It really doesn’t take long or a genius to figure out that the running costs of your printer outweighs the price you paid for it. Replacing the ink of your printer is an expensive, brutal exercise, much more so when you purchase the manufacturer’s brand of cartridges. This makes you divert from the route and take on an alternative instead which will definitely save a fair bit of money in the long run by buying generic, compatible or non-original ink cartridges. But are they really worth it?

Lets look at the sort of quality presented to you from generic ink cartridges and the risks they could put your printer in.


If you’re meticulous about having the highest possible print quality, you should probably stick with genuine ink cartridges from reputable or your printer’s manufacturer as they tend to perform better if not much. But of course, you can still opt for generic compatible cartridges for general document printing, and the differences in cost will be hard to argue.

Why You Shouldn't Use Non-Original Printer Cartridges Ink
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Depending on your printer and the generic ink you purchase, printing quality will vary. Just like humans, some printers are picky and some handle generic inks just fine, while others might throw a tantrum and give streaky results or get clogged. So, you should keep in mind of your printer’s preferences as well as the generic cartridges you buy. Still, if you aren’t a risk taker and wouldn’t mind spending that extra cost, getting the same ink brand as your printer will be a better choice.

Printer Warranty Issues

This one point is probably one of the most neglected issues by users. Many users often neglect the warranty issue from their printers and tend to void their printer’s warranty by installing third-party or generic ink cartridges on their machine without checking on the dos and don’ts. Although compatible cartridges will save you a lot, you’re to use them at your own risk. Most techs often come with a warranty, and a cartridge is no exception. While ink cartridges may come with a warranty, it usually covers only the replacement of the cartridge and not the aftermath it did to the printer. If your printer stops working, or if it’s damaged, the chances of you claiming repairs under warranty are as good as an ostrich flying if you’ve installed a generic ink cartridge rather than the manufacturer’s brand.

Buying Generic Printer Ink Cartridges

Keep in mind that not every printer on the market will accept generic cartridges, especially newer models. It takes a while before printers become popular enough for third-party manufacturers to deem alternative inks for that particular model are worth producing. It is up to them then to source compatible cartridges, often from markets like China where the cost of producing is much cheaper. Therefore, choosing a less known printer or a new model could mean fewer or none cartridges to choose from.

Why You Shouldn't Use Non-Original Printer Cartridges Generic Ink
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Refilling Ink Cartridges

Refilling your empty cartridges can be considerably cheaper than buying a brand new one. Many printer models offer a refill kit but not all. As mentioned above, for optimum results, you should use an ink refill kit specially designed for your model. Refilling the wrong ink could spell a list of problems.

To refill your own cartridges require patience and a steady hand as it can mess and time-consuming. The print quality won’t be as good as original cartridges but that being said, for general printing, it’s fine.

Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS)

Why You Shouldn't Use Non-Original Printer Cartridges CISS
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An ink supply system made popular by Brother and Epson, the CISS is another alternative, if your work requires tons of printing. A CISS is different from your general ink cartridge where the ink tank is often placed outside, on the side of the printer, instead of inside the body. CISS inks are placed in a larger tank which is linked via flexible tubs to external reservoirs of ink that allows you to refill ink at any point of time. This substantially increases your printing capacity.

Of course, there are also generic, compatible ink refills out there which could save you quite a lot of cash in a relatively short time. The initial refill maybe fiddly, and would require a few head cleans, but the end result is generally good, — not as good as original ink though.

Related: What Are The Differences Between Original Cartridge and Compatible or Non-original?

Should You Buy Generic, Compatible, Non-Original Ink Cartridges?

Why You Shouldn't Use Non-Original Printer Cartridges Ink Cartridge
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Our advice to you is to not buy third-party ink cartridges. Based on the few points mentioned above, while you can save time and cost with these generic ink cartridges, the end result will generally push you back to the original route as the quality from original cartridges isn’t debatable much.

Also worth keeping in mind is that these generic cartridges are slowly but steadily losing their way as original manufacturers are beginning to notice their competition. Due to the high level of competitions and to tackle their competitors, famous manufacturers like HP, Canon, and Xerox has started to lower their prices and produce inks with special ingredients to combat third-parties. For instance, HP has taken a step further by installing a unique chip which deters third party manufacturers from recycling their empty cartridges and offers their users a trade-in policy where they can get rebates by returning the empty ink cartridges to them.

Additional: 7 Printer Tips & Tricks That Will Save You The Hassle

Nonetheless, with the advancement of technology, newer technology is being implemented and raw materials are slowly becoming cheaper and easier to get, original ink or toner cartridge are gradually becoming more affordable than ever before. Check out these original ink & toner cartridges from us and we do also accept trade-ins for your used cartridges. Click here for more information on how to trade-in your used cartridges or click the link below for brand new original ink & toner from various brands!