In terms of consumables, the printer industry is stuck in its ways. Original (OEM) cartridges are always more expensive than their compatible or remanufactured counterparts, and the difference can be staggering. Follow our tips to get the best value for money when shopping for new ink.
1. Consider Compatible Supplies
Compatible cartridges from smaller brands work as well as OEM products but let you save 20% or more with every purchase. For example, the current price for an HP 65 ink combo with two XL cartridges at Smart Ink is $52.99, while an original pack from HP will set you back at least $90. The difference is over 42%!
At first glance, these products are very similar to original cartridges in design and functionality. Nevertheless, they are also perfectly original thanks to slight distinctions. Using them is safe and legal as long as you shop in trusted stores.
2. Try Remanufactured Products
Another way to save on ink is to recycle original cartridges. Independent brands (often, these companies also produce compatible products) collect used supplies, clean and fill them with new ink. Every cartridge is also thoroughly tested, and any worn elements are replaced. As a result, you get an original product at a significant discount, and it works like new. What’s more, your impact on the environment decreases.
3. Forget DIY Refills
Do not even try to fill your cartridge at home. This process is messy and complex. What video tutorials do not tell you is that improper technique may result in leaks, bubbles inside the cartridge, damage to printheads, and other problems. Refilling must only be done by qualified specialists.
4. Buy XL or XXL Volume
Choose high-yield packs. For example, a standard black hp 65 HP cartridge is enough for 120 pages, while the XL product by Smart Ink prints 650 pages. For the tri-colour cartridge, the difference is also impressive — 100 vs. 440 pages.
5. Choose Reliable Stores
Shopping for OEM cartridges is a no-brainer, but choosing compatible or remanufactured products is tricky. Do some research before placing an order as quality varies. The following features distinguish trustworthy stores in Canada:
- Certified quality (compliance with international standards like ISO, Reach, CE, STMC, etc.).
- Extended warranty on all products covering defects and transportation damage.
- The updated version of the chip on every cartridge (otherwise, your printer may fail to recognize non-original supplies).
- Sustainability (recyclable products).
- Free shipping.
- Reliable 24/7 support.
Do not jump at the first bargain you see. Check feedback on Trustpilot to learn about the experience of real customers. Try contacting the support centre to check the speed and quality of replies. Remember that while third-party cartridges are legit, you should not take marketing claims on faith. Find a reputable store and start saving money!