Imaging Spectrum Blog

Should I sell my aging photo printer or hold on?

Product discontinuance is a fact of life. Just like death and taxes.

Having been in the business of selling dye-sub photo printers for over 25 years, I have seen countless printers come and go. After all, product discontinuance is a fact of life. Just like death and taxes, it happens. The purpose of this article is to hopefully help some of you keep a healthy perspective before and after your favorite product reaches its twilight.

obsolete photo printersYou have a photo printer you love. It has always worked well and it helps you generate much needed revenue for your photography related business. With that said, there is one problem, you found out recently the media for your printer has just been discontinued. If you have not prepared for this day, this could be a serious source of stress for your business.

Unfortunately, knowing when a photo printer or printer media kit will be discontinued is not an exact science. There is no exact date and there is no crystal ball. However, there may be some general guidelines you can use to prepare for, or at least estimate, that day. Shortly after a printer is discontinued you should ask yourself a few questions. Is the printer you own a popular printer in the industry? If so, chances are the media will continue to be made for several years to come. In some cases 4 years and even 5 years, but that is pushing things a bit. Were very few of your printers sold in the industry? If so, the media will not be around as long. Your authorized dealer should be able to give you a clue if you ask.

If you wait too long and the product is suddenly discontinued, your printer may go from being worth several hundred dollars to zero dollars overnight. Unfortunately, that is the real “cost” of waiting until the last minute. At some point after a photo printer has been discontinued for a few years, it is generally a good idea to start the transition process. This usually means retiring printers, selling them or at least saving for the day when you have to buy another.

Consider your return on investment when purchasing. If a printer will not pay for itself in 3-4 months, then perhaps you should consider a less expensive model. Used and discontinued printers are sometimes the best “value buys” in the business. However, you need to keep in mind that the media will not be made forever. Keep a healthy perspective on your purchase and always be prepared for the day when you have to replace a printer. It is never a matter of if, but when.

Please comment below or contact a technical sales rep at Imaging Spectrum if you have any questions or would like more information. 800-342-9294

Related post: What do I do with my obsolete photo printer?

Steve has over 30 years of professional imaging industry experience and is Sales Manager at Imaging Spectrum.


  1. Steve B

    February 17, 2014 - 9:47 am


    Thanks for the note. Based on experience I would say sometime in the next couple of years. We still sell a lot of that product. However, DNP continues to be very vague on topic.

    Steve B
    Team ISI

  2. rolland elliott

    February 14, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    when will sony updr200 media be discontinued approximately? your best guess????

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