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Remanufactured Toner Cartridges Are Not the Same as Clones

Becky - ASE Director of Marketing
Posted by Becky - ASE Director of Marketing on Aug 30, 2022


Businesses and organizations, especially those on the smaller side, often need to cut costs as much as possible. Consumables are a good place to start, and one common cost-cutting target is the recurring cost of printer usage.

Toner and ink cartridges for printers and copiers can add up in price, and it may be tempting to cut corners. Many organizations such as schools and small businesses often look towards cheap toner cartridges to replace pricier OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges. But is this wise?

Let’s face it: OEM toner and ink cartridges can be incredibly overpriced and expensive for heavy usage (especially inkjet cartridges, which can get used up quickly). So what are the alternatives?

Many organizations are tempted to use cartridge clones – third-party ink and toner cartridges that are not OEM-certified cartridges but are designed to work with specific printers.

The obvious potential problem with clone cartridges is that they might not work very well. But there are other problems with clone ink cartridges, including hidden costs and other issues. Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid the high costs of OEM ink and toner cartridges – remanufactured cartridges.

Remanufactured toner cartridges are not the same as clones or compatibles. Here we will explore all the differences and why remanufactured is a much safer option for your machine or printer fleet.


The Problem With “Compatible” or Clone Toner and Ink Cartridges for Your Printer

Here are some common problems with clone or “compatible” cartridges vs. OEM cartridges:


The Print Quality and Output Can Be Poor

The first worry that people have with clone ink or toner cartridges is the quality. Unlike some OEM manufacturers, who give scare stories about how awful all clone cartridges are as if they would instantly blow up your printer – we aren’t going to do that here.

If you read online reviews, some of these clone cartridges apparently work decently and aren’t all that bad, but often they simply don’t last as long as real ink cartridges approved by the manufacturer.

In short, you still get what you pay for, and the cost savings from clone third-party cartridges may not be that much after all.


Some Really Bad Clone Cartridges Can Damage Your Machine

While there are clone toner cartridges out there that are fairly decent in manufacturing and workmanship, some very unscrupulous companies do sell cartridges with inferior plastics and materials that can become hazardous to the health of your printers. The last thing you want is something breaking inside of a high-end multifunction printer.


Clone or Compatible Ink and Toner Cartridges May Break OEM Patents

While we may grumble and moan about it, OEM printer manufacturers want to protect their brands, and they sometimes do so by requiring OEM cartridges for their machines. Violating their terms of use may put your company at risk legally or in the least void your printer warranty. Additionally, many OEM manufacturers, rightly or wrongly, are simply disallowing third-party ink and toner cartridges from being accepted by their machines. Put in a third-party clone ink cartridge, and the printer won’t work, period.


Why Are Remanufactured Ink and Toner Cartridges Better?

The good news is, we have an alternative to both clone or third-party “compatible” cartridges and OEM cartridges. Remanufactured OEM cartridges give you all the benefits of OEM cartridges at a lower price.


Remanufactured OEM Cartridges Save Money Because They Are Recycled

Remanufactured cartridges reduce costs because they don’t have to be made from scratch. They are recycled from used printer cartridges. They are cleaned up, fixed, and filled with new ink or toner. This is why they can be sold for less.


Go Green! Clone Third-Party Ink and Toner Cartridges Fill Up Landfills

Because remanufactured cartridges are reusing OEM cartridges, they reduce landfill waste. Clone cartridges made by third parties, on the other hand, are typically not remanufactured because the “remanufactured” market is based on recycling an original OEM product with OEM quality.


Remanufactured Cartridges Work Just as Well as OEM Cartridges


Remanufactured cartridges work just as well as OEM cartridges, because, well, they essentially are OEM cartridges. Remanufactured cartridges aren’t at risk of breaking your printers, and they will work just as well as new OEM cartridges. They will also be accepted by your printers instead of being spit out as not being compatible with your machines. And they cost less, too! Win-win!

ASE Direct has a full selection of the best-in-class remanufactured toner and ink cartridges for your printer fleet. Browse our online store for printer supplies and more, or contact us for custom services.

Topics: SDVOSB, Buy American Veteran, Printer, Veteran, Small Business, Purchasing, Office Supplies, Sustainability, Remanufactured, Cost-Savings, Toner, Ink, Environmental, Recycle

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