This is the age-old dilemma. Isn’t it? At any point in time, how many printer owners in Australia do you think are asking the question, ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’? Is the answer 42? While Arthur Dent may think so, we think it must be nearer to 42,000! Why? Well, simply because this question is extremely common.
Every time, a printer owner has to replace his ink cartridges, the lure of the cheaper option of refilled ink cartridges is bound to tempt him. However, as all our stories of allure teach us (think medusa who turned people looking at her to stone or the mermaids who drowned sailors who gave in to their songs), it can be very, very dangerous to give in to temptation.
As bad as original equipment manufacturers can be with the pricing of original ink cartridges, there’re also solid reasons for not going for refilled cartridges. Let us explain to you why the answer to the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ should be a resounding no.
Some Printers May Not Support Refilled Cartridges
There’s one nugget of information that most printers owners don’t have, despite living in the information age. They don’t understand how Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) make profit from their products. In other words, they don’t really understand their business plan.
You must’ve noticed that many printers in the market can be had for extremely low prices. In fact, in some cases, you may have found out that the cartridges for these printers are more expensive than the printers were. Doesn’t this seem odd to you? The reason for this is that OEMs have a tendency to sell printers for a loss. They cover up for that loss and push their returns into profits on consumables.
This is why ink cartridges are so expensive. Refilled ink cartridge sellers take advantage of this by providing cheaper cartridges. This means that they’re effectively eating into the profit of OEMs because they sell their printers at throwaway prices. In a way, you can even say that a person who refills ink cartridges is actually cheating the OEM.
However, these OEMs are not completely helpless either. As technologies have progressed, they’ve found ways of making sure that they make up for their initial losses. In essence, they’ve worked hard to make the answer to the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ completely and utterly moot. How have they done this?
Well, many new printers in the market right now have technologies that prevent the use of refilled cartridges. This means that there are measures that actually protect the OEMs profits. One of the best examples of this is the all – in – one – printers in Epson’s CX series. These printers use Durabrite inks which contain a specialised cleaning agent. The purpose of the cleaning agent is to keep the plumbing of the printer such as tubes and nozzles clean. As refilled cartridges aren’t available in the same configuration, these printers make the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ absolutely pointless.
Another method that OEMs use to prevent refilled cartridges from being used is a countdown circuit. The countdown circuit is a part of ink cartridges. It’s responsible for counting the number of pages being printed. Once the set limit expires, the cartridges become worthless even when refilled. A similar OEM technique is to use embedded chips on the ink cartridges that verify if the cartridge is original or refilled.
However, what about printers that don’t have such prevention techniques? Is refilling ink cartridges worth it for such printers? Here are some answers.
Quality of Printing Will Suffer
Most OEMs rely on one simple fact to make their profits. This is that refilled cartridges can never provide the same quality that OEM inks can. How refilled cartridges are lower in terms of quality can be explained in a wide variety of ways.
The simplest way to explain the lower quality is that the quality of the image on the paper isn’t comparable to what original ink cartridges have. As a matter of fact, sometimes, you’ll even see colours mixing up and banding on your prints!
Typically, you’ll see the drop in quality in terms of accuracy of colour in colour prints, levels of contrasts in grey scale prints, sharpness, or preciseness of text and line art prints. This can happen because the ink in refilled ink cartridges is often not of the same quality as the ink in original cartridges. For instance, the composition of the ink used to refill the ink cartridges may not be the same as the composition of ink that original cartridges contain.
It’s also important to add that most OEMs design their cartridges to be used once. This characteristic is most relevant for the ink cartridge nozzles. What this means is that when used ink cartridges are refilled, the fact that its nozzles are already used may mean that it will not be as efficient as it can be. From this angle, you can see the ink cartridges as a Styrofoam cup. Regardless of how much you clean a Styrofoam cup at every reuse, it will be dirtier in the second use. Moreover, it may not be as sturdy as it was in the second use too.
What’s should be the answer to the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ on the basis of these facts. It’s that if you value the quality of your print, you should give refilled ink cartridges a wide berth.
Longevity of the Print and Printer Health
There’re two other things you need to consider when trying to answer the question ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’. The first of these is how long the print lasts with OEM ink cartridges and how long it lasts with refilled ink cartridges. You can conduct any number of tests but you’ll always find that prints made from OEM ink cartridges will last significantly longer than prints made with refilled ink cartridges.
You may think that this won’t be a big deal for you but you need to consider. Imagine printing a high value contract only to find that it has faded away after a year or two. The other party can actually take advantage of this by taking you to court and you will lose because you won’t have proof of your dealings!
You also need to consider the health of your printer when trying to answer the question ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’. Refilled cartridges have a history of ruining printers in a wide variety of ways. The most common is that the low ink notifications get messed up. You’ll get these notifications all the time as your printer tries to grapple with the alien in its midst.
So, Is Refilling Ink Cartridges Worth It?
In totality, the risks involved with using refilled ink cartridges make the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ completely redundant. If you value the quality and longevity of your prints along with the health of your printer, then you should go with OEMs ink cartridges every time.
There’s also the element of your favourite supplier Inkjet Wholesale. We’re always trying to make the question of ‘is refilling ink cartridges worth it’ redundant for you by providing highly discounted prices on OEM ink cartridges. Some of our original ink cartridges are actually as cheap as refilled ink cartridges. So, why should you even bother with refilled ink cartridges? We don’t know. Can you answer this one for us?