The quality of ink and toner cartridges made by third party manufacturers - and sold by reputable retailers - has advanced so much you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a compatible and a branded cartridge. The only difference should be the money you save.
But before you take the plunge into the (cost-effective) world of own-brand compatibles, here’s some need-to-knows to inform your decision.
What are the different types of cartridges?
Before we discuss the pro and cons of original and compatible ink cartridges, you need to understand the different terminology you’ll come across.
An original equipment manufacturer, often referred to as an OEM, branded, or genuine cartridge, is a cartridge made by the manufacturer who designed your printer. For example, an original cartridge for a Dell printer is one made by Dell.
A compatible cartridge is also a brand new cartridge but one that is made by a third party manufacturer. That said, in terms of functionality its comparable. Compatibles are designed to fit your printer and you will get a similar number of prints as an OEM. Plus, if you purchase well, you’ll get similar print quality.
Finally, a remanufactured cartridge is slightly different. This is a cartridge that has been used and then put through a recycling process. After a cartridge has been fully emptied, it is then cleaned, disassembled, tested, rebuilt and refilled. Remanufactured cartridges have the same yield as new cartridges, meaning you will get an equivalent number of prints. Although a cartridge may have been remanufactured, it is still often referred to as a "compatible" cartridge.
Are compatible ink and toner cartridges cheaper?
In short, yes. The price of cartridges and toners made by the original manufacturer is inflated by a number of factors including the brand’s overall research and development, large-site overheads and marketing. These are costs which third parties don’t have to worry about. This means they can pass the savings down to the consumer.
However, a word of warning. Many less trusted compatible ink and toner cartridge manufacturers offer products at very low prices by compromising on quality. If you buy a low quality compatible cartridge, you risk that cartridge failing. For instance the cartridge might not fit properly, its chip might not be recognised by the printer or it could clog and leak ink.
What kind of price difference can you expect?
Price is the huge ‘pro’ of compatible cartridges. Our own brand ranges can save you on average 52% off the branded version. That’s not to be sniffed at.
Plus, we still offer all the added-value benefits including recycling and quality guarantees.
How do you ensure you’re buying a good quality compatible cartridge?
With compatible ink and toner cartridges, we firmly believe you get what you pay for.
If you buy compatible cartridges from a trusted seller, you can be sure that your getting a quality product at a good price. Before buying, take your time to research the company - checking sites like Trustpilot is a good place to start. If the company seems in any way suspicious or has lots of dissatisfied customers, avoid like the plague and look for another seller. A slightly higher price point is worth it to ensure you get good quality printing.
If you’re a bit cautious about dipping your toe in the water, don't worry. We offer a full money back guarantee. If you're unhappy for any reason we will replace the cartridge or offer a refund.
Are compatible ink and toner cartridges as good at printing?
Yes. We take great pride in ensuring that our own-brand range is as high quality as own brand. For this reason we offer a quality guarantee, promising refunds if you don’t agree.
However, we are a reputable retailer. Our advice to you would be to do your due diligence and choose a supplier that has good online reviews. This is because you get what you pay for. Low quality compatible ink cartridges from poor retailers deliver poor print quality.