Printer cartridges: The difference between OEM, Remanufactured and Compatible

Let’s face it. None of us wants to go out and buy new ink or toner for our printers. We’d much rather put our money into a holiday fund or a new pair of shoes. Household necessities aren’t fun purchases, but when the low-ink light starts flashing, a trip to The Inky Shop is inevitable. As much as we would love our printer cartridges to last forever, they will need replacing at some stage. This day may come more frequently if your printer works hard, or less so if you only use it on occasion. When it comes, you have a choice of buying OEM, compatible, or remanufactured cartridges for your printer.

Choosing a printer cartridge

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of options available when it comes to printer cartridges. Do you stick with expensive brand names or explore alternative options? What’s the difference? We’ve put together a basic guideline of the options available to help you decide.

printer cartridges

OEM printer cartridges

The term OEM is a standard one in the world of printer consumables. It stands for ‘original equipment manufacturer’. These are the cartridges the printer manufacturer has made to go with their particular printer. For instance, the Canon printer you bought will have cartridges manufactured by Canon available for sale. These printer cartridges produce high print quality and are both durable and reliable. But, name brand cartridges come at a price, and they are the most expensive option. While brands claim their printer cartridges are your only option, don’t despair. Using alternative ink or toner will not void your warranty.  

Compatible printer cartridges

Compatible cartridges are generic versions of OEM printer cartridges. Made by a third party manufacturer, they’re built using new parts and designed to fit your printer. Without the brand name attached, these cartridges are cheaper than their OEM counterparts. There is no reason for compatible ink or toner to yield a lower quality than OEM. The cartridges undergo testing and follow the same standards as originals. In fact, high-quality compatible cartridges may even produce better quality prints. As long as you buy from a reputable supplier, such as The Inky Shop, your compatible cartridges should work as well as the OEM version (if not better).

Remanufactured printer cartridges

Empty OEM cartridges can be recycled and refurbished for reuse. Printer cartridges made from used parts are known as remanufactured cartridges. Instead of an empty cartridge ending up in a landfill, companies like us give them a second life. Before they are refilled and repackaged, the cartridges are disassembled and tested. All the parts are cleaned and replaced if worn. With a thorough refurbishing, remanufactured cartridges can perform as well as OEM cartridges. As with compatible cartridges, the quality depends on the supplier. Here at The Inky Shop, we’re so confident in our quality we’ve endorsed them with a 100% money-back guarantee.

printer cartridges

Why should you buy remanufactured or compatible cartridges?

The only difference between compatible/remanufactured cartridges and OEM is the price. Compatible and remanufactured printer cartridges provide the same high quality as OEM, not to mention the environmental benefits of the remanufactured route. Our Inky Shop alternative cartridges consist of either recycled, refurbished or new components. We supply alternative ink and toner for every major brand – lower in price, high in quality.

Have you considered ink refills?

Lastly, there’s one more option to consider for inkjet users. Instead of buying a replacement, you can refill your empty printer cartridge. Done professionally, this can be an affordable alternative beneficial to the environment. Cartridges are refillable more than once before a new one is necessary. Our ink refilling service is a technical process, using vacuum-fill technology and premium inks.

Now you know the facts, there’s no need to dread overly-expensive printer cartridge purchases. Cut down costs by choosing remanufactured or compatible cartridges. Expenses can be further reduced if you opt for ink refills. Whether you’re looking for OEM or alternative, The Inky Shop boasts a wide range of products. Contact your nearest store to place an order.

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