Ever notice the wide gaps between aftermarket toner and the OEM toners out there? Print manufacturers want you to buy your printer toner from them, just like Mr. Gillette wanted you to buy razor blades from him back in the last turn of the century. He did so well that we continue to buy his razor blades today.
Printer toners and inks are no different. The printer is a means to an end. The printer manufacturers really want your toner business. The reality is their stuff is good. It’s just so damn expensive sometimes. As a business you want to keep overhead as far down as possible. As a consumer, investing in printer toner is a necessary evil.
So let’s take a look at your options out there. There are 3 primary types of laser printer toners available on the market.
OEM Laser Printer Toner Cartridges
I have already touched briefly on these. These are the official laser printer toner cartridges manufactured by the printer manufacturer specifically for your printer. What’s amazing is the number of printers that are out there. There are over 150 different printers for HP alone. That is 150 different laser printers! It does not even include the number of HP Inkjets that are on the market. OEM prices range from $30 up to $500 depending on the printer.
OEM Compatible are newly manufactured aftermarket laser printer toner cartridges. Depending on the manufacturer, the toner is of OEM quality. It means your output is generally very excellent. OEM compatible laster printer toner cartridges prices range from $20 to $300 depending on the printer. These are the best value.
3. Remanufactured Printer Toner
These are the cheapest. These are the ones you will find on eBay for really cheap in 3 packs. The problem is the quality is pretty bad. Remanufactured takes a used print toner cartridge and refills it with new toner. They reprogram the printer chips so it can work with your printer. The output is usually very streaky. If you don’t care about the output, this will work for you. If you are an accounting office or law office, you can’t use these. The quality is too low and would reflect poorly on your brand. (You think I am kidding? Buyers deny it, but they buy on emotion and presentation). Prices range from $10 for low end up to $200 for high end.
So, here is the recommendation. If you absolutely can not do without quality, OEM is always safe. You can though get by using compatible OEM toners because they can be as good if not better than OEM printer toners. Remanufactured are for the extreme cost conscience consumer who does not care about quality.