Printer supplies can be outrageously expensive. Some cartridges are even costlier than the machines. Predictably, many consumers opt for cheaper alternatives — remanufactured or compatible cartridges. So, are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products overpriced?
Every brand wants its buyers to use original supplies. Manufacturers get most of their profit from their ink, as a printer is a one-time purchase. This explains the exorbitant prices. Getting a replacement for your cartridge from smartink is a cost-effective choice.
Brands claim the technology they use to make the ink is costly. Pricing is explained by intensive investment into R&D and quality assurance. However, some consumers suppose it is exaggerated to recoup the cost of developing the machines. After all, many printers are sold at super low prices. Here are the key facts to know:
- You can buy a printer for as little as $30. Some models are priced to break even, and some are even sold at a loss!
- Cheap models are alluring to uninformed buyers, but they always come with expensive ink.
- Brands entice you to buy a cheap item. Afterward, they charge a lot for the original supplies. This is known as the “razor and blade” business model.
- Original products are not always filled to their full capacity. As a result, they require more frequent replacement. This is another trick to make you pay more.
There are two types of alternative cartridges — compatible and remanufactured ones. The former come from third-party suppliers, so they do not include any original parts. The quality of ink and toner may be comparable to the original products, despite the lower cost.
Consumers should choose providers carefully to avoid wasting money. Faulty products can damage their machines. Honest suppliers offer a 2-year warranty and a return policy covering delivery of damaged or wrong items. The same guidelines apply to refilled, or remanufactured cartridges.
In this case, the company fills your old cartridge with new ink or toner. This is an affordable and sustainable solution — as you recycle your old supplies, the carbon footprint is reduced. Another advantage is that a trusted company will fill your cartridge to its full capacity. It may also fix minor defects.
Original equipment manufacturer cartridges come from printer manufacturers, which guarantees compatibility and high quality. The biggest disadvantages are the price and insufficient filling. Both remanufactured and compatible cartridges are cheaper, but their quality depends on the provider.
If you want to save money, look for a trusted supplier with positive feedback and a good reputation. There must be a warranty and a proper return policy. When buying a compatible model, make sure it fits your printer.