Printer Ink and Toner Supplies

The costs for printer ink, toner, print cartridges and other print supplies can quickly exceed what you paid for the printer. We offer a few tips on buying printer supplies that will help you keep your printing costs in line.

No one enjoys replacing toner and ink cartridges.

Unfortunately, it's one of those things that can't be avoided in a busy office environment. Unless someone takes responsibility for maintaining a supply of replacement cartridges, your company's printing ability will come to a dead stop.

But replacing used ink cartridges is only half the battle. Replacement toner and ink cartridges are exorbitantly expensive compared to the costs of printers themselves. If you're dealing with an inexpensive inkjet printer, it's almost worth buying a new printer when your cartridge runs out.

Most businesses need to identify a cost-effective way to maintain printer ink and toner supplies. Although it's likely that the retailer through whom you purchased your printer can also supply you with replacement cartridges, Internet suppliers and discount stores may be able to provide you with similar products. Here's what you need to know about maintaining an adequate supply of ink and toner.

  • Price matters. The price of replacement cartridges is a factor -- but probably not in the way you think it is. There is no shortage of suppliers who offer highly discounted prices on ink and toner. The problem is that these suppliers often sell inferior ink and cartridges that are incompatible with your printer.
  • Return policy. Replacement cartridges are far from foolproof. Every now and again you can count on buying a replacement cartridge that is defective. When that happens, you'll need to make sure you purchased it from a supplier with a generous return policy.
  • Availability. It's important to keep an extra supply of cartridges on hand, especially for your company's primary printer. But if you're in a pinch, it's nice to know that you can run down to the local office supply store rather than having to wait a week or more for a replacement cartridge to arrive from the Internet supplier.
  • Compatible brands. You don't necessarily have to purchase replacement ink and toner from the same company that manufactured your printer. Manufacturers would like you to believe that their printers are only compatible with their cartridges, but in many cases you can find less expensive replacements from other reliable brand-name companies.
  • Tricking the printer. One of the best-kept secrets in the ink and toner industry is that your cartridge usually isn't empty when your printer says it is and there are ways to fool your printer into letting you squeeze every last drop of ink out of your cartridge. Google your printer and cartridge models to find user-suggested tips for maximizing the amount of ink from each cartridge.

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