remanufactured ink cartridges
A common way in which people attempt to reduce the cost of printing, particularly if they print a high volume of documents and images during a business day, is to purchase a remanufactured product. That means buying ink cartridges that are not manufactured by the company who produced the printer, or at least by one of the leading ink cartridge companies that have been producing quality products for decades by now.

OEM cartridges (original equipment manufacturer cartridges) allow users to continue printing after their ink level runs low with the same efficiency that they had the first time around. A remanufactured ink cartridge is seen as an attractive option for users for many different reasons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you.

What is a Remanufactured Ink Cartridge?

A remanufactured ink cartridge is an ink cartridge that has previously been used. Companies will take these used cartridges, professionally clean them, and then refill them with new ink.

There are various companies all over the world invested in this business of remanufacturing old ink cartridges, making promises that they generally can’t keep. While it is possible to use these cartridges to continue printing documents and images from your computer, and while they may be completely compatible with your printer, it doesn’t mean that the quality and reliability are the same.

Why Do People Choose Remanufactured Ink Cartridges?

Remanufactured cartridges have become popular with customers all over the world because of the range of promises made by brands that sell compatible cartridges for HP and other well-known printer brands.

Buying remanufactured ink is sold as a better way to top up your printer ink level simply because it’s cheaper, but there’s more to the story. While remanufactured cartridges have definitely improved over the years, it is still impossible for them to match the quality offered by OEM products. The ink quality isn’t as good, the reliability just isn’t there, and you can bet you’ll always get a better service and greater compatibility from equipment made by the original manufacturer.

How to Spot “HP Compatible Ink Cartridges”

You don’t need to perform a quality test to spot a remanufactured cartridge, though it’s not always the easiest thing to do. At first glance, the cartridge will look the same as it literally is the same cartridge. The only difference is that it has been cleaned and refilled.

The best way to know, if you are presented with an unboxed cartridge, is to check the labeling surrounding the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black cartridges. As a result of refilling the device, the original seals will have been broken and replaced with third party seals.

If the cartridge is inside packaging, it’s even easier to spot. Remanufacturers are required to properly label every product they sell, meaning you will see the words “remanufactured” or “compatible” on the labels. This indicates it was not made by the original manufacturer.

Finally, the price should be an indicator of whether a product is original. If it seems that the cartridge you’re looking at is abnormally cheaper than usual, then it’s probably because it isn’t original. Cloned cartridges are often sold at less than half the cost of OEM alternatives.

Reasons to Avoid Remanufactured Ink

If you’re looking for high-quality ink for your printer, that offers great print quality, a high page yield, then you should seriously consider sticking to OEM parts. Performance and quality are often sacrificed when using third party equipment, not just because they can’t offer the same quality ink, but because some brands are simply unreliable and untrustworthy.

Take a look at the following reasons to avoid remanufactured ink, and you’ll see what we are talking about.

Significantly Reduced Quality

Remanufactured ink cartridges typically offer a significantly lower quality ink. While every remanufactured cartridge is different and some are better than others, the ink is simply never as good as the ink used by the original manufacturers. Taking HP as an example, their ink is regularly tested to ensure their page yield numbers are accurate. ISO yield testing is an important industry standard, and third party equipment never matches up.

Sure, you’ll be able to print all the colors you need, but they will never be as bold. The same is true with black. OEM cartridges can produce deep, high-quality blacks, whereas third-party remanufactured cartridges will usually produce a dark gray color that just doesn’t look as good.

That means third-party cartridges aren’t even good for simply printing black and white documents.

Stick to OEM products and the quality of your prints will not vary in the same way they will with remanufactured products. One remanufactured cartridge might be reasonably good (but not good enough!), and the next might just be shockingly bad. That’s the risk you take.

Common Incompatibility and Smart Chip Problems

Smart chips were introduced to ink cartridges at the beginning of the 21st Century, and they have proven to be an extremely useful element of modern cartridges. These chips are designed to measure the amount of ink left in a cartridge, meaning users don’t have to wait until their printouts look bad to know that they need to replace it.

The chips are also there to ensure that the printer knows the ink is coming from a cartridge made by the original manufacturer. This is one of the reasons why remanufactured ink cartridges use the original cartridge. It is simply a way to bypass compatibility issues, but that doesn’t mean the user gets the best experience.

In fact, owing to the fact that smart chips are designed for single usage, it is common for them to fail in many remanufactured cartridges. Whether they are simply too old or they have been damaged during the cleaning process, these smart chips can result in users getting false readings on their ink levels or simply being unable to use the ink cartridge altogether.

Less Support and Warranty Protection

OEM printer cartridges come with warranty protection. This means that the manufacturer will offer replacements and assistance if you ever run into problems with your cartridge. That’s one of the benefits of paying a higher price, along with the fact that the ink is of a higher quality.

When you purchase a remanufactured cartridge, you can’t expect the same level of support. Some companies may provide a level of support, while others may simply ignore you entirely. It is a huge risk for anyone who spends larger sums of money on cartridges throughout the year. That risk is amplified by the fact that so many of these cartridges are susceptible to smart chip failure, meaning one or more cartridges bought in bulk could ultimately be unable to deliver the information required to a computer that shows accurate ink levels.

With no warranty protection, and with unreliable support, purchasing remanufactured cartridges could prove to be an unwise purchasing decision.

Higher Failure Rate

Owing to the fact that the cartridges have already been used, and they are not made to the same high standards as OEMs, you should expect repurposed cartridges to be at greater risk of failing. This doesn’t just mean you’ll lose out on money spent on the cartridges, but it could cause damage to your printer.

As well as problems with the smart chip, which means the cartridge might not even be recognized by the computer, repurposed cartridges are more susceptible to leaks. Given that the cartridge has been opened up, cleaned, and resealed using non-original parts, ink can leak from poorly made seals and seep into important parts within your printer.

This can cause long-lasting problems to even the highest quality machines, with ink finding its way into the smallest nooks and crannies within your machine. It might mean replacing parts in your printer, or it might mean throwing it out and buying a new one.

The best way to keep your printer in top shape, and to protect yourself from failure, is to stick to OEM parts.

Fake Reviews and Exaggerated Expectations

While there are, of course, some companies that sell remanufactured cartridges and take customer service seriously, and who abide by the law, there are also companies who do not. There is a large online market for selling cheap cartridges without taking customer care seriously and tricking people into purchasing low-quality goods that simply do not serve their needs.

These companies will often amplify sales and establish some credibility for customers through fake reviews. By paying people to leave good reviews for their company it is possible to trick people into believing they offer a superior product and good customer service. This is combined with exaggerated claims on their website, stating that the ink is just as good as what the OEM products offer, when this typically is not the case.

Consider these five reasons to stay away from remanufactured ink cartridges, and you could just save yourself a whole lot of hassle, time and money.

Buying Original Ink & Toner

Just like you wouldn’t want to put ‘remanufactured’ gasoline in your car, you don’t want to risk the health and longevity of your printer by using remanufactured inks. is an authorized dealer of original ink and toner for the top printer brands including HP, Canon, Epson, Brother and more. We have the lowest prices on ink & toner anywhere online, so before you shop anywhere else, make sure to check out