Buying Ink Cartridges Online

OEM vs. Remanufactured vs. Compatible Printer Ink Cartridges

            …What’s the Difference?

A frequent question of those new to buying ink & toner is,  "what is the difference between alternative options: remanufactured, compatible and OEM?".

It is not easy understanding the difference between these options

OEM cartridges

Standard brand-name ink & toner cartridges that you can buy at here at or any Staples, Office Deport or regular retail store, are referred to as Original Equipment Manufacturer (abbreviated as OEM) cartridges.  These types of cartridges are made by the original manufacturer of the printer.  OEM cartridges are by far the most expensive option.  Many companies and naturally the manufacturers believe that buying OEM was the only way to go.

On to the alternative options...

Remanufactured cartridges

Our Remanufactured cartridges are typically made out of the exact same parts that OEM cartridges are. How it works is first people send their used cartridges in to be recycled. Remanufacturers then thoroughly sanitize the cartridge print heads, components, etc. (in the case of a toner cartridge they thoroughly inspect the drum) and then refill them with premium ink or toner. Lastly, a testing stage involving pressure and an actual printing run is performed to make sure everything is fine, and the cartridge is repackaged and ready for use.

There are some places where a claim is made that a cartridge is remanufactured, but it is simply refilled with toner or ink (common at Cartridge World and Rapid Refill Ink stores), this is something to be wary of so ask the supplier where they get the cartridges and to see a sample to evaluate how they are refilled.

Compatible cartridges

Compatible toner cartridges are effectively the generic counterpart of OEM cartridges. These cartridges are manufactured using almost all new components, in some cases the original plastic container is used, but all moving and operational components are new.  They follow a manufacturing process very similar to the OEM process, and are QA tested.  All InkMart compatible toners are manufactured in ISO9001 and ISO14001 factories.  It is important to explain to customers that there can be a very wide range of quality in these products, which is why it is important that these are manufactured in ISO registered facilities to guarantee quality.