Laser printers are more economical than inkjet machines, but toner is still expensive. If you follow the manufacturer’s advice, you will end up spending a hefty amount on cartridges every year. In the compatible market, toner is 20-70% cheaper on average. So, are these products just as good?
For third-party stores, price is the primary selling point. For example, a pair of original cartridges for the Brother HL series costs roughly $150. At Smart Ink, two tn760 compatible cartridges cost $41.99. You can save over $100 every time without sacrificing quality. Here is how such products work.
OEM vs. Compatible
Compatible toner is as original as its OEM counterpart. Third-party brands emulate but do not replicate genuine products. Design distinctions allow them to sell cheaper ink legally. Consumer protection laws prohibit anti-competitive terms, so using non-original products does not void the printer warranty.
Compatible cartridges look and perform like original supplies. Trusted stores also comply with international quality standards. Typically, you can see quality marks like CE, ISO 9001, ISO 14000, Reach, and STMC.
OEM vs. Remanufactured
Some OEM products are collected after use, cleaned, revamped, and filled with fresh toner. Buying these recycled cartridges is another way to cut costs. Refurbished products work like new. In terms of savings, you can expect similar value. Remanufactured cartridges are also certified in compliance with international quality standards.
Printer brands advise against toner refills. Their claims are not entirely fair. DIY refilling is really messy and complicated, and too many things can go wrong. Professional remanufacturing, on the other hand, is a reliable and most sustainable way to replace a cartridge at a low cost.
Are Cheaper Cartridges Safe To Use?
Cartridges from well-respected brands will not damage your printer. Provided you follow the installation guidelines, they are safe. Yet, subpar products also exist, and toner with wrong properties (thickness, conductivity, etc.) could malfunction. Do some homework before ordering your next replacement. Top-rated stores have stringent QA procedures.
Both compatible and remanufactured products are available online. Check official stores like Smart Ink and generic marketplaces for the best offers, but immediately don’t jump at the lowest price. Make sure you will get the full bundle of benefits:
- Extended warranty for all products (2 years is optimal);
- Certified quality (see above);
- The latest version of cartridge chip (for instant recognition);
- Convenient return policy;
- 24/7 support;
- Free shipping;
- Reliable packaging.
Some merchants provide extra discounts if you buy two or more items per order. This way, you can save even more!
As long as you order from an honest supplier, compatible and remanufactured toner should perform as well as its original counterpart. Make sure you will get an extended warranty and the latest version of the cartridge chip. Check the return policy, Trustpilot feedback, and ratings on other sites to make an informed decision.