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Office managers concerned about about ink and toner costs and printing spend at some point consider aftermarket ink and toner. It’s cheap, and it is still legalthanks to a recent SCOTUS decision.

Lexmark and OEM printer companies recently lost a landmark ink and toner case that reached the Supreme Court. The law is on the side of aftermarket ink and toner. Should you use aftermarket consumables for lower ink and toner costs? When you know the truth behind cheap toner cartridges, the price is hard to pass up.

Proof in the sales data: Newegg business buyers opted for genuine ink and toner cartridges for 85% of purchases in 2016. Why?

Printer vendors make it notoriously difficult to use aftermarket consumables

A recent HP firmware update for OfficeJet Pro printers and all-in-ones stopped functioning if aftermarket products were detected in use. HP apologized and fixed firmware, only after a public call-out and some litigation.

HP OfficejetPro 8618

HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 - click for specs

Supported Cartriges

HP 950
HP 951
HP 951
HP 951
HP 950XL

HP firmware disabled aftermarket ink

HP has since resolved this issue


What’s your go-to for cheap ink?

Conventional wisdom says to choose well-established brands. They tend to refine processes for producing quality. Rosewill started their operation building generic ink cartridges. Newegg’s sister company expanded into high-end audio but ink is still their bread and butter.

Xerox generics have been around so long they disrupted Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press monopoly. They are probably a good bet for decent ink.

A few IT pros have told me they will test different generics for quality to make a use case. They make small purchases until finding the necessary consistency, and the save money with a bulk purchase of cheap printer ink and toner.

Truth in consensus – customer ratings talk

NeweggBusiness customer reviews predominantly gravitate towards LD brand, which remanufactures compatible cartridges for Brother, HP, and Canon printers.

Click image to view top-rated aftermarket ink toner products on NeweggBusiness.

LD remanufactured tops for Newegg reviews

Pro Tip: Use aftermarket products after printer warranty term expires

Support terms are a valuable part of office tech purchases. Printer companies use strong language about voiding warranty if refurbished ink is used, but that is illegal unless the damage was caused by the cartridge. If you want to play it safe, wait until after the end of the support period, then change over to aftermarket to assume less risk and save money.

Other ways to save print costs

Management can reduce paper waste and print costs by rewarding under-allotment printing quotas. New technology is more efficient with ink. Monochrome injket printers by Epson use a larger tank which is more efficient with ink than cartridges.

You may subscribe for savings on printing materials as well—HP Instant Ink program is a subscription wherein you pay a flat rate based on the pages you print.

HP Instant Ink reduces cost on a per page basis

Instant ink is open to businesses and customers who would rather pay by the page printed.

Printers supported by HP Instant Ink

  Eligible printers
HP Deskjet 2600 Series HP ENVY 4500 Series HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series
HP Deskjet 3630 Series HP ENVY 4520 Series HP Officejet Pro 6960 Series
HP Deskjet 3720 Series HP ENVY 5530 Series HP Officejet Pro 6970 Series
HP Deskjet 3750 Series HP ENVY 5540 Series HP Officejet Pro 8210 Series
HP Officejet 3830 Series HP ENVY 5640 Series HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series
HP Officejet 4630 Series HP ENVY 5660 Series HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series
HP Officejet 4650 Series HP ENVY 7640 Series HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series
HP Officejet 5740 Series HP Officejet Pro 8710 Series
HP Officejet 6810 Series HP Officejet Pro 8720 Series
HP Officejet 6820 Series HP Officejet Pro 8730 Series
HP Officejet 8040 Series HP Officejet Pro 8740 Series

Enroll in HP Instant Ink

Final thoughts

Going green and doing away with all your printing isn’t realistic. Reduction should be the goal; simply printing fewer page is the smartest way to save on printer ink and toner costs.

Aftermarket Ink Toner Costs: Too Good to be True?
Article Name
Aftermarket Ink Toner Costs: Too Good to be True?
The law is on the side of aftermarket ink and toner. Should you use aftermarket consumables for lower ink and toner costs? If when you know the truth behind cheap toner cartridges, the price is hard to pass up. Newegg's business buyers opt for genuine ink and toner cartridges with 85% of all purchases in the category. Why?
Newegg Business Smart Buyer
HardBoiled | NeweggBusiness
Adam Lovinus

Author Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

More posts by Adam Lovinus

Join the discussion One Comment

  • LOMBARD Didier says:

    My EPSON XP-5105 refuses to print with the compatible cartridges I just bought !
    Is my money lost or is there a solution ?

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