The quality of HP printers is beyond reproach. However, their pricing policy is rather dubious. You may see an inkjet printer sold for $100, but the original cartridge may cost nearly as much. This is the opposite of a bargain. Fortunately, there are also ways to get compatible supplies more cheaply. Discover their pros and cons below.
Like any big brand, HP is opposed to third-party replacements. At the same time, it cannot oblige customers to stick to the original products. For example, compatible HP Officejet 3836 ink with a money-back guarantee from Smart Ink is very attractive. Canadian customers can save up to $270 on supplies for HP printers.
Why OEM cartridges are so expensive
Big manufacturers invest billions of dollars in R&D to create high-quality equipment. However, you can still buy an HP printer very cheaply. Why? Look beyond the immediate benefits. Inkjet printers require new cartridges more often than laser models. This is how manufacturers recoup their investment.
Ink is great for professional photos and any tasks requiring high resolution. However, some cartridges run out of ink after 30 or 50 pages. Even the cheapest printer will require substantial investment in the long run. So, how do the cheaper options compare?
Compatible cartridges — Pros and Cons
Compatible cartridges come from independent suppliers. These companies design their models from scratch and fill them with their proprietary ink. The best products ensure excellent quality, and the ink volume may also be greater (XL). You do not have to worry about compatibility, as they come with the latest versions of the chips.
At the same time, there are many unreliable providers. Subpar cartridges may spoil your paper, or they may not be recognized at all. Follow the guidelines below to ensure economical and hassle-free replacement.
Tips for shoppers
Pay attention to the background of your potential supplier. Check reviews on websites like TrustPilot. Honest manufacturers resolve any issues quickly and offer extensive warranties. Look for the following features:
- At least a 2-year warranty on all products;
- Compliance with certification standards like ISO or CE;
- The latest version of the cartridge chip;
- XL volume;
- Customer service around the clock;
- Free shipping;
- Sustainable production and recyclability.
What about refilling?
This is the second affordable alternative. You may take your original cartridge to a company that will fill it with fresh ink. Note that the ink will come from an independent manufacturer, and quality may vary. A proper filling technique is also crucial to avoid damage to sensitive parts like the chip.
Owners of HP equipment may replace their cartridges affordably. Compatible models are the most convenient option, as you may order them online with free shipping. Pay attention to the reputation of your supplier, and make sure there is a money-back guarantee.