Why Are Copic Markers So Expensive?

I still remember the first time I bought Copic markers.

The only thing I knew was that they were the best art markers available.

When I found them in the store, I thought I was seeing double. These markers were way more expensive than I expected!

But after using them for a while, I now know why.

Copic markers are more expensive than most other alcohol-based markers because they contain the highest quality ink, are very versatile, and are extremely durable when handled with care. They are professional art tools that are used by artists, designers, illustrators, architects, etc.

How expensive are Copic markers?

Before we get into the reason why Copic markers are so expensive, let’s make sure we are all on the same page.

There are three different types of Copic markers: Classic, Ciao, and Sketch.

And not every type is the same price.

Let’s use the current prices on Amazon to make a quick comparison.

A set of 72 Classic or Sketch markers cost roughly $315, while a similar set with Ciao markers costs $280.

That makes an average Copic marker cost roughly $3.90 to $4.40.

The difference is mainly because the Ciao markers are smaller and contain less ink.

Nevertheless, no matter which Copic marker you go with, they are still almost twice as expensive as other alcohol-based markers.

So it’s not very surprising to see many new buyers complain about the price, as shown in the tweet below:

Why are Copic markers so expensive?

So let’s take a look at why Copics are so expensive.

First of all, each and every Copic marker is assembled and extensively tested by hand before they are shipped. If any of the markers don’t work very well, they are immediately discarded. This way Copic can make sure that each marker is perfect. But such a labor intensive process increases the manufacturing cost a lot.

Secondly, the caps of Copic markers are designed to be airtight. So if you store your markers properly, they will never dry out.

Moreover, unlike many cheaper alcohol-based markers, you can refill the Copic markers with new ink. The only other refillable art markers that I know of are the Spectrum Noir markers. Buying a refill costs only $5 and can be used to refill a Sketch marker 10-12 times. So you can save some serious money if you refill your markers.

Finally, the nibs on Copic markers are very durable. You can use them for many months without any problems. Unlike some of the cheaper markers I have tried, where the nib forms a tail after only a few uses. Additionally, you can even replace your Copic nibs. So if you do encounter some problems, you can simply replace the nib rather than the entire marker.

Are Copic markers worth it?

And now the most important question of all: are Copic markers worth buying?

It really depends on what you are looking for.

If this is your first time buying art markers, you might want to try out some of the cheaper alcohol markers first.

You don’t want to buy expensive Copic markers and then realize you actually want to work with some other art medium such as acrylic paint.

However, if you know for sure that art markers are the right choice for you and you want to make a long-term investment in some high-quality markers, then Copic markers are definitely worth it.

Save money by refilling your Copic markers

A big difference between Copic markers and most other art markers is that you can refill your Copic markers with new ink. Whereas you need to throw away most other markers as soon as they run dry.

And refilling your markers is a lot cheaper than buying new markers!

In one of my other article, I calculated how much it costs to refill your Copic markers.

After the calculations, it turns out that:

  • Refilling a Copic Sketch marker costs $0.80
  • Refilling a Copic Ciao marker costs $0.70
  • Refilling a Copic Classic marker costs $1.10

If you take good care of your Copic markers, you can probably refill them multiple times. And there isn’t a huge price difference between buying Copic markers with the refillable ink and simply buying cheap markers several times when they run dry.

Which markers to get first?

There are currently over 350 different Copic colors to choose from.

Buying all of them at once would cost a tiny fortune.

Fortunately, you don’t need all of them to get started.

But deciding which colors you do buy and which colors you don’t buy will be one of the most important decisions you will make.

If you buy the wrong colors, you won’t be able to blend very well.

If you want to know which colors I recommend, you can read my article on Copic markers for beginners.

Cheap alternatives

If you feel like Copic markers aren’t worth it, you can buy some cheaper art markers instead.

Some alternatives are almost as good as Copic markers, but only cost half the price.

To find all of them, read our article on the best Copic markers alternatives.

Here is just a small table that compares the prices of Copic markers with the other markers. Of course, most of these markers aren’t as good as the Copic markers. You’ll have to read the review for more details on how they differ.

NamePrice*Number of markersPrice per marker ($)*Our Review
Copic Sketch420726Read Here
Prismacolor Premier75243Read Here
Arteza1201201Read Here
Ohuhu35480.75Read Here
Spectrum Noir165722Read Here

*: These prices are rounded off and may have changed since the time of writing. Click on the name for the most up-to-date prices.

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