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Cheap Toner: Compatible Versus OEM Toner Cartridges

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Genuine OEM or original branded toner cartridges never seem to get discounted anywhere close to the prices of many compatible or generic versions. Manufacturers like HP® and Brother usually set a minimum price to keep the profit up on toner, even if the printers themselves might seem fairly inexpensive by comparison. It is for this very reason that many people have wondered if they can expect good results from those compatible or generic cheap toner cartridges.

For example, a popular Brother toner cartridge is the TN-750, which typically sells for more than $83. NeweggBusiness offers a Rosewill® (house brand) compatible cartridge with the same 8,000 page yield (5% page coverage) for less than $26 as of this writing. The savings of more than $57 is enough to make people think there is no way the lower priced compatible could be near as good as the Brother version. Keep in mind though that for printer manufacturers, the profit is in the repeat sale of toner.

Name brand printer manufacturers go to great lengths to make doing business difficult for compatible cartridge suppliers. For example, they may design their toner cartridges or printers with patented parts so that a compatible would be difficult to manufacture without violating the patents or copyrights. This doesn’t stop the many manufacturers of compatible cartridges from trying. They often alter the design or manufacturing just enough to avoid violating the intellectual property rights of the original manufacturer. The cartridge is still built to be compatible and fit properly in the printer, even if it might look slightly different.

Another approach original printer manufacturers use is publishing warnings that generic or compatible toner cartridges could damage the printer or void its warranty. This is highly unlikely however. Any damage to the printer is usually caused by users and not generic toner cartridges themselves.

Some people have had inferior results from generic cartridges. When this happens, many conclude that all compatible cartridges are inferior. However, there are many different manufacturers of compatible toner cartridges in various countries and the quality can vary from one company to another. For example, some compatible cartridge manufacturers seek to deliver quality products and others sell by having the lowest price. When trying to cut costs, some cartridge manufacturers have been known to use inferior plastic or toner mixtures. These inferior products create a bad reputation for compatible cartridges in general since they all seem to be generic and it is difficult to tell the product of one manufacturer from another.

When a compatible or generic cartridge does not produce quality output, it may actually be defective, which happens to all brands. It is also possible that the cartridge was produced by an inferior manufacturer and it could be difficult to tell who made it since they are often made to look generic. In fact, some generics are labeled or branded by other companies as their own brand. They will typically do this with better quality product though, since they want the toner cartridge to reflect well on their brand.

Even among compatible toner cartridges, there are brands which take great pride in producing a quality product at a fraction of the price that name brand manufacturers charge. Print quality and page yield will typically equal that of the original brand and a wise customer can save significant expense using the quality compatible toner cartridge instead.

Finding reliable compatible toner cartridges needn’t be difficult. Smart shoppers check reviews and purchase from reputable resellers like NeweggBusiness. Top-quality results can be had using good compatible toner cartridges, even though they are cheap toner when compared to the price of original OEM cartridges from the big printer manufacturers.

Image by Iwan Gabovitch, taken from Flickr Creative Commons
Summary
Cheap Toner: Compatible Versus OEM Toner Cartridges
Article Name
Cheap Toner: Compatible Versus OEM Toner Cartridges
Description
Compatible, generic printer toner cartridges are far less expensive and can be just as good as name brand toner cartridges if you know what to look for.
Author
Scott Roy Smith

Scott Roy Smith

A visionary and creative online media product manager with extensive experience in interactive multimedia and online product strategy, design, and development. Scott has spearheaded successful products such as webinars, blogs, and recording of entire conferences for immediate webcasting and podcasting. He was instrumental in rapid Web site traffic growth and sales growth of digital products.

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