The Truth about Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

By Mary Yamin-Garone
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Purchasing ink for your printer can be challenging, especially when shopping at online discount ink cartridges stores. There is such a wide variety of products to choose from—laser toner, inkjet cartridges, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and remanufactured ink cartridges—that it is not always easy to know which one is right for you. Here are some things you should know if you are considering buying a remanufactured ink cartridge.

Remanufactured—or recycled—printer cartridges are sent to a manufacturer who will restock the ink and replace or repair any parts that are damaged or not working correctly. Once the cartridge has been restored back to its original form a quality test is performed on each cartridge. Generally, remanufactured ink cartridges are copyrighted and cannot be replicated by another manufacturer.

Advocates of these products assert that remanufactured ink cartridges are less expensive and better for the environment than new cartridges. Switching to remanufactured cartridges can result in a cost savings of between 15 and 50 percent per order. This is because merchants that deal mainly with remanufactured products are able to set their own prices as opposed to having to adhere to the prices established by companies such as HP, Epson and Dell. Remanufactured cartridges also are filled to capacity while the cartridges that come from the manufacturer oftentimes are not. For consumers who are concerned about the environment, remanufactured ink cartridges preserve our natural resources while keeping unnecessary metals and plastics out of the landfills.

Conversely, the printing quality afforded by remanufactured cartridges may not be consistent among manufacturers. Most recognized suppliers and online discount ink cartridge stores, such as Clickinks and 123inkjets, however, back up their products.

Here are some things to be aware of before ordering remanufactured ink cartridges.

  • Check out the retailer and manufacturer by conducting an online search, reading customer reviews, asking your friends and family or contacting the Better Business Bureau.
     
  • Find out what kind of warranty or guarantee is offered. Customer satisfaction is important to a business so most reliable merchants will refund your money (minus shipping and handling) if their products do not function properly. It is important to note that contrary to belief, using remanufactured ink cartridges or any ink cartridge that is not an OEM does not void the printer’s warranty.
     
  • Ask the retailer if their remanufactured ink cartridges meet—or exceed—OEM standards and if they are Standardized Test Methods Committee (STMC)-certified. That means an independent third party has tested the cartridge’s print quality.
     
  • Don’t believe everything you hear. Remanufactured ink cartridges will not damage your machine’s print heads, cause ink to leak or result in substandard print quality.

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when you are considering buying a remanufactured ink cartridge. This information will help you determine whether these cartridges are right for you.

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