How to Avoid Buying Expensive HP Cartridges
Hewlett-Packard’s pricing is perplexing. The corporation sells office equipment for all budgets, but the consumables look overpriced. When a cartridge pack costs nearly as much as a basic printer, one may wonder if it is a rip-off. Here is the lowdown on original and non-original replacements to help you shop smartly.
To save on ink, consumers switch to compatible or recycled supplies. The first category includes cartridges produced by smaller companies — brands that are not affiliated with equipment manufacturers. They design cartridges for the same models of HP printers. Businesses compliant with global standards provide similar print quality at low cost.
Suppose you own an HP Officejet 6958. To buy all four original cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow), you would spend £47.99. Smart Ink sells even more ink in its HP 903xl multipack for £27.99. The XL capacity more than doubles the page yield. This means you actually save around £70 per purchase.
Original cartridges are recycled and sold again — often, by the same companies that make compatible products. This process involves thorough cleaning, testing, reconditioning and refilling. The products comply with the same quality standards and perform as well as before. Customers save money and reduce their environmental impact.
Does HP Allow Using Non-original Ink?
Consumer protection laws on both sides of the Atlantic prohibit anti-competitive terms and policies. Hewlett-Packard strongly warns customers against purchasing imitation cartridges or trying to refill their products at home. However, cheaper products are perfectly legal (DIY refills are truly risky), and warranties may not be cancelled because of them.
Are Cheap Cartridges Safe?
Both compatible and recycled cartridges from a trusted shop are safe for your printer. They require the same precautions as OEM supplies — correct installation procedures and maintenance (for example, you should print at least twice a month to prevent ink from drying out).
Choosing a Shop
The easiest way to replace ink is by ordering a third-party cartridge online from a brand site or a marketplace. If you have never used these products before, research popular suppliers. Make sure your purchase will come with:
- Quality marks confirming compliance with ISO, CE, Reach, or STMC.
- The latest version of the chip.
- Comprehensive warranty covering 2 years.
- 24/7 support.
Printers may reject cartridges with outdated chips due to recent firmware updates. This is the only way equipment manufacturers can prevent you from installing non-original supplies. Turning off all updates may also solve the problem. Some cartridges also come with ink level tracking, so you know when it is time to order a new one. Finally, you may be able to get free shipping and additional discounts — for example, for shopping in bulk. Combined with XL and XXL volume, these benefits form an irresistible combination.