Let’s face it; printing can be expensive. While the price of printers has come down significantly in recent years, it’s the ongoing cost of consumables like toner that can add up. Many businesses that are looking for ways to cut print expenses have been turning to remanufactured toner cartridges as a way to cut costs.
However, this practice is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, remanufactured cartridges cost significantly less than using OEM cartridges. On the other hand, using the wrong cartridge could cost you even more if it damages your print device.
So how do you choose? Let’s look at precisely what a remanufactured cartridge is, and some of the common problems you might encounter when using remanufactured cartridges for your office printing.
What is a Remanufactured Cartridge?
A remanufactured toner cartridge is merely new toner inserted into a rebuilt used toner cartridge. Toner manufacturers gather recycled used cartridges, check them, replace parts that show excessive wear or are damaged, and then refill the cartridge with fresh toner. They then sell them for less than an OEM or new compatible cartridge.
The problem is that there is little standardization among remanufacturers and that means that it’s critically important to only purchase your toner from a reliable provider who will guarantee their product.
An important question to ask a seller is if the cartridge has been re-chipped. This is important as the smart chip is responsible for monitoring the level of your current toner cartridge. They communicate with your PC to alert you to errors as well.
The Top Three Problems with Remanufactured Cartridges
While remanufactured toner cartridges can save you significant money, you need to be aware of several problems that can occur if you choose to use them.
1. Page Yield
While many remanufacturers completely fill their cartridges, depending on the company, some remanufactured cartridges don’t offer page yields as high as OEM cartridges.
Be sure to do your research. Read reviews and speak with your supplier. Today, many quality remanufactured cartridges actually offer higher yields than new OEM cartridges.
2. Print Quality
Your toner cartridge is a pivotal component of printing and directly influences the print quality. Poorly made remanufactured cartridges can negatively affect print quality.
Again, research is vital. Make sure you’re working with a well-respected provider to ensure you receive a reliable product. A reliable remanufactured print cartridge will have any worn-out parts replaced and will have been re-chipped to ensure good print quality.
3. Risk of Malfunctioning
Remanufactured cartridges rely on replacement parts to work correctly. If the manufacturer skips this step or does not replace slightly worn parts, the risk of malfunction increases. Poorly made cartridges can leave waste toner in the machine which can affect print quality.
Find out what kind of warranty or guarantee the provider offers before you purchase. Customer satisfaction is essential for most companies, and a good remanufacturer will refund your money if their products don’t work as advertised. A reputable remanufacturer will stand behind their products.
Finding the Right Remanufactured Toner Provider
These problems can be solved by choosing the right provider. When looking for a reputable company, dig a little deeper by doing some research and asking a lot of questions:
- Do an online search and check out the remanufacturer. Read customer reviews, ask friend or associates, and contact the BBB to inquire about complaints.
- Find out what kind of warranty or guarantee they offer. A reputable company will stand behind the products they sell.
- Ask the provider if their remanufactured cartridges are Standardized Test Methods Committee (STMC) certified to meet or exceed OEM quality. STMC certification means that an independent third party has tested the cartridge’s print quality.
- Don’t be misled! Quality remanufactured toner cartridges will not damage your machines print heads, cause the toner to leak, or result in substandard print quality.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Remanufactured toner cartridges can be significantly less expensive than OEM toner. However, some providers cut corners to reduce their costs – and these subpar products can result in poor print quality, lower page yields or damage to your print devices.
It’s essential to do your homework to find a reputable provider that will guarantee the performance of their products.
Want to learn more about your other toner cartridge options? Check out our article, What is the Difference Between OEM and New Compatible Cartridges?
Director of Marketing & Inbound Business Development