Discount ink cartridges and toner cartridges are in great demand these days. Due to the drop in price, many families and small business owners can buy an inkjet / photo printer for under $100 and a discount laser printer for under $200. Increased number of printer ownership means that there is a larger aftermarket for printing supplies.
Nevertheless, consumers who bought a cheap printer would soon find out that their spending did not end there, but rather have just begun. For examples, many OEM laser toners are selling at $100 a piece, the same price of an inkjet printer or one-half of that for a discount laser printer. A family who print a lot of color photos with their photo printer can easily spend more than $100 on OEM ink cartridges in several months. Think about this, it is absurd that one would spend more on replacement cartridges than on the printer itself in such a short period of time. As a result, many consumers are looking for economical alternatives to expensive OEM cartridges.
There are two main groups of discount ink cartridges and toner cartridges in the market these days: compatible cartridges and remanufactured cartridges. Compatible cartridges are also called generic cartridges. They are manufactured with the same specification of name brand cartridges but without the brand name. These cartridges are offered at one-half or one-third of the price of OEM cartridges.
On the other hand, remanufactured cartridges are name brand cartridges which have been through one cycle of service. They are usually disassembled, cleaned, repaired and refilled before releasing to the market again. Consumers who buy remanufactured cartridges are not only concerned about the price, but their benefit to the environment as well. One consumer was quoted saying “I buy the remanufactured cartridges because it is good for the environment. The lower price is just a bonus”.
It is a well known fact that printer manufacturers cut price in printers but maintain a very high profit margin from cartridge sales. Instead of lowering the price of OEM cartridges to make them more competitive, they use different tactics to ban the use of compatible and remanufactured cartridges from third-party manufacturers. For examples, printer manufacturers may install software in your computer that warns you of the use of compatible cartridges as if they could damage your printers. Some manufacturers incorporate smart chips into their cartridges so that consumers cannot refill or recycle their cartridges. Others have sued the third-party manufacturers of printer cartridges or smart chips claiming that they have violated patent technology.
Consumer advocates have pointed that that these tactics only serve to protect the profits of printer manufacturers but provide no benefits to the consumers at all. In fact, consumers should have the freedom to choose the replacement cartridges they use.
There are many compatible and remanufactured cartridges in the market today. Be a smart consumer, you should always compare an apple with an apple. For example, some manufacturers produce compatible cartridges without the smart chips. These cartridges are usually cheaper than 100% compatible cartridges with new replacement chips. However, compatible cartridge without new replacement chip may have problem communicating with the computer as the latter would think that the cartridge is always low in ink. It is also wise to shop only with vendors who can provide a good refund policy and extended warranty.
To learn more about different types of printer cartridges and to see if they are available for your printer model, please visit http://inkjets.4reviews.net.