Foxvideo Productions

August 2013

Amazon vs eBay

Amazon recently decided to drop their 'free super saver postage' on items under £10, unless you added particular items or signed up to its £49 a year Prime service, this caused a stir on web forums with members finding £0.45p books to add to orders to qualify for free postage.

I needed a few 'sundries', a Hi8 video head cleaner, a can of air duster and some CD plastic sleeves - on Amazon with the £10.00 delivery charge, the order came to £23.38, the identical items on eBay came to £19.92, all with free postage - I wonder how long before Amazon 'revise' their decision?

Time for a change.

I seem to have been using Epson printers for years, certainly for around 12 years anyway, the first was an R300 back in around 2001 as it was one of the first to support CD/DVD disc printing, it failed after around 3 years, knowing what I know now I suspect the waste ink pads had filled up and the printer shutdown, Epson build in a safety feature so the waste ink pads don't become a fire risk. I replaced the R300 with an R200, this time I bought a waste ink kit from eBay, I was amazed at how much ink is actually used in a cleaning cycle so I then added a CISS system, everything worked well for several years, for some reason the CISS decided to spray ink all over the internals on one occasion essentially writing off the printer.

Time to buy another printer capable of disc printing, this time I went for an Epson P50, it had good reviews, would take the waste ink and CISS modifications and was a reasonable price. I never really got on with this Epson, it did the job but was often very glitchy in operation and a simple disc print could sometimes take for ages to get right, this printer died after just 20 months from a failed internal power supply.

Looking around again for a replacement there seemed to be a lack of disc printers, Epson had a couple but by now I felt it was time for a change, I found 2 Canon printers that would disc print, a PIXMA ip7250 and a PIXMA MG5250, both looked good value for the money, a quick check on eBay for the cost of non OEM replacement cartridges and the MG5250 came out on top, around £4.00 per set of 5 against around £11 for the ip7250 inks.

I bought the MG5250 printer at a total cost of £52, it has a scanner, built in WiFi, card reader, USB port and a small display screen. My printer came from an eBay seller not Canon, it came with a 'return to manufacturer' warranty and looked as either it was a return/repair or 'damaged box' printer and looked to be brand new.

Setting it up with it's WiFi was easy, the first prints looked stunning on photo paper, the disc printing function is a little difficult to get to grips with the first time - there's an internal drop down tray but you can't drop it down until after you've sent the job to the printer and then the screen on the printer will tell you when to open the tray. I've just printed 50 DVD's for a friend today using non OEM cartridges and had no problems at all, if anything printing was around 50% faster than using an Epson and the disc print quality was about the best I've seen, in all I'm well pleased and I'd certainly look at Canon printers over Epson next time round.