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Ever wonder why printers can be a bargain, but the ink is so expensive? It’s no accident. Printer manufacturers practically give the printers away so they can make more money later by selling you ink. The price of ink is so high that consumers are starting to revolt, however-and many people buy printer ink and toner cartridges manufactured by third-party companies to save money.

This isn’t good for the original manufacturers’ business model-but rather than pricing ink and toner more reasonably, they go out of their way to persuade customers to stick with their own cartridges despite the cost. Here are a few things printer manufacturers will tell you-that you should probably take with a grain of salt. Or an entire handful.

3rd party ink is of lesser quality than original ink. Printer manufacturers often insist that if you use 3rd party ink, you’re almost guaranteed to get a much lesser quality print than if you use the manufacturer’s brand. Multiple consumer tests have shown this isn’t true. Some 3rd-party ink manufacturers use reverse engineering to design their cartridges and ink from the original manufacturers’ specifications-and in many cases the quality is very close to what original manufacturers produce. This is true for black and white, colour and photo printer ink.

3rd-party ink will break your printer. Printer manufacturers claim that they want to dissuade consumers from using 3rd-party printer ink because it’s extremely likely to damage your printer irreparably. They claim this about most 3rd-party printer ink, including that manufactured by national office supply stores. This is absolutely untrue. Millions of people use third-party printer ink every day without breaking their printers-and without breaking their budgets.

If you use 3rd-party printer ink, we’ll void your warranty. Printer manufacturers almost always state in their warranty that they won’t cover damages caused by third-party printer ink-and will often try to twist the issue to let consumers think that if they use third-party ink at all, it will void the entire warranty-regardless of whether the damage was really caused by the third-party ink.

In reality, the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act prohibits manufacturers from limiting customers’ choices in printer accessories in this way. However, it’s unlikely that printer manufacturers would be able to legally void a warranty if a customer used third-party printer ink if the damage wasn’t caused by the ink. Still, this is a legal gray area that hasn’t been substantively challenged in court.

Printers are perfectly calibrated to work only with original ink. Printer manufacturers claim that their original ink has been calibrated with great precision to work as well as possible with their specific printers and paper.  Of course, they have a reason to say that-so that you’ll only use their printer ink and their paper with their printers.  In truth, printers can be used with third party ink and off-brand paper with no ill effects, and many consumers save money by buying cheaper paper and other consumables from third-party companies.

Those smart chips are there to help you. Many printer manufacturers have developed printer ink cartridges designed with “smart chips” that will tell you when the cartridge is out of ink. They claim the chips are there to add to customer convenience.

However, those smart chips have often been found to tell consumers that cartridges are out of ink before they’re actually empty-and sometimes they’ll freeze up the printer until they are replaced, forcing consumers to buy more ink too soon. They can also make it more difficult for people to use third-party ink; some printers won’t accept recycled or refilled printer ink cartridges unless the smart chip has been replaced or recalibrated to tell the printer the cartridge is new.

Printer ink manufacturers have an underlying motive for saying third-party printer ink cartridges might break your printer, print low-quality documents, and void your warranty-because they want to keep you buying their own expensive ink. The bottom line is this: the manufacturers aren’t impartial, and the things they say about ink cartridges must sometimes be taken with a grain of salt. Listen to people you know who have had experience using third-party cartridges, or buy your own and try them out-before you let the original manufacturers convince you to spend more money.

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Think it’s a good idea to print everything out for your records? Think again. Printing is costly and storage requires plenty of office space-which you may or may not have available.  In addition, use of consumables can also consume electricity and paper-and reducing your printing can have a positive effect on the environment. Here are a few reasons why you should be sparing when it comes to printing your documents.

Because ink is expensive. Sure, your printer was a bargain.  But the first time it ran out of ink, you probably had to look twice at the price of your new cartridge to make sure it wasn’t a misprint.  The high price of printer ink is enough to make anyone try third-party printer cartridge companies, which can slash cartridge costs by as much as 50%. In the meantime, save your wallet and don’t print those documents. Save them on disc instead.

Because it wastes paper. Because printing uses energy. Even if your printer is on standby most of the time, it still uses more energy when it’s printing than when it’s not. If you want to reduce your energy bill and you do a lot of printing, consider cutting down on the documents you print to hardcopy. This will reduce your energy bill-and reduce the amount of energy you consume, cutting down on your overall carbon footprint.

Because email is faster and easier. Sending an email is much easier than sending mail. You don’t have to buy postage, make a trip to your post office or wait several days for your message to be received.  All you do is click a button, and it’s sent instantaneously. And you can do it from your own home, in front of your computer. Especially for larger documents, sending an email is the way to go.

Because it’s less cost-effective. Printing documents uses energy, ink, and paper.  Sending documents requires postage.  All of that requires money. On the other hand, if you store your documents electronically on a CD or portable disc drive, you’ll spend much less money on ink and paper over the long term-and if you save your emails in your email account instead of printing them out, you can save considerable amounts of money on ink and paper as well.

Because email leaves a trail. Want to keep a record of all the messages you’ve sent and received? If you send snail mail, you’ll have to keep a folder for received messages and remember to make a copy of each sent message. That requires costly ink and use of paper, as well as lots of storage space-and if you forget or misplace records, they could be incomplete. However, most email programs keep automatic records of everything you send and receive-no remembering to print and copy and no physical storage space required.

Because digital storage is more private. Digital storage can be encrypted and password-protected to keep the data safe.  Compare that to physical storage of hardcopy documents-yes, you can lock that file cabinet, but you’d better hope the wrong person doesn’t find the key. Digital storage can be more secure than hardcopy storage.

There are plenty of reasons why you should print sparingly-and save important documents digitally rather in hardcopy form.  Digital storage takes up less space and fewer resources, and it can be more secure than hardcopy storage. In addition, digital document storage costs much less-in ink and paper, energy, and other consumables.  Print as few documents as you can, and send emails rather than snail mail. If you do, you’ll have a more efficient information storage and sending method, and your cost for operating a printer on a regular basis will drop.  By being judicious about what you print, you can save money, space and resources.

Each year, over 11 million tonnes of paper are disposed of in landfills in the UK. Most of this paper comes from Scandinavia’s forests; only 5% of Scandinavia’s original boreal forest remains, and it’s still being logged-partially to feed the UK’s paper habit. You can help protect wildlife and old-growth trees by conserving paper. Only print when you have to, and use both sides of a sheet of paper.

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HP 336 Remanufactured Jettec Ink Cartridges Now Available

May 2, 2008

Jettec the award winning UK based manufacturer of ink cartridges have introduced the latest ink cartridge to be added to their product range the remanufactured HP 336 ink cartridge. The quality of Jet Tec products is second to none Jettec ink cartridges are not simply just refilled but go through a strictly controlled remanufacturing process. [...]

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