Is it OK to use third party printer ink?

Dec 27, 2013 by

When you first buy a new inkjet printer it includes two cartridges, one for black ink and one for colored. It seems they are made special for shipment with their new machines because they don’t seem to last very long. Before you know it you receive a low ink warning on your monitor and sure enough, the print quality drops very quickly.

When you take time to read the documents that come packed with the printer, you cannot help but notice rather glaring statements that using any ink other than that supplied by the printer manufacturer will not work well in your new printer and in some cases the company is bold enough to suggest that you are violating the terms of purchase and you are going to void your printer warranty. Well, this is when many printer owners start wondering if using refilled or third party inkjet printer cartridges is a good idea or not, the printer manufacturers would have you believe it is not a good idea.

The purchase price of an entry level inkjet printer with the initial two cartridges is very affordable; this seems to indicate that the sale of ink is an important part of their income stream. It is perhaps akin to the instant developing cameras, the camera is practically free but the film costs a fortune. Could it be that the printer manufacturers are using a similar marketing tact?

Granted, when you buy third party inkjet printer cartridges you may not have the same strict quality assurance that you get with an OEM product, but then again, maybe you do. Third party products and cartridges that are refilled have come a long way since their introduction a few years ago, if the product was as faulty and unpredictable as the OEM manufacturers would have you believe, these suppliers and retailers would have long disappeared.

It may be that the refills that are offered for a DIY guy may not be perfect but there is certainly no evidence that refilled cartridges that are done by professionals under strict quality guidelines should be avoided. If you think about it, OEM ink at $15 will cost the user more than the price of the printer in less than a year; you can easily double the payback with less expensive ink cartridges.

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