A question that we are often asked is whether we recommend OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) toner cartridges or aftermarket cartridges for laser printers. This is actually a subject that I could probably write a whole treatise on, and I’m sure we’ll discuss it further here at Printer Repair Blog in the future. For now though, let’s just go through some of the basic pros and cons of using aftermarket (compatible) cartridges vs. OEM cartridges.
Obviously, one of the main factors in determining whether using OEM cartridges is appropriate for your business is price. OEM cartridges are usually more expensive than compatible cartridges, and many businesses choose to make the switch to compatible cartridges solely based on that criteria. However, there is no denying that the failure rate for compatible toner cartridges is higher than the failure rate for OEM toner cartridges.
WHY THIS MATTERS
If your cartridge vendor does not have Technicians they can dispatch onsite to repair and clean your printer when (not “IF”… WHEN) you get a defective cartridge, you can assume that your company is going to be left with the bill to bring the printer back to normal operations. Even if you have a Maintenance Agreement with a company like American Printer Service, Inc., usually they will exclude compatible cartridges not sold to the customer by themselves since they cannot control or vouch for the quality of the cartridge. The costs involved in cleaning up a toner spill can be as simple as a quick vacuuming up of the loose toner or as complicated as replacing numerous parts damaged due to the leaking toner. One thing you may have noticed if you’ve ever had to deal with a leaking toner cartridge is that toner dust is very fine, and very difficult to clean up. Because of that, it is best to leave cleaning up loose toner to a professional printer repair Technician, otherwise, you could easily complicate the problem.
Toner spills can be quite costly when they damage parts, in addition to often rendering the printer unusable for the period it takes to get it repaired. For that reason, we advise customers to purchase compatible toner cartridges from a LOCAL company that can dispatch a Technician onsite to clean up toner spills or repair damage to printers due to defective compatible toner cartridges. Any toner company that does not fully back up their product, either by having Technicians on hand or having a relationship with a local printer repair company, in my opinion, is not worth the cost savings of using their compatible cartridges. It is INEVITABLE that you will have a defective cartridge (whether you’re using OEM or compatible), and when this does happen, you should be safe in knowing that the company you bought the cartridge from will take care of your printer and your business.
OK… well that was fun. I told you I could probably write a treatise on this subject! I think we’ll have to continue this discussion at a later date but I hope the above information has been informative as to why simply saving money by purchasing the least expensive cartridge you can find may not always pay off in the end.