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Tips For Buying Printer Ink Online For An Older HP Printer

2012-04-07

For decades, HP printers have provided a benchmark for excellence in the world of digital printing equipment. In 2011, HP announced that it was discontinuing the manufacture of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) toner and print cartridges for many of its older printer models, leaving consumers few options beyond buying printer ink online. What may seem at first to be an annoyance is actually a blessing in disguise, as consumers now have the choice of buying a recycled, environmentally friendly cartridge for use with their HP printer.

Printers usually work best with the printer ink cartridges originally designed to work with the machine. HP ink is chemically constituted to be compatible with every part of its print system, from the cartridges containing the ink, to the printheads and the nozzles that process the ink, to the very paper the ink creates an image on. HP printers work on bubble jet technology, which means that inks used in these printers must be able to withstand high temperatures better than generic ink brands. Each new HP ink formulation requires three to five years of development in the HP labs.

In the case of older printers, however, it may be impossible to track genuine HP ink down. Here are some tips for buying printer ink online for an older HP model.

Online Ink and Toner Search Engine

The big box retailers that specialize in selling office supplies all maintain active websites. In addition to the general website search function, many of these have intra-site search engines for specific products like print cartridges. Consumers can enter the specific model of the printer they're using into this search engine to see if the chain carries compatible printer ink cartridges at any of its locations. If consumers find ink cartridges compatible with their equipment, they have the option either of buying cartridges online or at the local store.

Remanufactured Ink Toners and Cartridges

The aftermarket for recycled printer cartridges is huge. Type "recycled printer cartridge" into any search engine and there will be thousands of hits.

But which of these third-party suppliers is reliable? Price ought not to be the only consideration here. Consumers need to read these vendors' websites thoroughly to see what sorts of quality control they implement. Does the vendor use a type of environmentally friendly cartridge that has been recycled from a reputable source? How thoroughly does the third-party supplier inspect the recycled cartridges it uses before refilling them? Are the electrical components of the cartridge tested? Is the cartridge tested after it has been refilled with ink? If these questions aren't addressed on the vendor website itself, then make a phone call to find out the answers.

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 PrinterInk.com does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.