The Smart Way to Buy Cheap Printer Cartridges

If you think you're spending too much on printer ink, you're not alone. The main question ink jet printer owners constantly ask themselves is "where can I get cheap printer cartridges?"

This is understandable if you look at the prices of replacement cartridges produced by the manufacturer, especially if you go shopping in the High Street. The good news is that there is a way to get great savings on ink jet cartridges.

The first thing to consider is the types of replacement cartridges available.

You may think that you have to buy cartridges made by the manufacturer of your printer, but this is not the case. These types are known as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or original printer cartridges. They're of the highest quality and reliability but come with a price tag to match.

Buying OEMs is the way to go if you really want the best quality cartridge and ink. You may want to do this if your business depends on excellent printing quality, for example. But these are in no way cheap printer cartridges.

In fact buying a colour and black-and-white cartridge set might well set you back more than you paid for the printer itself. For instance, if you own the fine Lexmark x4650all-in-one printer, investing in original x4650 ink cartridges manufactured by Lexmark will cost you over 50 pounds for a pair.

The next type of replacement cartridge you can get is the compatible. These are brand new cartridges but produced by a third-party firm under license from the original manufacturer. These are far cheaper than OEMs. For example, buying original Lexmark p4350 ink cartridges for the photo jetprinter would cost you up to 50 pounds if bought individually or around 40 pounds for a twin pack. But buying compatible items would only cost you less than 10 pounds apiece.

The big question is, of course, what's the quality like?

The answer is very good. The fact that these items are produced under license from the original manufacturer means that strict quality controls are in place. Obviously, the standard won't quite be up to that of original cartridges but for everyday use, compatibles are a fine option.

Your next option for replacement print cartridges is the cheapest - remanufactured ink jet cartridges. These are old items that have been cleaned up, refurbished and refilled. This fine example of recycling in action results in a product which is functional, inexpensive and will probably give you adequate results for standard everyday printing jobs. Of course reliability will always be a problem. So if you need consistent good quality printing, you may want to avoid these. However if you just need to print off some text or graphics and you business doesn't depend on printing, they should do the trick.

You do have another option - that of refilling your cartridges yourself. This is the cheapest and least reliable method. It can also be messy but it's a popular system for some people.

Having considered the types of products available, the next factor in getting cheap printer cartridges is where you buy them. The fact is you can get tremendous savings from shopping in the right place.

The great news is that the Internet has transformed the way we can buy printer cartridges. For one thing it allows you to check the prices among a range of dealers and get the best deals. You're also sure of getting good products as any vendor hawking shoddy merchandise would go out of business pretty fast.

What's more, these online vendors don't need to operate expensive stores with legions of sales staff. So they can pass these savings on to you in the form of the keenest prices. Add this to their massive turnover and you can be sure of getting the best deals in cheap printer cartridges. Also unlike regular High Street office supplies shops, these online vendors deal only in printer cartridges and ink. The resulting expertise enables them to offer advice and deal with any problems effectively.

One great tip is to buy in bulk. If you get through a lot of ink, buying your new cartridges in packs of five or ten will get you even greater discounts.

Whatever choice you make, for the greatest savings you should search online for cheap ink cartridges. You also get fast, free delivery, usually on the next day for mainland UK addresses.