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Know the Difference between Original and Compatible Cartridges

When it comes to shopping for printers most inkjet shoppers work with the default, yet horribly simplistic knowledge that original cartridges are more expensive than compatible cartridges.


In the same vein, they also believe that compatible cartridges will spoil their printers. Obviously, there is a bit of truth in some of these statements. Even then the difference between compatible and original cartridges are far more complex and varied than is common knowledge.

Manufacturers – Original cartridges are manufactured by the same company that manufactured the printer. On the other hand, compatible cartridges are manufactured by a different company from the one that made the printer. Compatible cartridges are just as reliable as your original cartridge as long as you buy them from reputable outlets. More so, they are cheaper and more affordable and they don’t impact the functionality of the machine.

Cartridge Brands and names – Original cartridges they are also referred to as genuine tend to have slightly better functionality alongside its printer. Compatible cartridges are still brand-new and have high quality functionality though manufactured by a different supplier. They still possess the same quality as the original. When an original cartridge is used/returned and cleaned it is referred to as refilled, while a compatible cartridge that has been used, cleaned and filled is referred to as, re-manufactured.

Price difference – Original cartridges are developed as intellectual property with years of research time and costs incurred. This means that the supplier charges higher costs to recoup their capital and make a profit. Meanwhile, production of compatible cartridges does not involve such overheads meaning they are likely to charge lower price. Still you have to watch out for sub-standard compatible cartridges in the market.

Printer warranty – Most printers come with a 12 months warranty. When an original cartridge messes up with your printer the manufacturer has to honour their warranty. On the other hand, when a compatible cartridge messes up your printer then your supplier warranty covers the damages accrued from the use of their ink. It has to be emphasized that very few cartridges have the capacity of messing up a printer. Warranties that last longer than 12 months are usually negotiated warranties and most often they do not cater for damage accrued from the use of third-party cartridges.

Print quality – Most often the ink formulation between compatibles and original is so close as to blur any difference in image quality. So close is it that the highest rank cartridge in the UK is actually a compatible and not an original cartridge. Even then it is often recommended that you use one original cartridge for every 3-4 compatible cartridges used.

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