Article last updated March 7, 2023


Inkjet printers are cheap to buy and easy to use, but they cost a lot to keep up. It's no secret that the companies that make inkjet printers almost give them away to get you hooked on their inkjet cartridges. Cell phone companies all use the same business model: they sell you a $700 phone for almost nothing and make up the difference in high monthly bills for the length of your contract.

You don't have to sign a contract to buy a printer, so you have a lot of choices. When your ink runs out, you can choose from two types of ink cartridges:


What does OEM stand for?

OEM cartridges, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges, are the ones that the company that made your printer wants you to buy. They are the most expensive because this is how the companies that sell printers at very low prices make their money back.


What is a "non-OEM" (aftermarket) cartridge?
(also called "Off Brand") are ink cartridges made by companies other than the printer's original manufacturer. They are made to the same standards as OEM ink cartridges. Since the quality varies by brand, not all compatible cartridges are the same. If you buy a compatible cartridge from a reliable source, it will always print well and cost less than the original.


Types of Cartridges That Work

All of the parts used to make Brand New Compatible Cartridges are brand new. Remanufactured Cartridges, also called "Aftermarket Cartridges," are empty OEM cartridges that were saved from the trash, cleaned, fixed, refilled with ink, and tested to make sure they print like the original.


OEM vs Aftermarket Cartridges

Let's be honest: the ink companies want you to buy their products. OEM cartridges are fine; the only problem is that they are way too expensive. When you buy one cartridge at a time, it may not seem like a lot of money to the consumer.

But when you add up how much you spent on OEM ink and compare it to the price of an aftermarket cartridge, the difference is huge. Here are some reasons why most people choose compatible printer cartridges from a reputable company like

  • Most people use ink that has been used before.
  • The environment benefits from them. If a cartridge is refilled, it doesn't have to be thrown away.
  • They help people and places. Remanufacturers get a lot of their used cartridges from recycling programs and fundraising events in the community.
  • When done right, they work just as well as new ones. Some companies just drill holes in used cartridges and fill them with ink. Keep reading to find out how an inkjet cartridge SHOULD be remanufactured.
  • They cost less money. When people switch to remanufactured ink cartridges, they can save anywhere from 15% to 50% on their printer costs.

From the trash to the refill: How to make an ink cartridge again

Anyone can add more ink to an empty cartridge, but if the cartridge is broken in other ways, you won't get the performance and results you want. Here's how your ink cartridge provider should remanufacture them:

1. Used inkjet cartridges are gathered from different places, like community recycling programs and fundraising events, so they don't end up in the trash.

2. Once the cartridges are received, they are sorted by part number and stored in a temperature-controlled area so they don't dry out.

3. Cartridges are cleaned well with water that has been stripped of minerals, dried, and then filled with high-quality ink through a vacuum.

4. For cartridges with smart chips, a new smart chip is put on. This lets the printer recognize the cartridge and show the correct amount of ink on the print monitor.

5. Last, the cartridges are sealed and put through a thorough quality test to make sure they work right before they are put into packaging.



Aftermarket ink is more than just a cheap way to keep printer costs from going up and up. They also cut down on waste and make life greener! To get the most out of remanufactured ink, you should buy cartridges from a reliable source. We've been helping printer users save money and save the environment for over 20 years at And we're proud that people trust us when they need aftermarket ink.