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InkPedia Printing Projects Useful Tips Video Pick Cool Site Cartridge Guide
Cartridge - OEM | Compatible | Remanufactured | Refill Kit
There is a big debate over whether or not consumers should use cartridges not made by the printer's manufacturer. Before you make a decision, you should know all the choices you have and how each works. There are three types of inkjet and toner cartridges sold on the market: Original equipment manufacturer (OEM), compatible, and remanufactured. Due to patent protection, new technologies, and other market variables, not all types of inkjet and toner cartridges are available for every printer model.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or name brand ink cartridges are made by the printer manufacturers themselves. Since they are sold by the manufacturer, these cartridges are normally the most expensive type. Oftentimes when you purchase a printer, you may pay more for a replacement cartridge then the printer itself.
Compatible Cartridge
Compatible ink cartridges are created like the name brand cartridges but are made by third party manufacturers. These cartridges are sold at a discount but are not cheap inks. They are created to match the OEM specifications. Compatible cartridges offer the same print quality as the name brands and have the same standards. These cartridges are completely reliable but look for a supplier that guarantees their products. The process and quality varies with each third-party manufacturer.
Remanufactured Cartridge
Remanufactured cartridges are recycled name brand cartridges. The cartridges have already been used once and sent to a remanufacturing company. There the cartridges are cleaned, repaired with some new parts, professionally refilled, and tested for quality. Like compatibles, you should look for a vendor that guarantees their products because the process and quality can vary.
Refill Kits
Refill Kits are do-it-yourself kits that include everything needed to refill an inkjet or toner cartridge. Each kit is created for specific printer models with ink formulated to match OEM quality.
Refill Service

Many retailers offer an in-house refilling service where they will refill inkjet or toner cartridges for you. Not all cartridges can be refilled. The type of cartridge and the condition its in will determine the chances of a successful refill. Having empty cartridges refilled is usually the best money saving option; however, the amount you save depends on the cartridge model and refill vendor. On average, you can save about half the cost of buying a brand new genuine cartridge.

Again, look for vendors that guarantee their product. This ensures that your cartridge is being refilled with ink formulated to match OEM standards and that each cartridge is being tested for print quality.