Printer Ink: When to Buy Cheaper Ink


Inkjet printers may be relatively cheap, but some have described it as a trap as the user will be forced to buy expensive ink from the manufacturer. To make matters worse, ink cartridges vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer, reducing the options of the user to buying from only the manufacturer or from a shady third-party supplier.

Many printer manufacturers are emphasizing that buying cheap ink from unknown manufacturers could damage the printer. While this is sometimes true, the economics, however, beg to differ. For example, cheap EPSON ink cartridges are 15-50 percent cheaper than originals. Here are situations when you should or shouldn’t buy cheap printer ink.

  • Buy Cheaper Ink for Regular Print Output

Cheaper ink is recommended if one simply prints small amounts of graphics or images. For homes when the printer is only used to print small paperwork or school homework, a cheap, original equipment manufacturer ink cartridge may do the trick.

  • Buy Original Ink for Graphics-Heavy Printing

Cheaper ink or ink refills usually offer subpar printing quality, which is not attractive for those who print high-definition graphics. Color accuracy and vibrancy is usually lower in cheaper third-party ink. A cheap EPSON ink cartridge may be okay for black-and-white printing, but there are issues with regards to the color profile for some EPSON printers.

  • Buy Cheaper Ink for Older Printers

While printers are sometimes held back from automatically voiding warranty due to the use of unsanctioned accessories such as printer cartridges, it is best to play safe and not violate printers that have been used for less than a year.

For a final word, when buying cheap or refilled ink cartridges (e.g. cheap EPSON ink cartridges), it is best to buy from a reputable third-party manufacturer. Check the reviews first and avoid “garage shops”.

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