Printers own brands vs cheap(er) imitations

Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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Someone asked about problems using unofficial ink cartridges vs. the recommended model. I have been doing this for some time, and did have a few 'duff' imitation cartridges. My supplier refunded and I've avoided that brand since.

I'm also using a local cartridge refilling service, again with no problems. They guarantee their refills for 3 months - not that you won't run out of ink for 3 months, but if you have any problems with a refilled cartridge not working within 3 months they'll replace it. However, they will only refill 'original' cartridges, not imitations.

What I wouldn't do is attempt to refill a cartridge myself. I did it once, years ago, and ruined my favourite trousers :(
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  • circuitcircuit Forumite
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    Remember some cartridges now are (cheekily) made with chips to prevent you from refilling. You can buy a gadget to reprogram the chip in the cartridge but simply refilling it won't work and the printer will still register it as empty. Our Epson C70 and C80 do this, not sure about others.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Yes, I was aware Epson do this. From my experience, it's worth paying someone else to do the refilling, reset the chips etc. They also test the cartridges before handing them back. And you have some fallback if it doesn't work.

    One reason to refill rather than replace is environmental, of course! And our refilling service says they can put more ink in when refilling than was in the original! 50% more in some cases!

    We use Cartridge World for this and have no complaints.
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  • :o I highly recommend [glow=red,2,300]CARTRIDGE WORLD[/glow]:

    They have over 250 branches and operate on a franchise so they provide a personal service.

    I found them, totally by chance, whilst visiting Dublin. I was given the address of our nearest branch at Swansea and I've been using them ever since. The staff there are extremely friendly and go out of their way to provide help and advice.

    I have two laserjet printers - Brother and Hewlett Packard. The cheapest price I had previously managed to find for the Brother was £54 and for the HP was £47. The Cartridge World prices cannot be beaten: Brother - £25 and HP - £29.

    All you have to do is take your empty cartridge to them and buy a re-conditioned and filled one in return. They fully service the cartridges - even replacing the drum where fitted - all inclusive in the price.

    They also supply Inkjet, of course.

    Don't throw your money away again - use [glow=red,2,300]CARTRIDGE WORLD[/glow].
    Alun

    PS - I do not receive commission!!! ;D
    Charles J
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    I use cheap copies for my epson and have no complaints
  • webmasterpolowebmasterpolo Forumite
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    Hi guys,

    I have some experience of selling brand cartridges and re-filled cartridges.

    Let's start with returns: 95% of cartridges returned to the store were re-filled faulty cartridges.

    Worst case: Cartridge leaked in printer (£300 multifunction unit) and over the desk and the customers suit. Of course the printer warranty does not cover damage from third party cartridges. Resulted in about £600 worth of damage if you guess @ £100 for the desk and £200 for the suit.

    Now certain brands are better to use the re-fills with - like Epson. If you can by-pass the "chip" the Epson cartridges are just simply tanks fo ink. The Epson print head is in the printer itself. This does mean that the re-fill ink could potentially block the print head in the printer - the Epson warranty does not cover this of course. Also Epson print heads cannot be replaced - they are built in.

    Canon are very similair - the cartridges are merely tanks of ink and the print head is in the printer itself. In this case Canon print heads can be replaced - although expensive - usually about the same price as a new printer.

    HP and Lexmark cartridges are totally different. They have the print head built into the cartridge itself, NOT the printer. This is so when you replace the cartridge with a new one, you get a new head and the quality is maintained at new standard. While in an Epson / Canon the quality will drop over time as the head in the printer is worn out.

    When you re-fill a Lexmark or HP you are re-using the head - it is not designed for this but can work although l would not recommend re-filling the same one repeatedly as it will wear out. This is were buying re-filled cartridges falls down. The re-filled cartridge could have been re-filled a number of times - and you could be buying the one is worn out and is going to leak all over you.

    I would recommend never buying cartridges from retail stores - the internet and local computer specialists are much cheaper - also buy in bulk at computer fairs.

    If you chose to go for re-filled cartridges it will save you some money - I would buy them from a retailer like Office World - they sell Office World branded re-fills, this is good because they carry their name, so if they leak you can argue your case for compensation with the head office and they sell printers so they will probably give you a replacement. Better than some unknown re-filling company.

    Now l read the comment about some cartirdges can be refilled more than when you buy them - 50%. This is true, for example HP sell two cartridges for some of it's older printers the HP 15 and the HP 45. The box says they are for different printers, when in fact they are identical cartridges, same circuit and shape. The only different is the HP 15 has 22ml of ink and the HP 45 has 42ml of ink. So you would expect the HP 45 to be about double the price - WRONG - the HP 15 is RRP @ £26.99 while the HP 45 is RRP @ £22.49!!

    Bit of a con huh?

    Regards,

    Web
    Sense is not common.
  • No reliance should be placed on the above.
  • student100student100 Forumite
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    I have tried using some cheap compatible canon cartridges ("PrintRite" brand, from http://www.valueshop.co.uk ) in my Canon printer. The black one is fine for black text etc. as far as I can tell, the colour inks are not the same colour as Canon's originals though. You can't tell when printing blocks of colour (eg. coloured text in a document) but photographs come out quite bad whereas they look reasonable with Canon inks. You can also tell that the ink is not the same as Canon's - it smells different, a strong solvent smell, when it comes out of the printer.
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • thelofttheloft Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    There was a recommendation on the Epson cartridge post for a company called MAXIMANS. I tried them and can honestly say they were the worst company to deal with I have ever experienced on the web. They sent the wrong cartridge, refused to replace it until I sent back the incorrect one and then when I complained, more or less told me to get stuffed! and then said, quote "Don't come back" !! So my first experience was not good but I hear CHOICE STATIONERY are fine. But steer clear of Maximans is my recommendation.
    "0844 COSTS YOU MORE"
  • thelofttheloft Forumite
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    Up-date on Maximans. I returned the incorrect cartridge as they stated that they would not replace it, but would give me a credit. I waited for about 10 days and then they continually said that they had not received it! I continued to protest that this had been returned and they eventually sent a replacement cartridge!! Not a credit as it was cheaper to send a cartridge I expect. BUT, if you return anything purchased over the Internet, it may be worthwhile to send it Recorded Delivery. At least Maximans sent a replacement but I will not deal with them again.
    :(:(:(
    "0844 COSTS YOU MORE"
  • COSCOS Forumite
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    I have tried using some cheap compatible canon cartridges ("PrintRite" brand, from http://www.valueshop.co.uk ) in my Canon printer. The black one is fine for black text etc. as far as I can tell, the colour inks are not the same colour as Canon's originals though. You can't tell when printing blocks of colour (eg. coloured text in a document) but photographs come out quite bad whereas they look reasonable with Canon inks. You can also tell that the ink is not the same as Canon's - it smells different, a strong solvent smell, when it comes out of the printer.

    I can't believe how expensive the above company is compared to https://www.choicestationery.com whom I have used for many moons. I have a Epson C70+ and it cost £14.95 inclusive of Vat and postage to replace all the cartridges of which I have found excellent for Photo work etc..........
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