Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cheap Ink Cartridges - Your Questions Answered

By: Kathryn Dawson

If you’ve checked the prices of ink at a High Street office supplies or computer shop, you may not believe that such things as cheap ink cartridge exist. Most new printer owners are shocked to discover that replacing their cartridges can cost as much as they originally paid for the printer. Those in the know, however, get their new ink at a discount. To help you get in the know, here are the answers to your key questions about budget ink cartridges.

Why are replacement ink cartridges so costly?

It's true that these items come at a premium price especially when compared to the price of the printer itself. The simple answer is that the printer is a loss leader. The printer companies sell them at cost or even a loss knowing they can make the money up later through selling cartridges. Another factor is that the cartridge supplied with the printer is generally smaller than the standard unit which means it runs out quicker.

What is the difference between the different types of replacement cartridges?

When shopping for cartridges you may find that the products on offer come in different packaging. This is because replacement ink comes in three types - OEM, compatible or refurbished. The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) comes in a box with the logo of the printer company. These are high quality with prices to match.

A compatible replacement cartridge is made by a third party company under license from the OEM. These come in packaging designed by the manufacturer. While not up to the standard of OEMs, these are fine for normal use.

Refurbished cartridges are items that have been recycled. Firms collect or buy up old units, and then clean, repair and refill them. Results are variable. Prices are low but so is reliability.

Can I fill my printer cartridges myself?

Refill kits are available and are popular with people looking for the cheapest option. Cartridges can be filled several times which makes this a real budget alternative. However, your results will depend on the quality of the ink. And be prepared for some messiness.

Where's the best place to shop for cheap ink cartridges?

If you shop on the High Street, you'll be paying top prices. These shops have high rents and big sales forces to pay. Another consideration is that in general shops, printer accessories are just one of many items sold, so they probably won't have a wide range in stock. Plus, the sales staff won't have the insider knowledge to give you all the options available. After all, it's not it their best interests to sell you cheap ink cartridges.

Online vendors, on the other hand, deal only in printer related items and have the knowledge and stock to fulfill your every need. And as they don't need to pay high rents or expensive sales teams, they can offer the keenest prices.

Competition is fierce in the online printer market so you're sure to get the best prices available. And the best firms offer free delivery on all orders, usually the next day to a mainland UK address.

Ordering online is simply a matter of visiting the web site and choosing your printer brand and model. You'll then get a list of what's available whether OEM, compatible or refill kits, along with prices. Just make your choice and pay online. Most dealers have a range of special offers such as offering twin packs at considerable savings. For example, you can pick up canon pixma ip2600 ink cartridges online in the form of a pack containing three cartridges and a photo paper pack for less than 30 pounds including taxes and free delivery.

What other tips are there for getting cheap ink cartridges?

If you do a lot of printing, you can make savings by buying your cartridges in bulk. Most firms offer discounts when you buy more than one unit and another benefit is that you can be sure of always having ink on hand. If you need canon pixma mp140 ink CL-41, you can pick up compatible colour cartridges at the price of 14.97 pounds for one or 13.97 pounds for two or more.

For the best deals in cheap ink cartridges for your printer, check out the web sites of reputable online retailers. Here you'll find the widest range of cartridges at the lowest prices. Just place your order online for next day delivery.