What is the difference between a cartridge labeled Recycled, Remanufactured or Compatible?
As the toner cartridge industry continues to mature, it has increased its capability to deliver higher and higher quality to the public. This is especially true for manufacturers of recycled cartridges.
Recycled products are commonly thought of as items were new from a factory, depleted of its original value, and instead of disposing of it to the landfills, they have been reclaimed and reworked.
Some 15 years ago the manufacturers of the reworked cartridges often drilled a hole and filled the empty core with more toner. These are known as the drill and fill factories and gave the recycled industry of toner cartridges a bad reputation because there were so many problems to the end users. There are very few of these vendors left.
The more resourceful manufacturers took an engineering approach to their products quality. By taking the cartridge completely apart and replacing and cleaning all the components, they raised the bar for the manufacturers of recycled printing cartridges. These factories labeled their cartridges Remanufactured and immediately created the market for higher quality and innovative new replacement parts. The public was pleased with the toner products and the reputation of the industry has flourished as seen by the numerous testimonials about quality and savings.
Premium Compatible Toner Cartridges is a fairly new identifier to alert the public that there has been yet another raising of the bar for quality. The suppliers of the replacement components have made increasing advancements in quality. Much training and attention to standards by the manufacturers as a whole of aftermarket cartridges industry has again gained significant strides in excellence, where the recycled cartridges now on the market are of equal or higher quality as the original factory produced cartridges. In fact the OEM factories such as Hewlett Packard, Lexmark and Canon recently took a hint from the recyclers and also found value in using reclaimed components. Read their boxes and youll see for yourself. Youll wonder why you should pay more.
What does OEM mean?
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) refers to the manufacturer of the printer, copier or fax machine. Originally, OEM product meant new (not compatible, refilled, recycled or remanufactured). However, with the advent of recycling programs by large manufacturers, you may see comments on their packaging like, This product may contain new and recovered parts. In the last few years, most OEM cartridges are a mixture of new and recycled materials. However, you pay full retail price for these cartridges, when in fact they are also recycled cartridges.
Will using a compatible toner cartridge void my warranty?
It is illegal for your laser printer/copier manufacturer to require you to use or purchase a particular brand of cartridge, just as it is illegal for your car dealer to require only original parts to be used to fix your car.
Hewlett Packard clearly states in their warranty policy that Hewlett Packard does not prohibit the use of refilled toner cartridges during the warranty period or under a maintenance contract (American Office Dealer, Better the Second Time Around! March 1990). Should a service person or OEM representative try to tell you your warranty will be voided, simply ask him/her that you would like them to state that in writing on their company letterhead and to be sure to sign and date the letter. You are protected under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act, Subparagraph C, Section 101. It is very unlikely that you will get the written statement you request.
What are the similarities and differences between OEM and Generic toner?
1 Both OEM and OEM-A cartridges are outsourced for manufacturing.
2 Both OEM and OEM-A cartridges have recycled parts.
3 Both OEM and OEM-A cartridges have a less then 2 percent failure rate.
1 OEM is packaged under expensive brand names such as HP, Epson, and Cisco.
2 OEM-A cartridges are packaged under alternative brand names.
OEM= (pronounced as separate letters) Short for original equipment manufacturer, which is a misleading term for a company that has a special relationship with computer and toner cartridge producers. OEMs buy computers and toner cartridges in bulk and customize them for a particular application. They then sell the customized computers and toner cartridges under their own name. The term is really a misnomer because OEMs are not the original manufacturers -- they are the customizers.
OEM-A=Short for original equipment manufacturer alternative, as it relates to printer cartridges specifically it defines those cartridges which by every definition qualify as OEM product or product which is being distributed under a popular brand name such as HP or Xerox. There is absolutely no difference in product quality or yield. Products manufactured under the OEM-A name are held up to the same rigorous manufacturing standards as name brand cartridges.
Put simply, OEM is a title that tends to convey some level of manufacturing excellence that outclasses that of compatible supplies. The quality reputation of OEM cartridges is due to their manufacturing consistency. OEM-A certified cartridges are no different in their reputation and manufacturing excellence. OEM-A supplies are made in OEM manufacturing plants. The only true difference between OEM and OEM-A premium brand cartridges is price.