Beware buying remanufactured ink cartridges

Ink cartridges made by a printer manufacturer (Original Equipment Manufacture) can be very expensive so it’s tempting to buy remanufactured cartridges instead. While remanufactured ink cartridges may not void the warranty of a new printer, the savings may not be worth the cost.

A vendor usually refills used OEM cartridges and resells them as compatible to a name-brand printer. Studies have shown that refilled cartridges have higher failure rates than OEM cartridges. They often print fewer pages and cause problems such as streaking and leaking.

Such was my experience lately when using a family member’s printer. They had installed remanufactured ink cartridges that leaked onto the print head, printed poorly and showed that the cartridge was almost empty even though it had just been installed.

When contacting the seller, I was surprised at their response. The cartridges were bought through Amazon, and none of the following was listed in the description. They wrote:

“If the cartridges are not being recognized by your printer or if it is not printing properly, please try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Please try cleaning the contact points (circular copper dots) of the cartridge with rubbing alcohol using a non-abrasive tissue or cloth. Let the rubbing alcohol to dry and then try re-inserting it into your printer.
  2. If the problem persists after returning the cartridge to its cradle, you will want to reset your printer.  This can be done by turning off your computer and your printer with the cartridges installed.  Unplug your printer and leave your machines off for 2 minutes.
  3. Please use your printer control panel or computer software to perform a print head cleaning 2 times. 
  4. If the issue persists, perform a ‘deep clean’ cycle.

“Additionally, if you notice that the ink gauge displays low or no ink level, DO NOT be alarmed. This is very common because you are using a Re-Manufactured cartridge. Note that these cartridges have been fully re-filled. Unfortunately, there is no way to reset the ink level to FULL again due to original CANON design.  Therefore, you may receive low empty/ink level indications and messages. These are NOT accurate. When sending a print job, if you are prompt with an empty/low ink message, you can simply bypass the message by pressing and holding down the STOP/RESET or RESUME button for 10 seconds and then releasing it. It should now continue printing.”

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth using remanufactured ink cartridges. I stick to buying cartridges made only by the manufacturer. Yes, they are more expensive but they’ve never leaked or clogged the printer head.

Buyer beware.

Related reading: cheap ink cartridges

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2 Responses

  1. Gail Bjork says:

    Thank you Larry for sharing your experiences. Like you and others, I’ve found that OEM cartridges deliver the best performance and are least prone to clogging.

  2. Larry says:

    Years ago I started using cartridges from well-recommended remanufacturers. In about a year, 3 quite new printers of different makes died from head problems that would not clean up. In new printers since then, I have used only OEM carts and have had not a single problem.
    Larry