How to replace printer cartridges more cheaply

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Has your printer run out of ink? A new cartridge can cost as much as the machine itself.

Many consumers are now choosing cheaper alternatives – remanufactured and compatible cartridges. Are you making the right choice?

Concerns appear to be well founded. Finally, printer brands advise customers against using third-party replacement products. They claim that the high prices for their supplies are a result of expensive research and development. Companies like HP, Brother and Epson spend billions to develop new printers. At the same time a replacement HP 953xl multipack from a smart ink cartridge store costs 50% less than the original product. Is there a catch?

Razors and blades

Many consumers believe that big brands are just using the razor and blade business model. It’s about selling a cheap product (even below its break-even point) and capitalizing on expensive offers. HP might sell you a printer for £ 100, but a cartridge can cost £ 90 or more. For businesses, this is a way to offset losses on printer sales. That sounds logical, but buyers feel manipulated.

Quality comparison

Original cartridges ensure perfect compatibility and standard print quality. In comparison, the qualities of refills and compatible models vary. Either way, you should do some research to find a reliable provider in your area.

1. Remanufactured cartridge

This term describes a genuine cartridge that has been filled with new ink. The provider will empty, clean and refill the item. Third party ink quality is critical. Since it does not come from the printer manufacturer, slight deviations in quality are normal. For example, the colors can look a little different.

Poor quality ink can cause stains, printhead problems, and other problems. At the same time, you can find an excellent replacement. Overall, recycling is an option unless you plan on printing professional-quality photos. Refilling may be sufficient for normal office supplies, provided the company provides a guarantee.

2. Compatible cartridges

These cartridges are completely original but are made by different brands. Legally, the products are acceptable because their design differs from the original. The quality can be excellent which is why printer brands have tried so hard to ban these replacements. Fortunately for penny foxes, their efforts have failed.

When choosing a cartridge, check the reputation of its manufacturer. Examine customer feedback to see how the product works. In general, this is the most convenient option – you can make significant savings without having to take your old equipment with you anywhere.

The best products are characterized by certified quality (CE, ISO 9001, ISO 14000, Reach, STMC), high page yield and large volume. The providers also offer extensive guarantees. And if you are concerned about carbon footprint, note that they are sustainable too.

To sum up

When you run out of ink, buying a new, genuine cartridge is the most expensive option. Two cheaper alternatives – remanufactured and compatible cartridges – cost less with comparable quality. The most important consideration is the supplier’s background, so do some homework to help you make an informed decision.


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