. What’s the Difference Between Original (OEM) and Compatible Ink Cartridges? – InkCartridges.com Blog
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What’s the Difference Between Original (OEM) and Compatible Ink Cartridges?

What’s the Difference Between Original (OEM) and Compatible Ink Cartridges?

Inkjet Printers: they’re cheap to buy, easy to use but expensive to maintain! It’s no secret that the inkjet manufacturers almost give away their printers in order to get you hooked on their line of inkjet cartridges. Cellular companies use the same business model; sell you a $700 phone for next to nothing and make up the difference in high monthly bills for the length of your contract.

Printers don’t come with contracts so you have plenty of options. When your ink runs low, you have three types of replacement cartridges to choose from:

What is an OEM Cartridge?

OEM cartridges (aka: Original Equipment Manufacturer) are cartridges that your printer manufacturer is counting on you to buy. They are the most expensive since this is how manufacturers make their money back from selling printers at a very low price.

What is a Compatible (Non-OEM) Cartridge?

(aka: Off Brand) are cartridges made by third-party manufacturers and are built to the same specifications as OEM ink cartridges. Not all compatible cartridges are created equal since the quality depends on the brand. A compatible cartridge bought from a reliable source delivers quality prints and is always less expensive than the original counterpart.

Types of Compatible Cartridges:

  1. Brand New Compatible Cartridges are manufactured with 100% new materials.
  2. Remanufactured Cartridges (aka: Refurbished Cartridges) are empty OEM cartridges diverted from the landfill, cleaned, repaired, refilled with ink, and tested to make sure it prints like the original.

OEM vs Compatible Cartridges

Let’s face it; the manufacturers want you to buy their ink. There’s nothing wrong with OEM cartridges–just that they’re way too expensive. From a consumer’s point of view, when you purchase one cartridge at a time, it may not seem like a lot of money. But once you add up how much you spent on OEM ink and compare it with the price of a compatible cartridge, the difference is staggering. Here are some reasons most people go with compatible printer cartridges from a trusted supplier like LD Products.

Why Most People Use Remanufactured Ink

  • They’re good for the environment. Every refurbished cartridge is one less cartridge sitting in a landfill.
  • They’re good for communities. Remanufacturers often source a large volume of used cartridges from community recycling programs and fundraising initiatives.
  • They work just as good when properly remanufactured. Some companies simply drill and fill used cartridges; continue reading for how an inkjet cartridge SHOULD be remanufactured.
  • They’re less expensive. Consumers save anywhere from 15% to 50% on printer expenses when they switch to remanufactured ink cartridges. 

From Landfill to Refill: The Right Way To Remanufacture an Ink Cartridge

Anyone can refill an existing cartridge with more ink, but if there are other flaws with the cartridge, you’re not going to get the desired performance and results. Here’s how your supplier should remanufacture your ink cartridges:

  1. Used inkjet cartridges are collected from a variety of sources such as, community recycling programs and fundraising initiatives, preventing them from reaching the landfill.
  2. Once received, the cartridges are sorted by part number and inventoried in a temperature-controlled environment to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Cartridges are thoroughly cleaned with de-mineralized water, dried and vacuum filled with high quality ink.
  4. For cartridges that use smart chips, a new smart chip is applied which allows the cartridge to be recognized by the printer and display a proper working ink level in the print monitor.
  5. Finally, the cartridges are sealed and thoroughly quality tested for proper functionality before they go to packaging.


Compatible ink is more than just a cost-effective solution to ever-rising printer expenses. They also reduce waste and contribute to greener living! To maximize the benefits of remanufactured ink it is important to source these cartridges from a reliable supplier. Here at inkcartridges.com, we have been saving the environment, while helping printer uses save money, for over 20 years! And we are proud to be a trusted name in compatible ink.


1 Comment

  • So there is no reason other than money that I cannot use remanufactured cartridges in my printer even though the manufacturer gives the impression the printer will only work with their cartridges, am in process of upgrading as current model is wearing out and would like to go with same manufacturer, but using only their ink is going to be a deal breaker as the cost is prohibitive. Have been buying LD products direct as well as at a local store, no problems, great prices, fast shipping, and would like to continue to do so.

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