The pricing policies of printer brands have raised eyebrows for years. A basic inkjet model may cost under £100, but you will soon spend more on the original ink — of course, if you follow the brand’s recommendations. Consumers who want to save money turn to “generic” and “aftermarket” supplies. If you are looking for the best value for money, this article is exactly what you need.
Do you own an HP printer? The prices for third-party supplies may amaze you. For example, Smart Ink offers HP ink 933xl combo pack cartridges for OfficeJet machines for £15.99. The original pack costs around £90 — over 5 times as much! One may wonder if these cheaper products are any good. Here are the key things to know about alternative printer ink in 2021.
1. These Cartridges Are Perfectly Legit
In the past, when the industry was only emerging, printer manufacturers tried to sue independent brands. These lawsuits failed, so third-party products are legal to use. Technically, compatible cartridges have a similar, but not identical design, so they are regarded as original products. Every consumer is free to choose between OEM cartridges and cheaper competing products.
2. The Quality of Printing Is Comparable
Users hesitant about compatible supplies are usually concerned about quality and safety. As long as you buy from a reputable store with proper quality certificates (ISO, CE, etc.), the performance is similar. These products are also perfectly safe to use, and they will not null the warranty from the manufacturer.
3. Remanufactured Cartridges Are An Eco-friendly Choice
In addition to compatible products, third-party stores also offer refilled, aka “remanufactured” items. These are name-brand cartridges that have been cleaned, revamped and filled with fresh ink by independent suppliers. They offer the same benefits in terms of quality and warranties, and the price is just as attractive.
4. Stores Are Not Created Equal
The demand for cheaper ink is massive, and this industry has its own “bad apples.” To make sure your shop is not a fly-by-night firm, pay attention to the following:
- Quality certification (e.g., CE, ISO 9001, ISO 14000, Reach, STMC);
- An extensive warranty (for example, a 2-year money guarantee);
- The latest version of the cartridge chip (to ensure smooth installation);
- Ink level tracking feature (some models will notify you when the ink starts running out);
- Free shipping and multi-layer packaging (to prevent transportation damage);
- 24/7 support, etc.
Choose shops that provide all the listed benefits. Do not rely on the customer testimonials they share — look for feedback on platforms like Trustpilot. Find your ideal supplier and enjoy cost-effective printing for years! Whether you choose compatible or refilled items, the value is undeniable.