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The Games Printer Manufacturers Play


#1: Where do the colors go?

All of you who are thinking about refilling your color cartridges should take note of this one. On many color cartridges, there are colored dots indicating the location of each ink chamber. Well, that's considerate of the printer manufacturers. They're telling you where each color should go, which makes the refilling process easier for you. Brace yourself. Some printer manufacturers have been known to put the colored dots in the, um, wrong place. That means the hole you're injecting yellow ink into might just be where the magenta ink is supposed to go. We're sure it's just an innocent mistake.

Fix: Before you inject any ink into any hole, get three toothpicks. Stick one into each hole to make sure those colored dots and the color of the ink match.

#2: Here, have some "free" ink.

This is one you probably already suspected. Many of the so-called "free" ink cartridges that come with your printer are not as full as they should be. That means that, after just a few printing jobs, those cartridges will be running low on ink. And that means, you guessed it, going back to the place where you bought the printer and paying a ton for a new cartridge.

Fix: The printer manufacturers aren't likely to give up on this tactic any time soon, but you can tell them you aren't happy by refusing to purchase OEM cartridges. Instead, opt for compatible or remanufactured ones, or consider refilling your ink cartridges at home.

#3: You get what you pay for.

There's a huge rumor out there that the ink in OEM cartridges is far superior to that contained in generic and remanufactured cartridges. And while we can't prove the printer manufacturers were the ones who started the rumor, they certainly don't do much to dispel these mistaken beliefs. Why would they? As long as consumers buy into the notion that paying more guarantees they'll receive a better product, the printing companies will continue raking in the profits.

Fix: Approach the issue objectively, and don't believe everything you hear. Try out a compatible or remanufactured cartridge. If you don't like what you see, there is nothing stopping you from going back to the higher-priced OEM cartridges. Like many people, however, you might just be pleasantly surprised, and find yourself swearing you'll never plunk down 40 or 50 of your hard-earned dollars for a brand name cartridge again.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.