Original cartridges seem to be glaringly overpriced. Sometimes, they are more expensive than the equipment. For instance, the cheapest HP models are sold for around £90, while supplies from the manufacturer may cost almost the same. However, there are many affordable alternatives from third-party providers. Are they any good?
Outrageous pricing can make you wonder if the brands are trying to manipulate you — sell a cheap product once and capitalize on the ink for years. The cartridge ink shop in the UK on smartink.pro/uk/ even includes manufacturer prices in product descriptions, so buyers can see how much they save. The differences are stunning.
Consumers reluctant to pay for OEM — original equipment manufacturer cartridges — may recycle their supplies or purchase compatible models. In the first case, your old cartridge will be emptied, cleaned, and refilled with fresh ink.
1. Refilling (Remanufactured Cartridges)
These services have improved considerably over the past decade. However, as ink is a proprietary product, the quality of printing may suffer. The depth of colours, the time of drying, and other physical properties may differ. Besides, you need to take your cartridge to the outlet.
Whether to recycle your cartridge is up to you. If you are not going to print out professional photos, the differences may be negligible. Companies that refill old cartridges must provide extensive warranties. A dishonest supplier may pour in too much or too little ink. In the worst case, your printer will be damaged.
2. Compatible Cartridges
These replacements are designed by third parties from scratch. They emulate the branded supplies but have important design distinctions. The quality of printing may be just as good as with OEM, but it depends on the provider. Reliable companies offer a two-year guarantee covering any defects or damage during transportation.
At the same time, you may encounter businesses providing subpar products. Here are some of the features to look for:
- Certified quality (CE, ISO 9001,ISO 14000, Reach, STMC);
- Extensive warranty;
- High page yield;
- XL volume;
- Testing before shipping;
- The latest version of the chip;
- Tracking of the ink level;
Are Replacement Cartridges Legal?
Yes, absolutely. As their design deviates from the original models, the producers do not violate patent protection laws. Big brands have tried to outlaw compatible replacements, but legal attacks have failed. You can purchase any replacements you like.
Possible Compatibility Issues
High quality replacements will fit your printer perfectly. However, its firmware may cause problems. In recent years, some brands have started tweaking their updates, so printers are programmed to reject non-original supplies. To resolve this problem, disable updates or ignore them.
Original printer cartridges guarantee high quality of printing, but they are also expensive — sometimes, costing as much as the printer itself. To save money, you may refill your original cartridges or purchase compatible models. In either case, quality depends on the supplier. Choose the firm carefully to avoid damaging your machine.