Key Things to Know about Cheaper Ink Cartridges

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26 Nov 21

Key Things to Know about Cheaper Ink Cartridges

Big printer manufacturers, such as HP or Brother, have a peculiar approach to pricing. Customers who snatch the best deals on printers are disappointed to find out the ink costs almost as much. Brands producing “generic” and “aftermarket” cartridges address the need for affordable supplies. In 2021, these products are easy to find, but are they reliable?

The difference between the prices for OEM and alternative products are astounding. For example, the HP 950xl 951xl combo pack you can buy at Smart Ink costs £19.99. Meanwhile, the original multipack costs around £125. The value for money is undeniable. Discover the answers to typical questions about cheaper ink cartridges below.

How Are Cheaper Cartridges Produced?

These products fall into two categories — compatible and remanufactured. In the first case, the ink, the shell and all other elements are produced by an independent brand. Compatible cartridges are designed to mimic the configuration and performance of the original products. At the same time, they have unique design features that make them original in the eyes of the law.

Remanufactured products are recycled original cartridges. They are revamped and filled with third-party ink. This is the most sustainable option, but compatible cartridges from popular suppliers are also recyclable.

Why Are They Cheaper?

Printer manufacturers justify their pricing by massive research expenses. As independent producers do not usually sell office equipment, they do not invest so much in R&D. As a result, you can get a high-quality product at an attractive price.

Brands like Canon and HP have been sticking to the “razor and blades” model, as they sell basic printers at low prices but capitalise on complementary goods. This explains why a cartridge may cost almost as much as the equipment.

What About the Quality?

The market of “generic” and refilled products has considerably evolved in recent years. Quality still varies, but reliable suppliers sell superior products that perform as well as their original counterparts. The differences in quality are indistinguishable. Poorly designed cartridges may cause functioning or even damage your equipment. To find a trusted store, look for:

  • Certified quality (ISO, CE, and other standards);
  • Money-back guarantee (2 years);
  • The latest version of the chip (this guarantees instant recognition by your printer);
  • Ink level notifications (so you know when the ink is about to run out);
  • Free shipping;
  • Eco-friendly production and packaging, etc.

Will My Printer Recognise Non-original Cartridges?

Products from trusted suppliers are recognised immediately, but technical glitches may interfere with installation. For example, your printer may have a problem with internal memory, or the cartridges may be in the wrong slots. Printer manufacturers also release firmware updates that hinder recognition. Disable them and use any third-party products of your choice!