Click below to get answers to common questions.
There are 4 types of cartridges out there today:
1. OEM's (original equipment manufacturer) are the name-brand ones made by the makers of the printer (ie: HP, Brother, Canon, etc). These are very reliable (fail rate of less than 1%), are of excellent quality & have high page yields but they also have a high price tag as well. These are the ones you'll find at the big-box chain retail stores... Very expensive, and all you're really paying for is the printer company's logo & the fancy packaging, because now there is a much more affordable "generic" option (see #2 below) that works exactly the same but costs so much less!
2. Compatibles are brand-new, non-name-brand cartridges ("generics") that are built by an independent manufacturer, not by the makers of the printer. They are still 100% genuine & are built with the exact same chips & parts that the OEM's have (minus the name-brand logo on the core). That's the only difference! They have the exact same page yield, quality & reliability (with the same less-than-1%-fail-rate) as OEM's, but thankfully are MUCH less expensive. On average, our customers save right around 30%! Remember: compatibles are brand-new, not "recycled" or "refurbished" and these make-up 99% of our inventory! We source them from the country's largest generic cartridge manufacturer/distributor & we are the only place in the greater Phoenix area that you can get them at these insanely low prices! (And we ship too!) ALSO, THESE DO NOT VOID THE WARRANTY OF YOUR PRINTER!
3. Remanufactured cartridges are previously-used OEM cores that have been "gutted" & cleaned-out, with all the important components (chips, sponges, gears, wiper blades, etc) being replaced with new ones. The quality, page yield, reliability & price are all pretty close to that of Compatibles, with just a slightly higher possible fail rate of 4-5%. These are the types of cartridges you'd find at some of the other small ink shops in town. When we first opened, this is what we specialized in - but, little-by-little, we've upgraded & now we only stock a handful of Remans (usually when there are no Compatible versions available for that specific model).
4. Refills are used cartridges (either OEM or Compatible) that have a hole poked/drilled into the core & new liquid ink or toner powder syringed/poured inside (and on top of the old). None of the components are replaced either. This means you're getting a VERY poor quality product with a VERY high probability of failure, plus all the headaches that come along with that (remember, you've got a cartridge with a hole in it that's been covered with a sticker or a plug of some sort - drastically increasing the chances of leakage). These don't yield a very high page count & are very unreliable (they can actually have an 80-85% fail rate, especially with HP inks).Since the chips aren't replaced on Refills, chances of the printer recognizing the cartridge at all is very low. At one time, Refills were the only available option for customers to save money on ink & is how a lot of Cartridge shops out there in the World became popular. But now, with the advancement of technology that requires the chips to be replaced, in addition to the advent of a higher quality alternative that rivals the name-brand ones, refilling has become obsolete. There are still some places who do it (like the few locations remaining of the aforementioned Cartridge shop out there in the World who really started the Refill trend back in the day as well as some of the huge wholesale warehouse type places that sell a lot of bulk items & require a membership - you know who I mean), but even if you get lucky & your printer recognizes the old chip, there's still the issue of ink leaking everywhere & staining your table, clothes, carpet, etc. and a very poor print quality as well! Beware of shopping for ink/toner online especially - on websites like Amazon & eBay, as those sellers can call a Refill a Reman & you wouldn't know until it was too late. There's a very high probability that these will damage & ruin your machine, which is why we have never & would never sell them!