Vanilla is worth more than silver

The price of vanilla has hit a record high of $600 (£445) per kilogram for the second time since 2017 when a cyclone damaged many of the plantations in Madagascar, where three quarters of the world’s vanilla is grown. Silver by comparison currently costs $538/kg.

Demand for vanilla has kept the prices high, leading some ice cream manufacturers to cut back and even halt production of the flavour, sparking fears of shortages over the summer.

Here is the full story, and note this:

Replacement printer ink cartridges can cost between $8 and $27, depending on the type of printer you have. A single black ink jet cartridge from one major manufacturer can cost $23 for just 4ml of ink – enough to print around 200 pages.

Manufacturers argue they need to charge this to cover the loss they are selling the printer hardware at, together with the research and development they do on ink technology. But cut open an ink cartridge and you will see that most of the space inside is taken up with sponge, designed to help preserve and deliver the ink.

And when you are paying what works out to be around $1,733/kg of ink, you might be better off printing with pure silver instead.


Vanilla: I prefer Tahitian [in baked goods & ice cream ethyl vanillin is indistinguishable]

Carbon for printers: For years, Hewlett Packard's most profitable [by far] line of business [the Gillette of Palo Alto]

Vanilla is over rated. You cannot tell the difference between artificial and real vanilla. So why would you pay astronomical prices for it?

Yes, these two comments nail it. People have done blind taste tests. Only in relatively rare situations i.e. when vanilla is the highly prominent ingredient, can people tell the difference.

Or just buy a printer cartridge from a third party instead.

Sure, and void the manufacturer warranty on a 60 dollar scanner/printer? No way - that 45 dollar genuine cartridge replacement set is worth every penny as insurance just in case something happens to the device after a year and a half.

(So, just how serious am I? Well, this far - if you send back a defective printer, make sure you take out the third party cartridges first, at least according to an anecdote repeated to me by someone - because you end up losing on the postage both ways, assuming you want the unit back.)

In Australia you are not required to use manufacturer parts to maintain the manufacturer's warranty. Sometimes you might have to fight them over it, but the law is generally on your side unless do something dumb like made an incompatible cartridge fit with a hammer or something.

Interesting. In Germany, it depends is the simple answer. For example, it is pretty much impossible to have a warranty repair done on a car without proving that it was maintained according to the manufacturer's requirements - which is pretty close to making sure that for those first 2 years, a dealer is used. (Lot of interplay involved depending on what the problem was, but the basic hassle is already there - after all, the warranty work will be done by a dealer, with an incentive to have maintenance done by themselves.)

But there is no question that if you send a printer back with 3rd party cartridges in it, and say the jets are clogged and it won't print, the manufacturer won't even bother to do anything after seeing an excuse to avoid dealing with the problem entirely. And to be honest, I'm not sure that is completely incorrect - I assume the ink home fill sets are also sold in Australia?

I don't use printers with ink so I'm not familiar with them. I bought a Chinese laser printer 13 years ago. It's on its second drum of toner, although I managed to extend the life of the first drum by taping over the sensor that counts how many pages your have printed out and then tells you need new toner regardless of how much is left.

But while I don't know the details of using ink cartridges I have heard what printer manufacturers get up to and my opinion of them is so low it could walk under a snake with its umbrella up.

As for cars, provided you don't do something that actually damages them, there is no need to either use manufacturer's parts or have it serviced by them. It does need to be serviced, but it doesn't have to be by them.

Because of Australian's consumer protection, warranties for products can be shorter here than for the same thing in the United States.

Love 'walk under a snake with its umbrella up'. Will be stealing.

:) yr trading a certain payoff for an uncertain payoff if you worry about the warranty, and the magnitude of the reward for the uncertain payoff is not great enough to justify passing on collecting the money now. Plus as you repeatedly replace cartridges the chance of your printer being a lemon declines.

I think the correct course of action here is, unless you're running some kind of home business or what have you, to leech off your employer's printer for small things and for larger tasks, take a flash drive to a copy shop and have them print it. Economies of scale, people: make them work for you.

The printer company cheats. When you thought you will only use the black ink, the printer will also squirt a bit of magenta. You will end up replacing the whole set of cartridges.

Two points on printer inks.
1) Removing a third party cartridge will not help, the printer records the fact that you used one.
2) Using third party inks on my canon meant that the extra functions like scanning to cloud stopped working. I believe other manufacturers do similar tricks.

'removing a third party cartridge will not help'

Really? A lot of German 3rd party cartridges are just refilled manufacturer cartridges. Not all, of course, but it is common for a company to collect such things in a box provided by the refilling company, in a kind of deposit transaction - the refilled cartridge is much cheaper with a trade-in.

You should never use an ink-jet printer, but if you do you should just buy a new one each time it runs out of ink. It is cheaper, and that way you can help drive the current manufacturers insolvent (they all suck, esp. HP).

Who prints paper nowadays?

I'm a consultant. My only output is printer paper. Just a few clients also ask for data, results and electronic version of reports.

Refill printer cartridges with vanilla.

A spike in the price for a commodity provides an incentive for an alternative. The ridiculously high price for ink cartridges induced businesses (and lawyers who represent them) to go full digital. I often work on complex transactions in which the documents are never printed. I remember decades ago when lawyers would swap many revisions of documents, the printers working overtime along with the FedEx delivery personnel. As for the spike in the price of vanilla, the boring person I am, vanilla is my favorite flavor ice cream. I may be induced to try chocolate or strawberry. But I refuse to try bubble gum and other oddball flavors for ice cream that have become popular.

Actually, at current market prices, vanilla is worth its price in silver and more.

Big Vanilla is robbing you all blind, and you just sit around and make jokes.

You know who likes vanilla? DICK CHENEY. Think about it.

I also heard that Trump like cherry vanilla ice cream. And he gets two scoops!

Bottom Line: Buy Silver. It's at historic low price levels by any measure.

Plus, the brainless liberals [redundant] think that President Donald J. Trump is, if not the devil, a werewolf. They will run up the price of silver by manufacturing millions of silver bullets.

You heard it first here. And, I didn't charge a fee.

Given the harm to consumers, why isn't the ink cartridge scam treated as an illegal tying arrangement under U.S. antitrust laws?

The US has anti-trust laws?

There is no evidence for this. Citation please....

Well, at that amount, here's everyone's easy money:

"you are paying what works out to be around $1,733/kg of ink"

I'm surprised that Tyler quoted this passage, which people who have learned economics realize is fallacious. A smart phone contains a few dozen dollars worth of gold, silicon, other alloys and plastic. If I rent a car it comes with maybe $40 of gas in the tank. Those are useless numbers for determining costs or prices.

Those aren't useless numbers if you're specifically paying for a gas refill. You can syringe-load your HP cartridges for pennies, if you don't want to pay $60/batch for the HP stamp of approval.

Silver is too cheap and too heavy.

The WSJ had a good article on vanilla last Dec.

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