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There’s no doubt that printer ink can get expensive. Many people try to circumvent these costs by going with third-party cartridges or refills. It might not be the best route to take. What’s worse is when a cartridge you think is genuine fouls up your printer. Learn three ways to tell whether your printer cartridge is fake.
Understanding Counterfeit Cartridges
Counterfeit cartridges are different from third-party cartridges, which can lead to potential problems. These are made to look a lot like original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges, fooling you into thinking you’ve got the real thing, only to end up in trouble down the line. Counterfeit cartridges are illegal; they’re taking advantage of consumers and violating the property rights of the original manufacturer. Often they come from overseas sources, but not always.
3 Ways To Spot That a Cartridge Is Fake
One of the biggest problems with counterfeits is that it can be tough to detect when a cartridge is fake. You can take several steps to determine whether the cartridge you’re buying is accurate. Keep these in mind before you hit the “Buy Now” button on that discount website.
- Look for the manufacturer’s trademark logo. If you’re buying an HP printer cartridge, for example, and you don’t see the actual HP logo and trademark, that’s a red flag. If it does include the brand logo, but it appears faded, that’s also a red flag.
- Look for additional security precautions. Some manufacturers include color-changing security labels or hologram labels that change when you tilt the cartridge. Others have QR codes you can scan to check for validity. If you’re not sure how the security seal should behave, check the manufacturer’s website.
- Look for physical red flags, such as a cartridge without plastic or pull-tape seals across the ink ports, visible damage, toner dust or leaks inside the package, or even that the cartridge feels flimsy or cheaply made.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Fake Cartridges
There are multiple reasons why fake cartridges are a frightening idea. They tend to have very poor toner and ink quality, so your printing might look terrible — and that’s the best-case scenario. The shoddy components used can wear down and damage the inner workings of your printer. They could contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that not only erode your print head but can also be toxic to the environment. Regardless, you don’t want to have to clean up an ink leak inside your printer. It’s not fun.
Do Your Research
Always do your research when buying print cartridges. Stick with reputable sources and avoid “discount” merchants that promise the world. If the promises and pricing seem too good to be true, they probably are. If you want the real thing at reasonable prices, contact Vegas Ink and Toner or give us a call today!