Should You Buy Re-manufactured Ink Cartridges?

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Should You Buy Re-manufactured Ink Cartridges?

It’s a fact that you can save money by purchasing re-manufactured ink cartridges for your printer.

They may cost 60% or less than “genuine” name-brand cartridges.

Refurbished or re-manufactured cartridges have been recycled and refilled with ink.

But do they perform as well? Will they damage your printer?

Personally, I’ve used refilled cartridges for years and have never had problems.

Name brand companies that sell printers, like HP and Canon, make the bulk of their profits from the replacement cartridges.

For that reason, they will often suggest (and may even falsely claim) that using refurbished cartridges will shorten the life of your machine, damage it or void the warranty.

These are myths.

Fair trade law forbids conditioning warranty coverage on the use of a specific product (unless it’s provided for free).

In other words, Canon can’t refuse to cover a defect in their printer simply because you didn’t buy and use their branded ink cartridge.

And now, here is a handy list of pros and cons you’ll want to be aware of when it comes to purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges.



  • Cartridges are getting refilled and reused rather than ending up in landfills.
  • Many of these cartridges are remanufactured in the USA, whereas name brands like Canon and HP actually come from China or Japan.
  • You might actually get better and faster service in the event of a problem. Check the seller’s guarantee policy; most (especially the highly rated Ebay Power Sellers like Discount Inkjet) will fully back up their cartridges.
  • Quality is nearly identical to name brands. Fail rate is about 2% as compared to 1% with name brands.


  • Some of the refilled cartridges I’ve bought will not trigger the low ink level indicator. My PC tells me the ink is low when in fact it is not. I just click “ok” and keep printing. You may or may not have this issue, depending on your printer model.
  • In the event of a problem with your printer, you might have to deal with flack or runaround from the manufacturer if you disclose that refilled cartridges were used (this just recently happened to me).
  • Quality is only as good as the company behind it. Buy from a trusted, experienced seller to avoid problems like leaking or poor print quality.

Do you use genuine OEM ink cartridges or re-manufactured cartridges?

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One Response

  1. Jennie Robertson January 14, 2015

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