Compatible Ink Cartridges ~Their Evolution And Why People Prefer Them

The high cost of replacement ink cartridges has resulted in a compatible ink cartridges aftermarket. Sometimes printer owners pay more for a set of ink cartridges than they do for the printer they’ve purchased. The cartridges that come with the printer are often “starter cartridges”. They’re only partially filled and quickly run out of ink. This prevents people from buying another cheap printer instead of buying a set of cartridges.

Printer manufacturers tend to sell printers at a low price. They make their profits from the ongoing supply of replacement ink cartridges. In the early days of mass-market inkjet printers (the 1980s) many printer owners started looking for lower cost cartridge alternatives. Compatible Ink Cartridges - Brother LC133The pioneers of the aftermarket cartridge industry started the process of drilling holes in the cartridges to add the extra ink that was needed. Depending on the kind of printer cartridge involved it could result in substantial savings.

And so the aftermarket became a viable option for those who were keen to reduce the cost per copy of their printing. Two different business models emerged. Some people brought their empty cartridges in to the cartridge refiller. They would either leave them to be filled or wait while they were being filled, and then collect them later.

However this business model had some challenges. Not least of which was that printer cartridges in the early days had the print head built into the cartridge. Ink tended to dry in the printhead when the cartridge was out of the printer. It caused printing problems when the cartridge was returned to the printer.

This gave the second business model a distinct advantage: the distribution of ink refill kits for the user to fill their own cartridges. It meant they could fill their empty cartridges as soon as they run empty. However this could be messy, and users spilled ink if they were not careful enough.

And so ink refilling became at least a partial solution to the ongoing printer cartridge expense problem. However the refilled cartridges were much more prone to failure. Other components besides the ink were not designed to be used a number of times – especially the printhead. These reliability issues were a hit to the reputation of the aftermarket cartridge industry as a whole.

In the 1990s printer manufacturers started making print heads that would last the life of the machine and incorporating them into the printer itself. As a result ink cartridges could be manufactured at a much lower cost.

Compatible Ink Cartridges Introduced

In response to this change, the aftermarket cartridge industry began producing replacement compatible ink cartridges. Consumers could buy them at a substantial savings compared with the price of cartridges distributed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

Today, manufacturers of printers are offering a wide array of printers with a host of different features. Many buyers are not aware that the ongoing cost per copy of the consumables varies greatly as well. Therefore, before you purchase a new printer, do the research. Some of the research involves checking for specific features. The cost of the hardware needs to be considered and perhaps more importantly the cost of the printer cartridges the machine will consume over it’s lifetime.

At Easyink we’re keen to help you with your research because we like people to get the best printer for their needs. We can help you choose a printer that works well with compatible ink cartridges. This can save you the initial cost of the printer many times over.

Chris has written 14 articles

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