What is the Quality of refilled Ink and Toner Cartridges?

Is the quality of the remanufactured ink and toner printer cartridges being sold out there as good as the OEM (original equipment manufactures) cartridges? That’s kind of like asking if the quality of aftermarket automobile parts are as good as the OEM part. The answer in both cases is it really depends on the manufacturing process’ and the quality control of the remanufacturer to produce a product that meets the quality of the original part. All remanufactured products are not created equal.

Let’s take a look at how this relates to the global remanufacturing industry. How the printer cartridge is remanufactured is key, does the company have the infrastructure and expertise to do the job right? At one end of the spectrum you have the guy who really has no idea of how the ink jet cartridge works and is filling with a needle in his back room. We actually have a guy in town that does this, his business is typewriter repair, no kidding, when was the last time you seen someone using a typewriter? So as a sideline he will take a customers ink jet, black only please because he does not carry color inks, walks to his room in the back and comes out in about 3 minutes with the refilled cartridge. What this means is that he fills with a syringe and pumps ink in the cartridge through the top until ink spills out. No cartridge cleaning, emptying, full weight checks or testing is done. What do you think the quality of this fill will be?

Now lets take a look at the other end of the spectrum. My business buys most of our ink jet cartridges from a company called Clover Technologies Group. Follow the link and check out there website and their Global Technologies Network page. Now here is a global manufacturer that has all of the resources to produce a high quality remanufactured ink jet’s that has the same page yield and performance as the OEM product. This is the type of company that the large OEM manufactures are worried about and worried they are. The OEM’s are hanging onto about 79 percent of the world-wide market and the remanufactures have about 18 percent and growing each year. Think about it, if the quality of the remanufactured ink jets were as bad as the OEM tells us they are we would not be in business very long and the OEM would not even gives us a second of their time.

But the truth of the matter is that the OEM’s are throwing everything they can think of at stopping us from remanufacturing their cartridges. They spend millions on designing smart chips to prevent refilling to scare tactics like inferring that if you use a refilled cartridge in their printer it will void the warranty. Problem is invalidating the warranty would violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act, it’s also an infraction of antitrust laws. The OEM will deny they do this but I have first hand experience by calling them as a home user and asking them if it would void my warranty and being told yes. I have actually lost more than one customer by the office manager calling the manufacturer with a question and the first thing she was asked is if she was using an original cartridge. When the reply was no they told her they could not help her and that the warranty could be voided by using aftermarket products.

How about failure rates, the subject no one wants to talk about. Of course there is failure in ink jet and toner cartridges, it doesn’t matter who produces them, nothing in this world is perfect. The OEM’s have a stated failure rate of 2-5%. The large reputable remanufactures also have a failure rate of a 2-5%. I have on more than one occasion received a call from an IT director that had purchased a ¬†remanufactured ink jet or toner from me to inform me that the cartridge has failed and he wants a replacement and that he was skeptical from the beginning that they would not work. Going to the site I have pulled out a OEM, not a remanufactured proving that OEM’s also fail.

So the bottom line is like with any other product out there, if you buy from a reputable dealer that is only selling product that is manufactured to high quality standards you will get the best of both worlds, a lower cost and the same quality as the OEM product. This is a huge issue and the truth needs to be put out there. I would love to hear from my readers their opinion on this subject as the more truth is revealed the better it will be for the consumer.

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