It’s widely accepted that print cartridges by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are expensive. There’s a number of reasons for this but the main reason is that by charging more for their cartridges, printer manufacturers can afford to charge less for the printer itself. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of consumers buy a cheap printer and then find OEM cartridges prohibitively expensive.
This is where replacement ink cartridges come in. Defined as any cartridge not made by the printer’s manufacturer, replacement ink cartridges offer a cheap alternative to OEM cartridges. While there are many reputable dealers offering this kind of printing solution, there has also emerged a market for poorly-made remanufactured and cloned cartridges.
If you choose to buy a replacement ink cartridge from a reputable dealer, you can be reasonably sure that it won’t permanently damage your printer through usage. The worse that can happen is if you damage the printer whilst installing a third-party cartridge, which most warranties won’t cover. Simply using a third-party cartridge shouldn’t break your printer.
Replacement cartridges generally do have more technical issues than ones from the original manufacturer. The most common problems come from the chip installed in third-party cartridges, which is a tricky process. You will know if the chip is faulty if you can’t get any prints. Less common issues include poor quality prints and leakages, although it should be noted that retailers are legally bound to replace any cartridge which doesn’t function properly so while you may lose time, you won’t lose money. Most well-known retailers will also offer money back guarantees.
The real issue with replacements comes with cloned and cheaply remanufactured cartridges. Often, the people making these cartridges want to get the costs as low as possible with no regard for quality; the result of this is poor quality cartridges that will produce poor-quality prints, if they even work at all. Corners will inevitably have been cut in the manufacturing of these cartridges, which means the product may be broken on the way to you.
Cloned cartridges are similar to cheaply remade ones, except they are produced for even cheaper. With such low manufacturing costs, these are usually sold in bulk from the Far East. The prices are often ridiculous and are tempting for even the most cautious of buyers. Don’t be fooled though; the quality of these cartridges is often poor and represents a false economy.
Unlike quality replacement cartridges, these cheaper alternatives can actually damage your printer as they aren’t produced with the same level of care. They often don’t fit properly, leading to frustration as users try and force them in. Any breakage incurred by doing this will not be covered by warranty.
Overall, replacement ink cartridges are an excellent option for anyone worried about the costs of regularly replacing OEM cartridges. It’s also important to remember that not all remanufactured cartridges are bad either; in fact, some are almost of the same quality as ones by the OEM. If you dodge the poor quality alternatives by only buying from reputable dealers, you should find replacement ink cartridges are an excellent, wallet-friendly printing solution.