The affordability of inkjet printers is misleading. If you follow the manufacturer’s advice and use OEM cartridges, you will quickly spend more than you paid for the machine. This price disparity frustrates customers, but the industry of “generic” and “aftermarket” cartridges offers solutions. Discover how these options compare.
Suppose you have an HP Officejet 8702. The original black pigment costs around £40. For approximately the same price, you can get the HP 953xl multipack at Smart Ink with four cartridges! The quality of these compatible products is certified, and they will be instantly recognised by your equipment. Here is everything you need to know about such cheaper alternatives in 2021.
Prices for OEM Cartridges
Consumers have three options: original, compatible and refilled cartridges. OEM products are always the priciest. Printer manufacturers capitalise on expensive consumables, which is why they offer cheap inkjet printers. Their basic models are, in essence, consumer traps. Customers who do not bother to research their options spend hundreds of pounds on ink annually.
The “alternative” market has improved a lot in recent years. You can get similar quality for less (often, much less!). So, should you buy compatible or remanufactured cartridges?
New or Refilled?
Compatible supplies are produced from scratch. Remanufactured products are recycled original cartridges. Both options let you make significant savings, but refilled products are more sustainable. In this case, you get the original shell filled with fresh ink. Any worn elements are replaced, and the providers test all items thoroughly before shipping.
Compatible cartridges are designed for particular models of printers, but differences in design make them original. Your printer manufacturer may not prohibit the use of third-party supplies, and they will not void your warranty (as long as you buy from reliable suppliers).
How to Find a Reliable Store
Third-party shops are not created equal. Without research, you risk buying a cartridge that may malfunction — leak, cause smudges, etc. Fortunately, most sites try to offer the best quality, as the competition is fierce. To stay safe, pay attention to the following features and services:
- Compliance with international quality standards, such as ISO (confirmed by certificates);
- High rating on sites like Trustpilot;
- A money-back policy (2 years);
- The newest version of the cartridge ship, which guarantees recognition;
- Ink level tracking (for some cartridges);
- Reliable packaging to prevent transportation damage;
- Free shipping;
- Excellent customer support.
Top-rated shops also follow green policies. They provide remanufactured cartridges and recyclable compatible products. Consider using recycled paper, too.
Refilled and compatible cartridges will let you make significant savings. Find a reputable provider in the UK, and enjoy certified quality at a low cost. If you feel that the original products are a rip-off, switch to independent brands and maximise the value for money.