OEM Vs After-Market Printer Cartridges, And The Winner Is?

Breaking the myth that after-market cartridges will destroy your printer or void your new printer warranty is what I’d like to address in this article.

I have serviced thousands of businesses in person over the past nearly 20 years in the after-market print supplies industry. From companies with 1-2 employees to Fortune 100 Corporations. Some of my clients use 1 or less cartridges in an entire year, others purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth on a regular monthly basis. And all using after-market inks and toners 3D Printing Service Bangkok.

Before we go any farther I’d like to introduce the terminology used in the industry so that we are all on the same page. So many people I see on a daily basis react violently when I first begin talking about my product(s) and eventually, as they become educated, leave the notion that “All ‘refilled’ cartridges are garbage and all you want to do is ruin my printer.” Like cars, and hospitals, and lawyers, and insurance sales people… NOT ALL CARTRIDGES ARE CREATED EQUAL.

1. OEM Cartridge – This is a product that is manufactured by the company that built the printer, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer, but it is not necessarily the “best” and it most certainly is not warranted as long as a lot of other products.

2. Refilled – This refers to a cartridge (ink or toner) that was simply refilled – nothing more, nothing less. You may have seen kits you can purchase to refill your own cartridges, this is fine as long as you don’t care about quality and/or potential damage to your printer.

3. Re-manufactured – This refers to a product that has gone through a reverse engineering process. In other words, it has been taken apart and certain components have been replaced along with the cartridge being refilled.

4. Generic – This refers to a product manufactured by a company that would prefer to not be known (hmmm, I wonder why that would be?). It is a knock off and may or may not be re-manufactured. Stay away from this product unless you can learn more about it.

5. Drill & Fill – Oh how I hate this junk. Someone just drills a hole in the cartridge housing (ink or toner) puts more ink or toner inside and puts a plug in it. Basically the same as your refill kit for home use, but some resellers actually buy and then resell drill & filled cartridges to unsuspecting customers. Most of the people I’ve run into who are frustrated about after-market cartridges ended up with this stuff because they were trying to save money, but HONESTLY didn’t do ANY research and then they blindly label ALL after-market cartridges as junk and harmful to printers. Seriously folks, there are some “BUYERS” who are just as “defective” as this junk!

6. Compatible – This is a cartridge that may well be re-manufactured… the right way. A truly re-manufactured toner cartridge has been ENTIRELY disassembled, thoroughly cleaned, ALL the internal components replaced with brand new, refilled to the OEM specifications with a product equal to or better than the OEM for maximum image quality and page yield. For inks it’s slightly different: the contact plates are thoroughly cleaned, micro-chips replaced, print head and interior electrostatically or chemically cleaned and then prepped for refill with the proper grade of ink to provide maximum image quality and page yield.

7. Genuine Compatible – This is a brand new cartridge made for use in a particular printer type. Here I would like to reference a brand I’ve been particularly impressed with, mediaSciences. This company manufactures their own Solid Ink for use in Xerox’s Phaser printers, as well as building their own clear-case toner cartridges for use in Xerox’s laser Phaser printers.

8. Commercial Grade – This is a product that goes beyond the typical re-manufactured or compatible products that are made on a local level. This product is built to such exacting standards in ISO-9001 factories so as to be even BETTER than the OEM product. Many times this product has a lower failure rate than the OEM and typically is warranted much longer.

Now that we all know what we’re talking about, in terms of product used in the various equipment, we can have a serious discussion about the new printer warranty that has so many people scared to buy anything but the brand that has the printer manufacturer’s name on the cartridge itself.

First, we must all realize that, naturally any printer manufacturer would write their new printer warranty to “LEAD” you to believe your warranty could be voided… after all, the printers are very inexpensive to buy – all the OEM hopes for future profits are in the consumables they hope you’ll keep buying. Ink and toner is about 70% PROFIT!

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