Printer Ink Cartridges

You may have noticed how printer companies are only too happy to sell printers at or below the manufacturing cost, knowing that they are going to more than make up for it by selling you replacement printer cartridges for the life of the printer. Believe it or not, ink and toner sales worldwide total $100 billion per year.

The vast majority of us don't think to ask the salesman two key things when we are purchasing a printer. The first of which is 'how many pages will the ink cartridge print' and the second one is 'how much does it cost to replace the cartridge?'. Many people do not know that it is possible for a new set of cartridges to cost you up to $160, which is nearly the cost of some inkjet printers!

An even more annoying fact is that a large majority of your ink never actually gets used but it actually gets sprayed out onto the wastepad during auto maintenance cleans to make sure the print head doesnt clog. It is actually cheaper to leave your printer turned ON as it will reduce the amount of ink used. The high replacement cost of ink cartridges has created a huge demand for low cost compatible ink cartridges. There are now a number of alternatives to purchasing new cartridges from the printer manufacturer.

One way that a large number of people are managing to avoid the high cost of replacement cartridges is by refilling their ink cartridges at home. There are quite a number of refill kits available that contain the ink you require, in addition to an ink syringe for completing the refill. While you can save a great deal of money this way, it can be a very messy procedure and nowadays due to the very competetive prices of Generic inks not many people attempt doing refills.

If like many people you don't want to go through the messy process of refilling your ink cartridges, there are now great savings to be had by using high quality compatible Ink Cartridges. Compatible cartridges come in two main categories:

Remanufactured ink cartridges

These are typically the type of cartridge which has a built in print head. Due to the complicated structure of these cartridges it is far cheaper to remanufacture these than to create a whole new cartridge from scratch. A remanufactured cartridge simply means it has been reconditioned. This procedure usually involves the cartridge being flushed out, the sponge being replaced, the ink tank being refilled and finally being tested for print quality.

While this procedure works be warned as the variation in quality from manufacturer to manufacturer varies immensely. At Ink Hub we dealt in remanufactured inks in the early days and many of the cartridges worked perfectly. What we did find however was that the failure rate for these was far greater than that of a well made, new compatible printer cartridge. This is to be expected I guess when comparing any"reconditioned" product to a brand new, mass produced item. It is a common procedure for Laser Toners to be remanufactured also. Toners tend to be more reliable however as they are physically larger and many of the parts are actually replaced by new ones during the remanufacturing process. Many people actually prefer a remanufactured toner over a compatible one as they are getting a "Genuine Brand Name" toner which has been fully rebuilt. As with any of the "refurbished" products be sure to purchase them from a reputable supplier who has good online reviews and is backed up by a proper warranty.

Compatible Ink cartridges

The compatible ink cartridge is by far the most common of the "Generic" or non genuine type of cartridges. They are mass produced by the millions and for this reason they are very affordable in comparison to the "Brand Name" equivelant.

Most of the Generic inks sold by reputable retailers are of a very high quality and they represent a huge saving over the genuine products. Typically savings can be in the range of 50 - 150% compared to equivalent "Brand Name" products..

Printer Warranties with Generic Inks

Many Consumers are still concerned in regards to their printer warranties when it comes to using non genuine inks. Let me assure you that a well made Generic ink will in no way harm your printer under any circumstances. This however has'nt always been the case as in the early days of non genuine inks they were so poorly made and the ink was of such a bad consistancy that printer failure was often a common thing. Nowadays if you buy from a reputable company you will find that they are basically no different in quality to the brand name consumables. If you want to know where you stand legally in regards to your printers warranty have a read of the following:

The Magnuson Moss Warranty Improvement Act is an actual law that protects you the consumer in regards to manufacturer warranties, including all types of printers. The following excerpt is taken from the “Magnuson Moss Warranty Improvement Act:

“No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name.”

To sum this up it is basically saying that a warranty cannot be made void by the use of a third party product being used in it. Most companies if approached on this matter will usually honor their warranties unless in the case where very poorly constructed non genuine inks were found to have caused some issue. As stated before if you buy from a reputable retailer you will never have to worry about issues like this.

Some Final thoughts on Printer Consumables

Even though printer ink manufacturers will always try and convince you that you have to use their replacement cartridges, independent experts say that is not the case. For the vast majority of uses, low cost ink will work just as well as the ink in the much more expensive branded cartridges like those created by Hewlett Packard, Epson, OKI and Canon.

Remember however that when purchasing Compatible Ink Cartridges / toner buy from a reputable dealer. Over the years comptible Ink Cartridges have been given a bad name and rightly so. There are still huge numbers of retailers both online and in stores who are selling cheap, inferior printer cartridges. A good quality compatible cartridge usually contains high quality USA printer ink. This will ensure that your printer runs trouble free and that your valuable printhead will not be blocked or clogged as can happen with low grade compatible cartridges.

Also many of the inferior compatible ink cartridges are poorly moulded resulting in a cartridge which doesnt fit snuggly into the printer the same way as the original cartridge would. This can lead to compatibility issues due to microchips not contacting the printer terminals correctly etc.

Compatible Printer Ink is definitely the way to go if you want to save money but be warned - There is a lot of rubbish out there! Make sure that you buy your printer ink from a reputable dealer who offers a money back guarantee and who will be there for you should a problem occur. Have a read here For more great articles on Printer Ink and related info. Compare our prices to Officeworks !