Generic Cartridges – what’s all the fuss about ?
The debate between genuine and generic ink cartridges is an issue that continues to make the headlines on a regular basis. The cost of genuine inks are constantly being examined by the media with printer ink prices being compared to other valuable commodoties such as perfume, petrol and even fine wines.
Printers however are bucking the trend and becoming cheaper and cheaper to the point where you can now purchase a multifunction print, scan, copy inkjet printer for under $70-00. This is one of the reasons that has helped escelate the spread of generic ink cartridges as people who were once cautious about killing their $500 printer no longer are as concerned having paid so little for their new printer.
Many of the printer manufacturers have tried to slow the spread of compatible cartridges by micro-chipping them and regularly updating their printers firmware in an attempt to render the non genuine inks useless. While this has worked to a limited extent the manufacturers of generic inks always find a way to overcome these problems.
Epson were the first company to fight the battle against non genuine inks with their intelligent micro chip. The micro chip on the Epson ink cartridge was cleverly engineered so that no one was able to exactly replicate it. Once the generic manufacturers come up with a workable generic micro chip the Epson would make changes to their software drivers and release updates to render the copy cartridges useless.
Printer companies are still using the same tactics today however the large wholesalers of compatibles are very quick to replicate these hi tech micro chipped cartridges.
Compatibles are still proving hugely popular
Despite all of the attempts by manufacturers to stop compatible inks their popularity continues to grow. There are several reasons for this growth such as:
1. Higher Quality Generic Cartridges – The non genuine cartridges overall have become much higher quality than they were back 5 years ago. This isnt always the case as there are still many online retailers selling cheap, nasty inks which continues to fuel the bad reputation which they have had by many consumers. Several of the largest manufacturers of compatibles however are now producing very good quality cartridges.
2. Lower Prices compared to Genuine Cartridges – on average a generic ink cartridge is between 50 – 150% cheaper than the genuine brand name cartridge. Most people are well aware that you can often purchase a printer for $50 or less and the genuine inks cost you $100 plus when needing replacing. This alone causes consumers to look for a cheaper alternative.
3. Poor Economical Times – everyone knows that times are tough and this in turn has also contributed to the massive growth in compatible inks. Most people now days are looking to save money and this is certainly a big way to cut costs.
Printer Warranties and your rights
My printer warranty will be void if I use non genuine cartridges. This is completely false. The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act, says that it is illegal for a manufacturer to try and force you to use a their product as a condition of a warranty. Printer Companies cannot void your printer warranty simply because you use generic printer cartridges. we have been selling non genuine ink cartridges for over 8 years and we know for a fact that they do not cause any adverse effects which would cause a printer to fail.
This is not always the case as there are many compatible inks out there which could damage your printer due to the low grade ink used and also the dimensions of the actual cartridge itself. This however is only the case if you buy your cartridges from a unreputable retailer so make sure you read the reviews from other customers before you hand over your cash.
How printer manufacturers combat the use of non genuine cartridges
For many years the actual printer manufacturers have been using unscrupulous tactics to try and stop the use of generic cartridges. Obviously they stand to lose millions of dollars in sales if consumers dont use the brand name inks. Epson were the main company to employ various firmware updates which would help the printer to detect the difference between a genuine and a compatible cartridge.
After a firmware update was applied ( often customers didnt even realise it had occured ) the printer simply would not recognise the cartridge at all. Epson employed this tactic for several years and while it did help to combat the use of non genuine inks it also frustrated the hell out of people. Many Epson users simply dumped their printers and went to other brand printers which had no issues with generic inks.
Brother have now started using the same tactics on their latest model printers and once again it has become very frustrating for both the retailer of compatible inks and also the end user. What happens is that Brother brings out a new firmware update every few months and then the printer simply doesnt recognise the non genuine cartridge any more. To combat this the wholesalers of generic inks keep updating the microchip on the cartridges to overcome the most recent firmware update.
Like it or not compatible inks are here to stay and no matter what measures the printer companies put in place there will always be a way around their trickery which will allow the generic cartridges to operate correctly.