Running on Empty

01-10-2012 by

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Hi there, and welcome to the Inksaver blog.

There’s a lot more complexity than most people want to deal with hidden in the average desktop printer. The mark-up on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) original toner and ink cartridges relies on people finding it difficult to penetrate the inky haze that has been allowed to develop around printers.

We all know about the latest apps that are going around but let’s be honest, how many of us really do much research on our printers? Thanks to the virtual revolution they are an often overlooked utility, squatting in the corner and faithfully spitting out our meanderings from cyberspace into the real world. They’re not as sexy as more contemporary gadgets like an iPad or a smart phone, so it’s often a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. We often don’t realise how much we rely on our printer until something goes wrong and then we realise just how much work the printer is still doing in the modern world.

This blog will take a closer look at all things printer and toner and ink related, to cast some light on an often overlooked subject. At Inksaver, we think everything ink so you don’t have to.

This week let’s look at your options when you are ‘running on empty’.

Think about it. It’s happened to all of us. We hit ‘control-P’ on that special photo or important document, only to be rewarded with a streaky and faded parody of what we were expecting. We’ve got so used to getting everything at the touch of a button that it takes a few seconds to realise that the ink cartridge is empty. While you pace the room cursing the under filled starter printer cartridges and mentally cataloguing the print shops in your neighbourhood, you are mulling over the ugly truth; “getting new cartridges for this printer could cost me almost as much as the printer itself!”

The standard questions flash through your mind, “should I get the cartridges re-filled?”, “Can I get them re-filled?” and “Even if I get them re-filled are they going to work, or will I be wasting time and money?” Anyone who has gone this route before can testify that refills are only cheaper in the most basic sense of the word. You spend your time squinting at that tiny hole on top of the ink cartridge, syringe in hand and when all is said and done you just know that you are going to have to worry about having put too much or too little ink inside. Then there’s the leaking, the poor alignment and the fact that what used to be black is now a muddy grey.

Poorly refilled ink cartridges can give you huge problems. It’s simpler and safer to get new ones, but it sometimes feels like you’re going to have to pawn a kidney just to make that happen. I mean come on, we print with ink not gold dust right? The problem is that printer companies have something in common with razor manufacturers: they’ll sell you the initial product very cheaply, then cash in when you need to replace the consumable.

Printer manufactures like to have a captive consumer base and they will imply that their expensive ink cartridges and toner cartridges are your only option if you want to avoid the mess and fuss of a cheaper refill. The good news is that there is an alternative which can deliver equal performance at a fraction of the price. You may already have heard about compatible printer cartridges. In a nutshell these cartridges are produced or remanufactured to the same specifications as original cartridges. They are designed to interact with your printer in the same way as the pricier original cartridges, giving you the same performance and page yield.

“So that’s just great,” you are no doubt thinking, “Now I’ve got to consider whether I want a compatible cartridge or the original and I’m not sure how to really answer that question.” It might help if I pointed out that the best compatible printer cartridges are vigorously tested and that reputable sellers will back their product with guarantees that their toner and ink will work just as well as the originals.

Now there’s nothing wrong with just getting the original cartridge, and if you can find one at a price you like, then why not? But ask yourself, are you happy spending up to 70% extra on a product just for a brand name?

Top quality and strictly tested compatible printer cartridges will save you a large sum of money on your printer ink bill and really can offer the same high performance standards. They will not void warrantees or damage your printer, so they are a genuine option to explore. Just be sure to find a company that stocks high quality compatible ink cartridges and toner cartridges and is prepared to guarantee their product. No prizes for guessing who I’d recommend.

Your printer provides the bridge between cyberspace and the real world, but as anyone who owns a printer knows, ink costs significantly more than pixels, especially if you aren’t careful about what you buy.

We’re not going to solve all your printing problems in one blog post, but looking into compatible ink and toner cartridges is a good start if you want to get the best possible print at a competitive price. If you get that right you need never find yourself running on empty again.

Nic Venter

About the author

Nic Venter+

 is the founder and director of He started the business in 2009 with the idea to sell ink and toner cartridges online and to provide you with a quality product, value for money and convenience. He regularly blogs on about printing and technology. Part of his philosophy is having fun and making sure that he and his team think everything ink, so you don't have to.

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