Have you checked the prices for HP cartridges lately? Big printer brands are notorious for their pricey supplies. The cheapest inkjet printer may cost under $100, but you may spend almost as much every month on new cartridges. Consumers are understandably outraged, which is why third-party brands are thriving. Should you buy a compatible cartridge or refill your old one instead?
The key benefit of original products is that compatibility is always guaranteed, and you do not have to compare different providers. However, the industry of compatible products has advanced in recent years. Today, you can buy compatible HP 902 ink from a supplier like Smart Ink for under $65.
Controversial OEM Prices
Have you heard of the “razor and blades” business model? It is used in different industries, from beauty products to printing. Big brands can sell their equipment at break-even or even at the loss. The idea is to lure in customers who will purchase original supplies afterwards.
As a result, it is the cartridges that let manufacturers recoup their investment. Typically, they explain their outrageous pricing by the intensive research and development that goes into the creation of new equipment. While the quality of the machines may be beyond reproach, the practice is hardly appealing to the public.
The same logic is used to buy any famous brand. Hewlett Packard discourages customers from purchasing supplies produced by third parties and advises them against refilling. However, these are merely recommendations, and these practices will not void your warranty for the printer itself.
Compatible Products: No Hassle
A trouble-free way to replace an ink cartridge is to get a compatible product for a third-party supplier:
- These supplies are designed and produced from scratch, so you do not have to think about the match between the ink and its container.
- Every replacement is designed for a specific model or models of HP printers.
- These products are not classified as counterfeit. Slight differences in design help manufacturers make a profit lawfully.
- You can get free shipping and extensive warranty.
To Refill or Not Refill?
Another way to save on supplies is to reuse old cartridges. Traditionally, consumers would take their products to a company that would pour in fresh ink after emptying and cleaning them. This is still possible. The key drawback is that you have to visit the outlet and the outcome depends on the ink and the competence of the employees.
A better solution is to purchase a remanufactured OEM cartridge from a reliable store. The best providers offer a warranty and test every product before shipping. Their products work flawlessly, so you can enjoy the same quality of printing.
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