I think we’ve reached a consensus that there’s a conspiracy afloat. You go to your local office supply store or membership warehouse, and find the deal of the century on a laser printer, photo printer, or inkjet printer. You take it home and are delighted by the quality of the prints, the speed of the printer, and most of all, that your new printer was incredibly inexpensive. The next thing you know, though, the starter toner cartridge that came with your new printer runs out, and you discover that the replacement cartridge costs about half of what you paid for the printer.

Yes, printer manufacturers are able to offer such low prices on printers because they make so much profit on toner cartridges. At least that’s the case when you buy an Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, inkjet printer cartridge or LaserJet toner cartridge.

You are probably aware that there are other types of ink cartridges and laser toner cartridges available, but perhaps you’ve been wary of them. After all, printer manufacturers warn of dire consequences like equipment ruination unless you buy brand name (or Original Equipment Manufacturer) toner. The truth is, there are compatible inkjet printer cartridges and LaserJet toner cartridges that not only meet, but that actually exceed the specifications of the equipment manufacturers. These cartridges are brand new and provide you with toner or ink that will produce the high-quality prints you’ve come to expect – without compromising the parts or lessening the lifespan of your printer.

In addition to Original Equipment Manufacturer and compatible ink cartridges and toner cartridges, you can also find what are called re-manufactured cartridges. These are different from compatible cartridges in that they are OEM cartridges that have been used and refilled. Good re-manufactured cartridges consist of more than simply filling a used cartridge with ink or toner, though. For example, an inkjet printer cartridge and the print head nozzles will be cleaned. Then, once the inkwells have been filled with ink that matches the ink found in Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges, the cartridge is extensively tested to ensure that it will do the job. It will, for example, go through tests to ensure it doesn’t leak, its circuitry is functional, and the pressure inside the cartridge is exact.

The key to finding the right kind of laser toner or inkjet ink at the right price is understanding the difference between Original Equipment Manufacturer products, compatible products, and re-manufactured products. Next, you have to find a reputable supplier of compatible toner cartridges and inkjet printer cartridges. The Internet is the best place to start. When you do, you’ll feel more comfortable with taking the plunge and buying something other than the pricey cartridges available at your local office supply store. You’ll be surprised that you can save a ton of money – as much as 85 percent! When you do, that low price you paid for your laser printer, photo printer, or inkjet printer will, indeed, be a bargain.

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