Toner and ink are one of those things that everyone needs, but no one wants to deal with. And to make matters worse, the ink and toner industry has been saturated with low quality alternatives that make it hard for some to trust anything but the high priced OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
Long story short…don’t believe everything you read on the internet!
While OEM cartridges are considered by most to be superior, re-manufactured and compatible ink and toner cartridges have come A LONG way in the last 20 years! Companies have spent billions of dollars on R&D, coming up with the best possible ways to produce them, and it shows.
As a matter of fact, one of the world’s largest remanufacturing companies is based right here in the U.S.A., and holds 38 patented and patent-pending technologies for remanufacturing the highest quality cartridges available today.
By opening recycled cartridges with a laser, the possibility of plastic shavings entering the cartridge is eliminated. They also completely re-build all internal components and even add some of their own patented parts to enhance performance. They then re-fill and fuse them back together. As a result, consumers are receiving a product that is arguably BETTER than the OEM, with great print quality, and even higher yields in many cases.
The technology and quality has come so far that even some OEM cartridges are actually recycled and remanufactured! This image is a little hard to read, but it states, “This original HP LaserJet cartridge contains only genuine HP parts. Designated parts that meet HP’s original design specifications for high print quality and reliable performance may have been selectively recovered through HP’s return and recycling program.”
The truth is, OEM cartridges generate HUGE amounts of revenue for the product company. In fact, many of the cheaper printers and copiers are actually sold for less than they cost to manufacture. Why? Because they can easily make up for the loss with the profit from over-priced OEM ink and toner cartridges.
Just a couple things to watch out for:
- No Drill and Fill!!! Many of the over seas cartridge companies are taking cartridges, drilling a hole in them, refilling with toner or ink, and then placing a plug in them. Under normal operation, these cartridges can leak and even explode causing irreparable damage.
- Avoid reman and compatible options for devices utilizing new technology. A great example of this is the Xerox ColorQube devices. While some after market options exist, they are sub-par at best and should be avoided until engineers have had time to research and develop a more quality alternative. The same goes for newer cartridge types (like the new stationary ink jets from HP). A good rule of thumb is to give it at least 3 years, from the release of new technology, before trying OEM alternatives.
- Buy in the middle. While there are definitely exceptions to this rule, most of the time it is best to avoid the absolute cheapest cartridges available. On the other end, the most expensive will likely be the OEMs. So play it safe and go with the mid-priced compatible and remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. You can always test out less expensive options before totally committing to one specific brand.
If you just aren’t sure, give us a call. We have spend countless hours researching quality alternatives and are so confident with our choices that we offer a 100% guarantee against defect.
Also ask us for a free copy of our book, “The Toner Pirate” which illustrates more extensively some of the in and outs of the ink and toner industry.