Like many other long term owners of printers, over the years I've spent a fortune on printer ink. I even recall on one occasion I actually paid more for a replacement ink cartridge than I did for a bottle of good champagne. I always thought that as long as my printer kept printing then it was just another fact of life and there was little I could do about it so why complain?
Back then, on average, I paid anything from £20 to £25 for my branded ink cartridges because I simply didn't know any better.
Although I'd heard of compatible ink cartridges, I didn't really know enough about them to give them a try. I was a bit suspicious of them because the cartridges weren't branded with a familiar name and I never gave it a second thought that they would be as good as branded cartridges. I even wondered if they might damage my printer.
Then one day, my partner came home with some compatible ink cartridges for my printer and although I wasn't keen to use them I did. My existing ink cartridge was almost empty and I needed to get something printed so I cagily replaced the branded cartridge with the compatible, crossed my fingers and hit 'print'.
I had visions of having to run out to buy a new branded ink cartridge or, in the worst case, a new printer and a new branded ink cartridge. The paper finally came out after what seemed to be an eternity and I was surprised to see that not only had my document printed as well as it ever had before, but my printer was still happily sitting on my desk, waiting for the next job.
I couldn't believe it. The compatible ink turned out results that were just as good as with the branded ink I had previously spent a fortune on. At the same time, I was so happy to learn that the compatible cartridge had cost a tenth of the price I'd been paying and yet disappointed when I thought about all of the money I could have saved (and all of the champagne I could have had).
After sitting down and working on the figures, I'd come to the conclusion that I'd actually spent almost £500 on replacement, branded ink cartridges over the last 12 months alone. If I would have been using compatibles I would have saved an incredible 90% of my printing costs!
The next day, I went into work and told my colleagues all about what had happened and to my surprise two of them had also been spending more than they'd wanted on branded printer ink simply because they didn't have enough knowledge about compatibles.
This inspired me to carry out research on compatible ink cartridges in order to find out the facts behind them; their advantages and disadvantages. I was astounded by what I discovered! Here are just a few of the things I found out:
* You can save between 60% and 80% on average from the price of a branded ink cartridge depending on the make and model of your printer.
* Despite the myths, compatible ink does not affect the warranty on your printer. By using compatible ink you're cutting out a major profit source for the big brands so they may try to convince you that you can only use their own inks, but it's actually illegal for them to void your warranty for using a compatible ink instead.
* Compatible ink provides the same number of printed pages as a branded cartridge.
* When buying your compatible ink, it's always a good idea to ask the vendor if the cartridges are made to ISO 9000 standards. Ink made to these standards have the same amount of ink as original cartridges.
* Most compatible ink cartridges have a 24-month shelf life so you don't have to worry about them spoiling in a short space of time.
Nowadays, I'm printing as much as I ever did, if not more. The great thing is that I'm spending less on printer ink, more on the enjoyable things in life and telling everyone I meet about the wonders of compatible printer inks!