Why are Copic Markers so expensive?
Now I’d like to go over the features of Copic markers to help you answer the common questions of “Why are Copic markers so expensive?” and “Are Copic markers worth the money?”
1. Each Copic marker is quality tested
(This is something I hadn’t thought about at all until one of my Copic teachers brought it up.)
Copic ink will always be the same color… Always.
If you buy the R27 Copic marker today, and a refill a year from now, that refill will be exactly the same color. Makes sense, right? Which is what I thought, but apparently that’s not the case with other brands. In most cases, because the ink is mixed in batches, one year’s colors maybe slightly off from next year’s; unless there is strict quality control like there is with Copic markers.
Each Copic marker is hand-tested multiple times for overall quality and color consistency before leaving the factory in Japan. I have bought over 200 of these markers over the past two and half years, and have never had one that wasn’t exactly as it should be, right out of the package.
The first Copic Classic marker came out in 1987, so they have been around a while. Someone in one of my classes mentioned falling in love with a marker set and then the company went out of business so she couldn’t buy them anymore. Not likely to happen with Copic, as they are still strong and well established in the professional arts community.
2. Copic markers are alcohol-based
This means several things for colorists …
- Using Copics will not damage your paper like water-based markers. This means you can layer Copics like colored pencils over and over again.
- Copics blend really well, and by “blending” I mean laying ink down on the paper in a smooth, uniform fashion. This means you can avoid those light and dark streaks that happen with water-based markers.
- Copic markers won’t dry out when not in use, assuming both caps are put on correctly to keep an air-tight seal. They have a guaranteed 3-year shelf life.
Compared to other alcohol or oil-based markers, Copic are very low-odor. Yes, if you stick one directly under your nose, you will have a scent similar to rubbing alcohol. Unlike Sharpies or Winsor & Newtons, though, Copics don’t give me a headache from the vapors when I use them for an hour.
3. Copic markers are refillable & renibbable
…okay, so maybe I made up that last word, but this is so, so important.
Earlier I mentioned the number of times each kind of Copic marker could be refilled from one “Various Ink” bottle, which is how Copic refers to their refills. This means when you buy a Copic marker, you are basically buying that body style and will refill that marker whenever you run dry.
For example, you can get one Sketch marker for an average of $7. You can get a Various Ink refill for around $5. A Sketch marker can be refilled up to 12 times. So for $12 (the marker at $7 and the refill at $5), you have just bought the equivalent of 13 markers of any other brand.
Granted, to get this kind of deal, you are using your Copics a lot, but what a saving if you do!
Also, that word I made up, ‘renibbable’? If you damage (or wear through) a nib of a Copic marker, you can buy a replacement nib. You can even change out nibs on certain bodies if you don’t like what it comes with out of the package. How awesome is that?!