One of the popular debates in the printing industry is the comparison of compatible ink and printer toner cartridges versus the original, brand name ink and toner cartridges. This debate has existed for many years, and like any good debate, the discussion remains as heated as ever. The main argument is the difference in quality between the two products. For example, the manufacturer of a genuine HP ink cartridge or a xerox toner cartridge has a one year warranty on the product. The cartridge has already undergone a wide variety of tests, so the consumer is almost guaranteed to never need that warranty.
With a compatible product, the consumer can never be certain of the quality of the product. Because there are so many different providers of compatible cartridges, it is almost impossible to determine if each cartridge is thoroughly tested before you purchase it. In order to prevent this issue, there are many printer cartridge suppliers that perform a wide range of tests on their products. These suppliers will then offer a short term guarantee on their product. This guarantee will typically last sixty days, which is plenty of time to determine if your ink or toner cartridge has issues. With the advent of these types of guarantees, OEM’s have begun losing the battle with compatible products.
The brand name manufacturer is also at a disadvantage because a majority of compatible products are remanufactured cartridges. These cartridges are made using old and new parts. When prepared by reputable companies, each part is thoroughly tested to meet the OEM’s recommended specifications. In terms of a Laserjet toner cartridge, the OEM cartridge is used in the reconstruction. For example, if a company was reconstructing a Minolta toner cartridge, then they will first acquire an OEM cartridge. The cartridge will be opened up and each part will be removed.
After a thorough testing process, it will be determined which parts can be reused in the cartridge. Any parts which did not meet the recommended specification will be replaced with new parts. In essence, the remanufactured cartridge will have parts that meet or exceed the manufacturer’s specifications. Despite the obvious similarities between the two products, the brand name manufacturer continues to claim that these cartridges are of a lower quality. Testing by third parties has shown that both cartridges offer similar quality, so the claim by OEM’s is not true. The debate should be over because remanufactured cartridges can be found for at least half the price of the OEM.