay for itself in one month but most certainly within two.

We found a bulk setup for the 7900 that uses specific cartridges that have ARC chips on them that are refillable. I've used similar ink in our smaller printer with no problem of course they tell us the warranty goes out the window. I'm not overly concerned considering the cost of the ink set from epson is a mere $1000. I'm sure the savings in ink alone would pay for a printer. Sort of silly.

I was thinking of the 9900 but we'd likely never do prints of that size to get enough usage out of it. The idea has most certainly crossed my mind though lol.



Dec 01, 2012 at 05:09 AM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #6 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


Not that your experience needs to mirror mine, but I sure wish I'd bout a 44" when I bought my 24" Z3200. I'm now in the process of buying a 44, either the 9900 or the Canon 8400. Todays files are so good that the larger format print can be quite nice. If you have the space for a 44" machine, you might want to consider it.

We mount a lot of our large prints on 1/2" gator foam and laminate the result - when fine art framing and glazing don't make sense. Pretty great result for low cost, in my view.

John Caldwell



Dec 01, 2012 at 05:18 AM
equestrianguy
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p.1 #7 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


One last thing can we still disable the ink maintenance tank as well on the 7900. I know my previous experience with the 4800 it was possible to remove the ink maintenance tank with a air tight container rather than having to buy a $200 tampon every so often.

Just thought Id ask as I can't find much by way of google.



Dec 01, 2012 at 05:21 AM
equestrianguy
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p.1 #8 · Epson 7900 or outsource...


John Caldwell wrote:
Not that your experience needs to mirror mine, but I sure wish I'd bout a 44" when I bought my 24" Z3200. I'm now in the process of buying a 44, either the 9900 or the Canon 8400. Todays files are so good that the larger format print can be quite nice. If you have the space for a 44" machine, you might want to consider it.

We mount a lot of our large prints on 1/2" gator foam and laminate the result - when fine art framing and glazing don't make sense. Pretty great result for low cost, in
...Show more

Right now it's just something we aren't offering our clients. I'm sure in the future we may it does seem like I'm seeing 9600 and 9900 printers used for a relatively good price. One option we were looking at was mounting the image on styrene and then using acryllic with posts to create a very differen kind of fine art look without breaking the bank.

Really it's about letting us develop different revenue streams. We've been making a few hundred a month selling them and I'm sure this could be closer to $2000 profit a month if we had the right setup.



Dec 01, 2012 at 05:23 AM





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