Every owner of an inkjet printer knows that OEM supplies are the priciest. Big brands like HP and Canon justify their policies by R&D expenses, but one cannot help wondering if the price tags are fair. Many consumers turn to the market for compatible supplies that can work just as well while costing less. How is it possible?
For example, if you use your HP Officejet 8720 with the HP 952xl pack (4 ink cartridges) from Smart Ink, you will spend just CDN$63.49 saving around 80% in comparison with OEM supplies. Such dramatic price differences may seem suspicious, but they are actually perfectly legit.
What Are Compatible Cartridges?
As the term suggests, these products are designed to fit particular models of printers. They are developed by independent manufacturers. In terms of performance, you should expect:
- Instant recognition
- Certified quality (compliance with international quality standards like ISO, Reach, CE, or STMC)
- The same or higher page yield (XL and XXL volumes are available)
These products must also come with the latest version of the chip. This ensures immediate recognition, which may otherwise be hindered by firmware updates.
Why Are They Legal?
Printer brands have no opportunity to prevent customers from using non-original supplies. In Canada, their rights are guaranteed by consumer protection acts in provinces. Manufacturers may not include anti-competitive terms in their policies, so you will not lose your printer warranty just because you prefer cheaper ink.
However, there is one thing these companies can do. They upgrade their firmware in such a way that printers stop recognizing non-original supplies. Turning off the updates should solve this problem.
What Are Remanufactured Cartridges?
If you have already done some research online, you should know that some affordable cartridges are classified as remanufactured. These are, basically, used OEM products that are revamped and refilled. You get an original cartridge shell filled with compatible ink at a discount.
This is another great way to save money. What's more, it is also sustainable, as the amount of waste is reduced. Even independent ink brands are now focused on sustainability!
Where to Buy
Independent brands are not created equal. To avoid being let down by a fly-by-night company, collect as much information as possible. Pay attention to the following:
- rating on websites like Trustpilot,
- quality certification (CE, ISO 9001,ISO 14000, Reach, STMC),
- updated chip versions,
- 24/7 customer support (phone, email, live chat, social media),
- free shipping and XL or XXL volume (to maximize savings).
To Sum up
Savvy consumers can save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year by switching to compatible ink. This requires some due diligence in the beginning, but your efforts will quickly pay off. Remanufactured products are also worth considering, particularly if you are focused on reducing pollution.