Genuine, Remanufactured, and Compatible Cartridges – Which Should You Choose?


Replacing a cartridge should be easy, but all of these OEM, compatible, and remanufactured options can be confusing. Which ink or toner offers the best quality and the best value for money? Why do original cartridges cost so much? Here are the basics for choosing the best supplies for your printer, regardless of manufacturer.

Laser and inkjet printer manufacturers urge their customers to purchase only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) accessories. Meanwhile, a popular cartridge store like has a number of affordable alternatives. Which should you choose?

Advantages and disadvantages of original accessories

Cartridges made by printer manufacturers are guaranteed to match their models. They are real and of great quality. The main disadvantage is the cost.

Some cartridges are even more expensive than the printer. That’s not fair, but the logic is obvious. A printer is only bought once, while supplies are always in demand. Manufacturers benefit from their inks and toners.

In addition, genuine cartridges often contain less ink than third-party products, even if their capacities are the same. Very few brands offer XL inkjet products. This makes compatible alternatives very attractive. There are two categories of such substitutions.

1. Remanufactured cartridges

You can refill your original cartridge when the toner or ink runs out. You can send it to an online store that will clean it up and put in fresh ink. This is both convenient and sustainable as it reduces the carbon footprint.

Cartridges are usually filled to full capacity so you get great value for money. Trustworthy providers monitor the quality of the filling. You can also fix minor defects.

However, not every company is unreliable. The cartridge you received may be defective, the colors may be inaccurate, and the ink may fade. Always check the warranty. Make sure you get a replacement if something goes wrong. Well-known companies give a 2 year guarantee on all details and workmanship.

2. Compatible cartridges

These cartridges can offer the best value for money. They are made by a third party so you won’t see any original details. Nevertheless, the quality can be impeccable. Reliable suppliers have strict quality procedures to ensure compatibility. Some compatible cartridges are just as good as the original cartridges and their price tags are much more attractive.

The supplier’s reputation is crucial. Choose verified companies that guarantee quality and compatibility. Study the return policy and terms of use. You should be able to exchange the products if they are accidentally sent or damaged in transit.

The bottom line

Genuine cartridges are great quality, but they can be extremely expensive and contain less ink. Remanufactured and compatible products are cheaper if the supplier is trusted. Make sure you get a two year warranty and the return policy covers any damage in transit.

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