Ink printers are great for high-resolution photos, but they are also notorious for their consumption of supplies. In Canada, the cheapest models of the equipment may cost under $100. Meanwhile, a new cartridge may set you back $60 or more. Fortunately, there are cheaper options.
While a printer may be extremely affordable, cartridges may add up to a shocking amount over its lifetime. The original products from big brands like HP or Canon are known for their high prices. At the same time, a replacement for printer ink from independent stores like Smart Ink will let you save 20% or even more per purchase. Here is why.
Why Original Cartridges Are Pricey
Big printer manufacturers justify their policy by their investment in R&D. While they do spend billions of dollars on it, customers tend to blame the “razor and blades model”. It involves selling equipment at a break-even point or a loss to capitalize on the supplies. Naturally, if you realize that the cartridges for your printer cost almost as much as the machine itself, you may feel cheated. So, what are the alternatives?
Option 1. Remanufactured Cartridges
Remanufacturing includes emptying, cleaning and refilling an original cartridge with fresh ink. While you could still take your product to a service provider, it is much easier to order remanufactured cartridges online. Companies like Smart Ink refill OEM products with ink of certified quality. Their supplies are much cheaper than the originals.
Option 2. Compatible Cartridges
These products are created from scratch by independent manufacturers. They are designed for specific models of printers but have important distinctions that make them original. Certified quality ensures excellent printing.
What to Look for
When shopping for a cheaper replacement, consider the background and reputation of the store — for example, its status on platforms like Trustpilot. Look for specific standards of quality like ISO, the latest version of the chip to ensure compatibility, free shipping, and extended warranty. A reliable provider will give you a 2-year warranty on the products.
The Manufacturers’ View
Ask any big brand about third-party products, and they will warn you that the quality may vary, the cartridges may damage your equipment, etc. Still, it is your right to choose the alternatives, as they do not void the printer warranty. Moreover, the quality of printing may be as good as with the original OEM (original printer manufacturer) cartridges.
The brands have tried to outlaw the replacements, but those lawsuits failed. Today, they only issue recommendations. Some companies release software updates programming their printers to reject independent cartridges, but this problem has a simple solution — disabling the updates.