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The difference between genuine and counterfeit printer cartridges

At some point in time, we have all been tempted to place an order for counterfeit printer cartridges. Not only are they cheaper, but they are available from a number of suppliers. What can be more convenient? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. What you don’t expect, is that they will break down quicker and have the power to significantly harm your printing technology rendering it entirely ineffective. This is as expensive as it is disruptive to your workforce, and likely a mistake you won’t make twice. If you’re still not sure what you will order when the ink gets low, let’s unpack the difference between genuine and counterfeit printer cartridges to avoid you the expense the wrong decision will cost you. 

What is a counterfeit printer cartridge?

Like a car, your printer operates best when using genuine parts. Counterfeit printer cartridges are built using inferior materials and technology and are not made to last and produce quality work as genuine cartridges do. The old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is never more relevant than when discussing counterfeit cartridges, a fact that you do not want to learn the hard way. In some instances, businesses are not always aware that they have purchased counterfeit cartridges, and only realise the error when the message is flashing on their printing unit. You are dealing with a counterfeit cartridge if you insert it into your printing unit and you receive the following error message:

  • Used or counterfeit ink cartridge detected
  • Counterfeit ink cartridge detected
  • Counterfeit ink cartridge advisory
  • Used
  • Refilled

If any of these messages appear on your printing unit, remove the cartridge and do not print. Depending at what point your printer unit has detected the counterfeit, you should walk away unscathed. This might be the right time to contact your cartridge provider.

The repercussions of not using genuine cartridges

There is a range of repercussions for not using genuine cartridges, and they impact both the user and the manufacturer. Driven by leading printer manufacturers, several counterfeit cartridges raids have been initiated to identify and prosecute those who are operating these illegal operations. On a lesser scale, businesses who place a large order of these cartridges can be significantly out of pocket if the supplier is apprehended, or the technology breaks down and damages your expensive printing units in the process. Furthermore, you may find that your printer manufacturer will not honour your warranty if you have willingly used counterfeit cartridges in your unit. The small saving you received in buying a counterfeit cartridge will not cover the cost of a new printing unit.

What to remember about genuine printer cartridges

When it comes to ordering cartridges in the future, always proceed with genuine cartridges so that your printer unit does not pay the price and your work can retain the quality you intended for it. The dangers of counterfeit cartridges cannot be understated, not to mention potentially taking your printing unit out of circulation for a period of time. Ordering directly through manufacturers or from reputable providers will eliminate the chance of a counterfeit purchase, and this should be the practise that you take up within your business. Unfortunately, those who are producing counterfeit cartridges have perfected their unethical art so much so that users of counterfeit cartridges are unaware of this fact. Remember to keep vigil and authenticate your cartridge purchase by choosing only the right providers.
It’s critical that you can identify the difference between genuine and counterfeit printer cartridges, and actively avoid the latter. The efforts behind these counterfeit raids show confidence in the fight, but there is still onerous on the consumer to do their bit in sourcing genuine cartridges.

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