Original vs Compatible Printer Cartridges
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Sometimes when trying to buy an ink cartridge or toner cartridge there are so many options.

This article will go through the basics of comparing original and compatible cartridges, to help give you a better understanding.

To start with we will cover the basics. So the difference between Compatibles and Originals (aka genuine or OEM)? We will go through some questions and answers to some of the common questions

What is an OEM cartridge?
Originals – An original ink cartridge or toner cartridge is a new cartridge where all the parts have been made by the same manufacturer as your printer, just as it has been filled by them.

OEM is an Original Equipment Manufacturer which has made the parts and the products that are used on the provided equipment that they manufacture. For example Epson makes ink cartridges to be used in Epson printers.

What is a NON OEM cartridge?
A NON OEM cartridge is sometimes referred to when talking about compatible ink cartridges and toner cartridges. A Non OEM cartridge is not made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer and is more likely to be a compatible, manufactured or refilled cartridge.

What is a Compatible Cartridge?
Compatibles – A compatible ink cartridge or compatible toner cartridge are new cartridges but are made and filled by a third-party manufacturer and are not associated with the genuine printer manufactures. They are made to work in your related printer.

What is a Remanufactured Cartridge?
A remanufactured ink cartridge or toner cartridges are ones that have been recycled, remade and refilled to replace the original cartridge. The remanufactured cartridge damaged parts will have been replaced and cleaned to make a brand new ink cartridge or toner cartridge to work with your printer, like a new cartridge

There are quite a few differences between originals and compatibles, the obvious being, why are compatibles so much cheaper? Is there a noticeable difference in quality? And will they damage my printer or void my warranty? Well hopefully we will be able to answer these questions for you!

Please note – Not all cartridges are the same! Different companies and websites buy and make cartridges from different suppliers. Different printers use ink or toner cartridges in a different way. What worked for one printer may not work for another. If you’re unsure a reputable company will have a support team to guide you.

Original vs Compatible - What Works Best for Me?
This question is really comes down to a few key points, how much do you print? And what do you print?

How often do you print?
If you find yourself printing on a regular basis then purchasing compatibles will be a far superior choice being cheaper than the originals and typically containing more ink, these will cut the cost of printing significantly.

What do you print?
Apparently, documents are the most text printed in our office or home office. This is where compatibles bypass the originals, printing bold, sharp text which is just as good as the original. If you do print a lot of text documents,we strongly recommend you try our Starink compatible ink or compatible toner!

Original Vs Compatible – Price Difference
Original ink cartridges are where a manufacture make most of their profits, but with all there overheads such as research and development it bumps the price of the original ink cartridges up a considerable amount, leading to high costs on consumables once a customer has purchased a printer.

Compatible ink cartridges on the other hand don’t have the overheads the genuine manufactures do, so they can charge a much lower price for the products.

Original Vs Compatible – Print Quality
So, would there be a noticeable drop in quality if I start using compatible inks?

Well that depends on who’s compatibles you buy, if you are buying from a respectable retailer there should be very little difference between the compatible and original, with the ink formula being extremely close to that of the original.

Original Vs Compatible- Will Compatibles Void My Printers Warranty?

No. Using compatible printer consumables won't void your warranty. In the past manufacturers would tell customers otherwise. The reason for the manufacture to do this was so they could protect their margins, you only need to look at the cost difference between the compatible and original to see this. In a lot of cases you can save up to as much as 70% buying the compatibles.

In the 70's a legal battle arose over manufacture’s requiring customers to only use original consumable’s in order to keep their warranties maintained, the courts rules this was against the law. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act was then set in place to prevent the manufactures from forcing customers to use their products to keep the warranty. The only time a compatible can void a warranty is if it directly damages the printer in some manner, this only tends to be a problem if you buy the bottom end compatibles from dealers.

Original Vs Compatible-Conclusion
So, It’s safe to say that if you are printing at home or in the office it far more cost effective to purchase compatibles, because of their much lower cost and containing more ink, at the minor sacrifice of slight image quality.