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July 2017 Newsletter

Save 15% on Ink and Toner through Monday, July 11, 2017
Enter your Discount Code "July4" at Checkout.


WELCOME TO CARTRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES     

PICKING A NEW PRINTER 

Supplies Make the Difference in New HP Laser Printer Cost

Recent ads from Staples, HP and other dealers feature excellent prices for the HP P2035n mono (black and white) laser printer.  This high-volume printer seems like an almost ideal solution for offices which turn out high volumes of paper.  It features at 30 ppm speed and 25,000 page per month use.  The printer has two major down sides for potential office users. It is not, as of now, Windows 7 compatible (although adaption programs may become available).  The cartridge designed for the printer- the HP CE505A cartridge, carries only a 2300 page yield. At $88 list, that means a high volume user, printing just 1/10 of the designated volume, would spend $88 month ($.038 per page).  Cartridge Technologies sells a compatible CT-CE505A cartridge for just $46 ($.02 per page).

The next models in the series, the HP P2055d and HP P2055dn, have just slightly better page yields and features.  They are slightly more expensive, retailing between $299 and $400+.  However, these models also use the HP CE505X cartridge, with a 6500 page yield, almost  triple that of the CE505A cartridge.

HP's original CE505X cartridge retails for more than $160  ($.023 per page). However,  Cartridge Technologies' replacement CT-CE505X cartridge sells for $48.99 ($.007 per page).  Despite the higher "up front" cost, this is a definite "win" for high volume users.  

Save money when you buy a new printer by choosing machines which can use low-cost compatible cartridges.

For small offices and "at home" businesses, low-priced black and white laser printer/scanner/copier/fax combination machines provide a cost effective alternative.  New machines frequently include built-in wireless and Ethernet networking, making one machine useful for a group. 

Brother MFC7340Brother introduced Black and White Laser Printer/Scanner/Copier Fax machines this season at lower prices. The MFC7340 ($139.99 at major retailers) and MFC7840W Wireless and Ethernet networking ($239.99 at major retailers) both utilize high yield CT-TN360 cartridges from Cartridge Technologies; at a list price more than 30% below OEM.  




What is a MICR "Ink" Cartridge?"
 
HP LaserJet 1020
 
 Cartridge Technologies offers an extensive line of discount priced Magnetic Ink Character Recognition ("MICR") Toner cartridges, used to print payroll and other checks on laser printers. This is a standard method of printing with magnetic ink and special typefaces, to create documents that can be read and processed by bank processing machines.
 
Although the term refers to MICR "Ink," MICR is only available for laser toner cartridges.  A MICR cartridge utilizes a special type of toner which contains a high percentage of magnetic iron particles.  None of the major MICR manufacturers has produced an "ink" product which tests at acceptable levels.
 
Cartridge Technologies offers new compatible MICR toners for most Hewlett Packard and Samsung printers, along with both new compatible MICR cartridges and remanufactured MICR toner cartridges for Lexmark printers, including the new Lexmark T640 MICR, Lexmark T642 Series and Lexmark T644 Series. Generic MICR toner cartridges are new manufactured cartridges which are specially adapted to utilize MICR toners, at a fraction of the cost of other brands which adapt original manufacture brand.
Check out the article on "MICR for the Masses" quoting Jeremy Shulman of Cartridge Technologies at http://vibrantink.blogstpot.com for information about using MICR toners to print checks for small business. 

How long has the MICR process been used?

         The process evolved, when using the system of MICR was created during the 1950s by Stanford Research Institute, in response to increased demand by the banking industry for a streamlined method of processing checks. The typeface, or font, that they developed (called E-13B) was chosen for its superior recognizable characters by processing machines and was accepted as the standard by the American Bankers Association (ABA) in 1958, then in 1963, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accepted the ABA specifications as the American standard for MICR printing.

Do all banks require the use of MICR toner ink when depositing a check?

Today, compliance with ANSI standards is voluntary for each bank; however, the U.S. banking industry considers these standards the definitive basis for judging the quality of a MICR document. Even though most banks require the use of MICR toner ink when creating a check for deposit, not all banks do. However, if a bank does require that you print using the MICR ink and you do not, they might charge a service fee or delay the processing of your check. Therefore, to avoid these delays and fees we recommend that all of our clients print checks using the MICR toner ink.  Remember, even if you deposit the checks into a bank that doesn’t require MICR the check may be transported to another bank or processing center which does require MICR.

Can I  switch my standard non-MICR toner cartridge with the MICR toner cartridge each time I create a check, or use a dedicated printer?

No.  In fact we discourage our clients from switching the cartridges in and out, due to the fact that this increases the risk of damaging the cartridges. Most toner cartridges are sensitive to light and thus may deteriorate when removed from the printer.  They are not built for constant handling and are prone to break when inserted and removed repeatedly.  On some printers the image drum is not integral to the cartridge.  On those, you would have to vacuum the printer so as to not leave non magnetic toner in the machine which could be deposited on the first few checks.  Our MICR toner cartridges yield the same number of pages as a non-MICR cartridge. You can print all your black & white documents using the MICR toner cartridge.  There is no difference in appearance between the ink printed onto a sheet of paper.  In many cases our MICR toner costs the same or less than OEM cartridges.

 
CARTRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES INTRODUCES
 NEW COMPATIBLE TONER CARTRIDGES FOR
 
POPULAR HEWLETT PACKARD, CANON, BROTHER, SAMSUNG, XEROX AND LEXMARK LASER PRINTERS AND COPIERS
 
       Last Spring, Cartridge Technologies introduced a new line of generic compatible laser toner cartridges designed to perform in many of the popular HP Laserjet, Canon, Brother, Samsung, Xerox and Lexmark laser printers.  The line has been immensely popular, according to operations Vice President Jeremy Shulman, who tested the new generic cartridges.
 
       A newly manufactured generic toner cartridge differs from a remanufactured compatible cartridge in that the entire cartridge is new manufacture and not recycled.  The generic toner cartridges are designed and manufactured by leading manufacturers other than the "OEM" or original equipment manufacturer in large, world-class IS 9001 compliant manufacturing facilities using leading edge technology. 
       
       "Although Cartridge Technologies has remanufactured laser cartridges since 1988," said Shulman, "the quality, convenience and cost effectiveness of the new generic laser toner cartridges provide substantial advantages for many of our customers.  Many customers who were hesitant to use remanufactured cartridges have eagerly purchased the new generic laser toner cartridges."
      
         In January 2007, Cartridge Technologies was awarded four laser toner cartridge "SKU"s on a school district contract for the Mesa Arizona Public School System.  This contract, which is available to more than 60 Arizona school districts and public entities through joint purchasing contract.  Cartridge Technologies bid on the contract by offering both remanufactured and a compatible laser toner cartridge alternatives. On each of the cartridges where this choice was available, the school district chose to purchase the generic cartridge rather than the remanufactured.  
 
         Generic compatibles do not require the collection of empties before a cartridge "run" can be produced.  As a result, generic cartridges tend to be less expensive and more generally available for newer machines for which empties are difficult to collect in bulk.  At the current time, Cartridge Technologies offers generic compatible toner cartridges on its website to replace the HP C7115X (HP Laserjet 1000, 1200), HP Q5942A and X (HP Laserjet 4250, 4350 Series), Canon S35 (Imageclass D320/340) and Brother TN250, TN350 and many others. New compatible cartridges are marked as "NEW" in the cartridge description.  
 
 Scroll down to read other original and reprinted articles on topics of interest.
 
"Portable Printing:New Choices for the Determined Road Warrior" compares the new portable inkjet printers now on the market.
"Inkjet vs. Laser Printers," by Drew Robb of Small BusinessComputing.com interviews Jeremy Shulman, Vice President of ReInk Technologies Inc. [Cartridgetech.com] on cost effective office printing.
"Clearing Up Claim Confusion" by Tricia Judge of the Int'l ITC discusses deceptive marketing and counterfeiting in the printer supplies industry.

         Cartridge Technologies offers free cost analyses to business customers with 5 or more machines (including printers, fax machines and copiers) who plan to upgrade their office printers and copiers. We help them find the most cost-efficient new machines - based on both acquisition cost and "cost per page" for anticipated usage. For information about this program, contact mail@cartridgetech.com
 
Megaworld LLC, Richard Mbariket and Klass North America Sell Counterfeit Inkjet Cartridges
 
         In August 2005, Cartridge Technologies was victimized by a Canoga Park California-based seller of counterfeit HP inkjet cartridges named Richard Mbariket, who operates through companies called Klass North America, Megaworld LLC and now Nitris Clothing. Cartridge Technologies identified the counterfeits, did not sell them to  customers and forwarded the information to HP's counterfeiting investigation department. Since posting this information on our website, other victims of Richard Mbariket, Megaworld LLC and Klass North America have contacted us. On January 11, 2006, Richard Mbariket sent us e mails threatening, with profanity, to sue us for slander if we did not remove these postings. When we explained that the sale of counterfeit goods is illegal and that truth is an absolute defense, he threatened to spread false information on the internet about one of our corporate officers. We are pleased that this posting has had an effect and hope that it protects other prospective purchasers.
 
         In her article below, Tricia Judge cites an estimate by the Imaging Supplies Coalition that more than $1 billion in counterfeit cartridges are sold in the U.S. each year. When "name brand" cartridges sell for 100% to 500% of the price of our compatible and remanufactured cartridges, it is tempting for unscrupulous manufacturers to package them in counterfeit boxes.    

Please e-mail us with your suggestions and comments at info@cartridgetech.com.
Are You Paying Too Much for Printer Supplies?

         Back in 1988, when Cartridge Technologies opened its doors in Tempe, Arizona, laser printers had begun to find their way to office desktops. The HP Laserjet line of printers became immensely popular. Their large, sturdy cartridges could either be recycled or would clog the nationā€™s landfills for eternity. Laser printers were faster and sturdier than inkjet printers. Although only printing black, the cost per page was far lower than for inkjet printers. They were the printer of choice for offices.

         The HP Laserjet III printer, an industry workhorse throughout the 1990s and beyond, cost $1400. in 1991. Its cartridges sold then for about $75, about 5% of the cost of the machine. Remanufactured cartridges sold for 50 to 70% of that price. Today, cartridges for HP Laserjet III printers cost $93.99 at Staples. CartridgeTech.com sells original HP III cartridges on our website for $52.75, with free shipping. [CLICK HERE FOR LASERJET III CARTRIDGES]

         Today's laser printers are less expensive and provide more functions, more memory, produce more pages per minute and higher quality. HP's sophisticated Laserjet 2420 printers sell for less than $700. Cartridges for the HP Laserjet 2420, sold in different capacities, range from $125. to over $200. The less expensive HP Laserjet 1012 Printer sells for $189.99. Its cartridges sell for $64. and up.
[CLICK HERE FOR LASERJET 1012 CARTRIDGES]

         Over the years, as printer prices dropped and manufacturers added more functions at ever lower prices, it became clear that cartridges were the real source of profits. This is even clearer for inkjet printers. Every day, ads trumpet free printers given away with even the least expensive computers. How can manufacturers afford to give these printers away? They know they will recoup the costs through the sale of inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges and other disposables.

         A multi-billion dollar industry has grown to serve the needs of consumers for high quality, low cost, laser toner cartridges and inkjet cartridges for their printers. As printers have proliferated and digital cameras have turned photo printing into a home activity, quality inkjet cartridges and laser toner cartridges at affordable prices have become a necessity.
By remanufacturing millions of laser toner cartridges and inkjet cartridges, the supply industry utilizes valuable resources ā€“ and returns those cartridges to printers again and again. 

          To find out your true printing cost, you need to know the cost of consumables as well as the cost of the original machine. There are many excellent, low cost, black and white, color and photo printers on the market today with great output and average street prices ranging from free to a few hundred dollars. They are available from top brand manufacturers like Canon, Epson, Hewlett Packard and Lexmark. In the past two years Dell Computer has captured 14% of the printer market for its own brand printers, offered free with many of its computers.

Let's look at the cost of owning an inkjet printer.

         The Epson C86 Color Inkjet Printer sells for $99.98 or less at Staples, Costco and elsewhere. Coupons bring the price to $79.

         The Epson C86 Color Inkjet Printer uses four cartridges, the Epson T044120 black ink cartridge, sold by Epson on its website for $23.74 and by Staples on its site for $24.45; and three color cartridges at $12.34 each; or $37. for all three. The cost of one set of Epson cartridges for the C86 Color Inkjet Printer costs $60.

         Cartridge Technologies sells its own Vibrant InkTM brand of inkjet cartridges for this printer on its website and at its Tempe warehouse. Each of the four cartridges sells for $5.95 or less and prints the same number of pages per cartridge as the comparable Epson cartridge it replaces. A full set of Vibrant Ink cartridges for the Epson Color C86 Inkjet Printer costs less than $25.- about 40% of the cost of the OEM.
[CLICK HERE FOR EPSON STYLUS C86 COLOR INK CARTRIDGES]

Let's look at the cost of owing a laser-printer

         The HP Laserjet 1300, which PC World reviewed and priced in the $399. range, uses two cartridges--the high yield Q2613X for 4000 pages or the Q2613A with a 2500 page yield. Staples sells the HP Q2613X cartridge for $91.99; the Q2613A for $71.99.

         At Cartridge Technologies we only sell the large capacity Q2613X cartridge--for $58.95, with two or more for $57.50 each-40% less than the OEM with free shipping included.
[CLICK HERE FOR LASERJET 1300 SERIES CARTRIDGES]

Cartridge Technologies Free Business Services

         As a business owner with five or more machines, whether they are printers, copiers, fax machines or multifunction, you face a bewildering choice of equipment and supplies. You can control your printing costs by researching the costs of supplies along with each machine. However, do you have the time for this research? Cartridge Technologies printing professionals, with more than 30 years experience, will help you make those choices at no charge. We'll help your business control your printing, copying and fax costs without expensive investment in new equipment. When it is time for new equipment purchases we'll help you choose the most cost effective alternatives.

Call us at 1-800-354-22331-800-354-2233 FREE or email our sales department at INFO@CARTRIDGETECH.COM
 
Portable Printing: New Choices for the Determined Road Warrior

 

           Although laptop computers are available in all sizes and configurations, printing on the road can be difficult and the equipment choices are limited. One solution is to purchase and carry a portable printer.  The selection of portable inkjet printers, although still small and expensive on both a purchase price and cost per page basis, has expanded in the past two years with advanced internet technology and Bluetooth compatibility.

 

            Canon has been the major player in the portable inkjet area for several years.  Its two older mobile models, the BJC-55 and BJC-85, have been described as "black Saran Wrap boxes," but they are bigger and heavier than that.  Both printers use BCI-11BK and BCI-11C ink cartridges, available for $12.25 and $23.25  (boxes of 2) at Staples. Cartridgetech.com sells high quality compatible ink cartridges for $3.95 and $5.49 each. You'll need a lot of ink cartridges with this printer. The yield per cartridge is 45 to 47 pages at 5% page coverage (double spaced typed page), just a few legal or business documents. The other Canon portable, the BJ 130, 300, 330e black, uses a single Canon BJI-645 black ink cartridge, available on our website for $28.75.

 

            In 2003 Canon released the updated i70 printer, which it promptly updated in 2004 with the i80 to include a car charger and Bluetooth connectivity. In 2005 Canon added the Pixma iP90, which also prints photos. These printers sell for $200. to $250 each, weigh close to 4 pounds and measure 12.4" wide by 6.9" deep and 2" high.  BCI-15B and 15C ink cartridges for the i70 and i80 printers cost $11.95 and $21.95 for 2paks each at Staples; or $2.99 to $4.99 each (equivalent to $5.98 and $9.98 for two) at Cartridgetech.com for quality compatible cartridges.  The Pixma iP90 uses the black 15B, along with an Original Canon BCI-16 color cartridge, available on our website for $23.75 per box of two. These are all relatively small cartridges with low page yields, up to a maximum 75 pages.

 

            Another model to consider is the HP Deskjet 450cbi mobile printer.  It is slightly heavier and larger than the Canon i70 and i80 (4.6 pounds; 13.3" x 3.2" x 6.5"), but has many impressive capabilities.  Along with compact size, the paper holding tray flips up from the top to hold 45 sheets of paper; its flip down adapter on the tray holds smaller sizes such as envelopes or even photo paper.  

 

            The HP Deskjet 450cbi can double as a photo printer, with impressive results.  The printer can also operate on its small, tube-like battery for limited periods, so it can operate as a wireless device, using battery power and connecting with your laptop via infrared or Bluetooth (for the 450wbt model) technology.  After inserting the print cartridges and installing the PC software, you line up your laptop with the printer and hit the Print button.  The signal is sent via the infrared port.

 

            You can also connect your laptop to the 450cbi via the included parallel port cable or a USB cable (not included), utilize the Compact Flash card slot on the back to print directly from a digital camera or transmit print jobs from a Palm or Pocket PC device via an infrared port.

 

            The HP Deskjet 450cbi uses HP 56, HP 57 color and HP 58 Photo Color ink cartridges, available for $19.99, $34.99 and $24.00 from Staples.com.  These larger ink cartridges print 390 to 450 pages each.  You can save substantially by purchasing remanufactured cartridges at Cartridgetech.com for $15.95, $22.95 and $20.95, with lower prices for quantities.



THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS REPRINTED FROM
SMALL BUSINESS COMPUTING.COM

Inkjet Versus Laser Printers
By Drew Robb
July 19, 2005

  • Color inkjet printers have been fixtures in most small businesses for many years. They're cheap (under $60 in some cases), last a couple of years and everybody uses them. So they must be the perfect office tools, right? Maybe not.

    When you do the math on printing, inkjets may well cost you a whole lot more than you realize.

    "What the manufacturers of these printers don't fully explain to consumers is the true cost of ownership of a low-cost color printer," says Jeremy Shulman, vice president of Reink Technologies Inc. in Tempe, Arizona, a maker of remanufactured ink cartridges under the
    VibrantInk brand name.

    "The general rule of thumb is that the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the disposable costs for refills and so on."

    While the printers are almost given away, the refills bring in a fortune for the big-printer, original-equipment manufacturers (OEM). According to Lyra Research of Newton, Mass., the cartridge replacement market is now worth $21 billion annually. HP, for example, makes over $10 billion a year from ink cartridge sales, and Lexmark earns over $2 billion from ink supplies, more than half its total revenue.

    Shulman gives the example of a
    Canon i320 Color Bubble Jet Printer.The cost for the hardware can be as little as $55, depending on discounts and where you buy it. The average cost of the ink from Canon is $19 but the yield from that, he says, is a measly 170 pages. Even if you print very little, the cost quickly adds up:

    Seven pages a day times 300 days equals 2100 pages an ink bill of $235.60 per year. If you own the printer for three years, the cost of cartridges comes to over $700 or about 13 times the original cost of the printer. For the
    Epson Stylus C62, Shulman concludes that the ink bill would be over $1000 for three year's worth of printing.

    Of course, seven pages a day is a conservative estimate. Some SMBs businesses print a lot more. Let's say your company prints 50 pages a day, 300 days a year. Using the above example, that equates to printing 15,000 pages annually. At that same rate, your annual ink cartridge bill would total $1,596.

    And it isn't just cost that conspires against ink jets. They typically don't print pages as fast as laser printers. They can also be a major hassle. It is quite common to be inundated with cartridge-error messages when the cartridges are perfectly fine, or have the machine suddenly go crazy and spit out gobbledygook in an endless stream. The printers are also set up in a way that makes it difficult to minimize the amount of ink they use. It appears they're designed to make you use more ink than you need to with no way to default to "draft quality".

    As a result of such factors, the market for laser printers is catching fire. According to Lyra Research, worldwide desktop monochrome (one-color) laser printer shipments grew 15 percent last year to 14.1 million units. More than half of those are what's known as Multi-Function Printers (MFP), which do print, fax, copy and scan. Lyra predicts that over 10 million MFPs will be in circulation by 2008.

    Laser Printers by the Numbers

    In comparison to ink jets, laser printers are quieter, faster and remarkably hassle free. But it's the math that makes them stand out. The numbers are as follows:
    An HP laser printer with an estimated machine cost of $400, combined with a $115 toner cartridge, yields 8000 pages. Printing 40,000 pages costs you $400 plus $460 for the ink for a total of $860. A Brother 1440 laser printer works out at about $930 for the same number of pages. That comes to around two cents a page, or eight times less than an inkjet printer.

    SpencerLab, a digital-color laboratory in Melville, New York, tested the HP LaserJet 1320 and the Dell 1700 Laser Printers. According to Catherine Fiasconaro, director of SpencerLab, even when you calculate the cost of the toner and the drum (which has to be replaced about every 20,000 pages), HP high-yield monochrome cartridges cost about two cents per print, with Dell costing slightly more.

    Adding to the allure of the laser, printer prices are continuing to fall and the range of available products is steadily mounting. According to Trina Wolfgram, a marketing manager for HP, the HP Color LaserJet 2600n prints eight pages-per-minute, at 600 x 600 dots-per-inch (dpi) resolution. It has a recommended maximum monthly volume of 35,000 pages. Its estimated street price is $399.

    If you don't require that much printing volume, the monochrome HP LaserJet 1020. rated at a maximum monthly volume of 5,000 pages, prints up to 15 pages-per-minute and offers 600 x 600 dpi output. It has an estimated U.S. street price of $179.

    To bring the costs of laser printing down further, you can purchase inexpensive replacement or remanufactured ink cartridges.

    "Replacement ink cartridges are cartridges that are manufactured by a company other than the original manufacturer," says Shulman. "A remanufactured ink cartridge is the original OEM cartridge that has been professionally cleaned, refilled with quality ink that is made in the USA and tested prior to leaving the factory."


    With so much money being poured into ink cartridges, it's no surprise that hundreds of companies have sprung up offering refill kits for ink jets and laser printers. They work for some people, but many find them too much trouble. Most people have blackened their hands, injected the yellow ink into the red receptacle or ruined the carpet with refill kits.

    Replacement and remanufactured cartridges, too, are catching on for ink jets and are widely available. But the success rate is sporadic to say the least. According to Recharger Magazine you simply cannot refill every inkjet cartridge. The actual numbers are more like 20 percent of black inkjet cartridges and 50 percent of colors can't be refilled or reused.
    On the other hand, almost 99 percent of laser toner cartridges can be remanufactured to provide a product that meets or exceeds the OEM yield and quality. A handful of high-end companies produce "compatible" cartridges” products that equal or improve upon the quality of the big OEMs. At the low-end, a horde of remanufacturers offer refill kits and replacement toner cartridges at a fraction of the cost.

    "HP's own research revealed that 66 percent of people who try alternative cartridges never go back to the more expensive OEM models," said Gary Pendl, CEO of Pendl Companies, a Waukesha, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of high-quality compatible toner cartridges for HP, Apple, Panasonic, Tektronix, Epson, Lexmark, IBM and Canon printers.

    Pendl guarantees its cartridges will perform equal to or better than OEM cartridges or it will either replace the cartridge or offer a full refund. The guarantee covers not only the cartridge but also the printer. The quality matches or exceeds OEM standards, with a defect rate of less than one percent on toner cartridges. The OEM defect rate is one percent.

    ReInk's Shulman quotes similar figures for his company's products. In terms of cost, the HP cartridge for a LaserJet 1010 costs around $70 and has a yield of 2,000 pages. Reink remanufactures it with the same 2,000-page yield and sells it for $55. It also makes a longer-life version with a yield of 3,600 pages at $85.

    Other suppliers offer less in terms of quality (and perhaps yield) but at a lower cost for toner. For a Brother 6800 MFP,for instance, we bought six toner cartridges from 4inkjets.com for $48 and they worked out fine. A single cartridge purchased direct from Brother cost $33.99. We noticed no real difference in quality.

    That said, you should realize that not all replacement and remanufactured products are created equal.

    "Usually going with the cheapest is not the best idea," says Shulman. "Many companies don't even test their cartridges before they are sent out."

    HP Wolfgram counters the replacement/remanufactured cartridge point of view saying that HP designs its laser printing supplies to provide maximum value by going beyond yield and estimated cost per page calculations.

    "HP develops supplies that offer real value in total cost of ownership by focusing on yield and cost per page, as well as usability, quality and reliability," said Wolfgram. "By offering supplies that address all these concerns, small businesses are assured that can save time and money with HP supplies."

    Paperless Society on Hold

    In the late nineties, visionaries promised a paperless society due to the digital age. How wrong they were. In North America alone, office printers churn out 1.2 trillion sheets in one year. Thus the demand for printer ink is higher than ever. So it makes good business sense to take ink costs into account when you decide what printer to buy.

  • If you print very little, stick to your inkjet or replace it with a more modern model. But if you print consistently in a reasonable volume, it is probably time to take a serious look at a laser printer. HP, Lexmark, Brother, Dell and others offer a wealth of choices. Cheap replacement cartridges are probably good enough if your printing volume and company size aren't that big. But if you spend a lot on printers and printing, remanufactured cartridges give you wonderful quality and peace of mind for less than OEM cartridges.

    What about color lasers? These used to be very expensive, and recently the price has dropped considerably. Lyra Research notes that 1.85 million color laser printers were sold last year, a growth of 47 percent over the previous year.

    "A growing number of offices are replacing existing monochrome laser machines with color page printers," says Ann Priede, an editor at Lyra Research.

    Shulman suggests leaving color lasers alone, however, unless you need to print a high volume of brochures and flyers. Reason: color lasers are expensive to buy and color and black toner costs more. So unless you really need a steady stream of color promotional materials, stick to a monochrome laser.

    And what about your occasional color printing needs? Keep one or two of your old ink jets around for those occasions when you need a splash of color.

    "For small amounts of color printing it's much cheaper to use an inkjet," said Shulman. "If a business plans on printing a large amount of color it may be worthwhile to buy a color laser printer."

    Drew Robb is a Los Angeles-based freelancer specializing in technology and engineering. Originally from Scotland, he graduated with a degree in geology from Glasgow's Strathclyde University. In recent years he has authored hundreds of articles as well as the book, Server Disk Management by CRC Press.

    WE'VE BEEN CHEATED - YOU SHOULD NOT BE

    THIS PAST SUMMER, CARTRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES WAS VICTIMIZED BY ITS PURCHASE OF COUNTERFEIT HP INK CARTRIDGES FROM A COMPANY CALLED MEGAWORLD LLC [ALSO KNOWN AS KLASS NORTH AMERICA] IN CANOGA PARK CALIFORNIA.

    We found out too late that the owner of Megaworld LLC - Klass North America, Richard Mbariket, has been selling counterfeit goods for some time.


    Although Cartridge Technologies predominately sells high quality compatible and remanufactured products, we also supply discount OEM products. You will find many OEM products on our website, all clearly marked as Original Equipment Manufacturer product. We also supply OEM products to schools, institutions and other customers who specify the manufacturer. We constantly shop for low wholesale prices for these OEM goods and we deal with many liquidators and discount suppliers.

    Richard Mbariket represented that he sold liquidation goods i.e. items purchased from retailers who are disposing of overstocks. Instead, he sent us low quality counterfeit HP cartridges shipped directly from Singapore.

    Although much more expensive, these cartridges were far inferior to our own high quality remanufactured cartridges -which we sell for a fraction of the price under our own label. Of course, we would not resell these counterfeits. We replaced the order with genuine goods from a reputable supplier and "ate" the loss. Cartridge Technologies is pursuing legal action, both civil and criminal, against the perpetrator of this fraud, in conjunction with HP's fraud investigation department.

    Megaworld LLC, Klass North America, Richard Mbariket continue to offer counterfeit products on widely followed forums such as Alibaba.com, a well-respected multi-billion dollar wholesale exchange which has led us to some of our most trusted suppliers. Alibaba.com lists Megaworld LLC as a "trustpass" supplier - a distinction which led us to believe this was a legitimate company - to our detriment.

    According to Tricia Judge, whose article on the printer supplies industry appears below, counterfeit printer supplies may constitute as much as 10% of the printer supplies in retail channels - not only on the internet but on store shelves. The fact that these packages are frequently indistinguishable from high-priced OEM cartridges leads to their proliferation.

    Counterfeit goods damage all of us. Consumers victimized by counterfeits are led to believe that all secondary source printer supplies are defective - not just these sold by unscrupulous suppliers.

    THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS REPRINTED FROM IMAGING SPECTRUM MAGAZINE

    Clearing Up Claim Confusion
    by Tricia Judge, Int'l ITC

    With massive marketing and advertising budgets that dwarf those of their small-business entrepreneurial competitors, original printer manufacturers (OEMs) have created a cacophony of claims about printer cartridges that are aimed at confusing the consumer into believing that they must buy their new supplies to be certain of quality. Or worse, they must buy their new supplies or risk running afoul of some law.

    This misdirection and deception is aimed at hurting the printer manufacturerā€™s chief enemies: its competition. Although aimed at other OEMs as well, much effort is spent making claims that keep customers from buying products from aftermarket competitors.

    But the deception really hurts the consumers most, as it costs them oceans of dollars in overpriced supplies and hours of aggravation in determining what he or she is entitled to purchase from competitors and what it is that they are really purchasing.

    For instance, Lexmark proudly announces that its HP 4000 Linea brand compatible cartridges are 100% all-new, not remanufactured. These cartridges are not new, and certainly not 100 percent new. They are also definitely remanufactured.

    Welcome to the deceptive marketing zone, where cartridge customers are routinely led astray and outright lied to. How can a cartridge buyer be certain that what he is buying is new, compatible or recycled? And upon reorder, how can he be sure that he is buying what he intended to buy as a replacement?

    We submit for your consideration the following information on the many ways that some manufacturers and supplies resellers might try to confuse consumers. We also offer ways to tell what is real and what the customer can depend upon.

    Lets Examine the Lexmark Linea Cartridge

    As clear as a bell, molded on the side of the Linea cartridge was the phrase "made in Japan." As Lexmark does not manufacture cartridges in Japan, it is safe to assume that Lexmark did not manufacture this core.

    As for its status as "100 percent new," the label on the cartridge reads "Lexmark: This high quality cartridge is made of new and recovered, domestic and foreign parts."¯
  • Further evidence demonstrates that the Linea cartridge is a wholly remanufactured one. There is residual toner on the drum from post-testing. There are the clips that are only present when a cartridge has been split and opened to permit remanufacturing.

    Brussels-based remanufacturer Eddy Samson of Marcos S.A. was angered when Lexmark sued him, claiming that his packaging misrepresented its contents. His packaging, standard in the industry, claimed that the cartridge it contained was "compatible" for use in the Lexmark printer for which it was remanufactured.

    Samson didn't cower from the suit as Lexmark undoubtedly hoped, but instead he counterclaimed that Lexmark was equally guilty for claiming that its Linea cartridges were "100 percent new."¯ That led to an interesting defense mounted by Lexmark.

    The company based its case on the premise that most of the cartridge was new; therefore, it could claim that it was "new." ¯ It submitted technical drawings of cartridges that detailed which components were new and which reused.
    As expected, the new components included items that would be replaced in standard remanufacturing practices, such as drum and toner. However, the items that are commonly reused in the remanufacturing process, such as the hoppers, cartridge core and most gears, were reused.

    In the HP4000, 22 of the 33 components were reused. This is hardly a staggering case for being considered "100 percent new."¯

    Lexmark has sold these cartridges as "new"¯ to several institutional buyers who have been led to believe that these are "100 percent new"¯ cartridges, including the University of Pennsylvania and the state of Florida.

    I'll Reuse Yours, But You Can't Reuse Mine

    The Lexmark Linea subterfuge would not be so insulting if the company didn't proclaim that remanufactured products are inferior when it comes to the use of the same in their own printers. After a questionable evaluation of remanufactured cartridges by the National Software Testing Lab, Lexmark determined that remanufactured cartridges were inadequate for use in its printers. (NSTL is a fine organization, but one that routinely tests software, not hardware like cartridges.)

    The tests were used to justify Lexmark's launch of the Prebate program. This program provides an upfront discount to buyers that agree ” consciously or inadvertently” to refrain from giving the spent cartridge to a remanufacturer.
    The cartridges must be returned either to Lexmark for recycling or remanufacturing¯ or thrown away. Lexmark's intention here is to keep the empty cartridges out of the hands of its competitors.

    Many unsuspecting buyers want to remanufacture their cartridges, and are alarmed when they find that they cannot save money by giving their cartridges to a local remanufacturer.

    The remanufacturer or service provider will instruct the buyer to make sure to purchase the non-Prebate Lexmark cartridge, which can be remanufactured, in the future.
    Yet, when the customer attempts to do just that, they find that the cartridge is unavailable or they somehow accidentally reorder the Prebate cartridge.

    Looking for a Unicorn.

    Lexmark markets its remanufacturable cartridges on its website, but website purchases, like any mail order, take time to receive. A consumer that chooses to go to a store to buy a cartridge will usually only find the Prebate cartridge on the shelf. That's because the two cartridges are identical in all ways except the Prebate restrictions against remanufacturing.

    Office supplies stores have limited shelf space, and don't want to stock two identical items, one that costs $45 less than the other. Therefore, the stores generally stock only one, the lower priced Prebate model. Customers take the time to get to the store to purchase a cartridge, but may find the search for unrestricted cartridges is akin to hunting for a unicorn.

    Numbers do Lie.

    Other consumers choose to buy cartridges by undertaking a common method: they glance at the cartridge to find the reorder number and then proceed to order via the phone, fax or Internet. The key is the reorder number.

    They reorder off the cartridge that they currently have.

    Let's look at the Optra T cartridge label (Figure 1) and
    see what happens when a customer wants to reorder a remanufactured cartridge by using the one they were smart enough to purchase originally.

    The reorder number that is listed directly beneath the words "recommended reorder"¯ are the number 12A5840 and 12A5845. These numbers are the part numbers for the Prebate cartridges with restrictions on its remanufacture. The true reorder number to receive an identical remanufacturable cartridge is actually in smaller type and listed well under other numbers. The remanufacturable cartridge part number is also listed in red above the recommended reorder information, but appears to be more likely an identification number for that specific cartridge rather than a reorder number.

    This mislabeling scheme is actually an improvement from the one that used to be emblazoned on the cartridge a few years ago when it was first introduced. In the late 1990s, the part number for the remanufacturable cartridge was even more difficult to locate on the body of the cartridge.
    Lexmark expends a great deal of money and energy in keeping supply alternatives away from its customers. Perhaps it should reflect on investing those energies elsewhere, as PC Magazine's Annual Reader Survey on Printer Service & Reliability indicates. Lexmark laser printers were the poorest in their class in scores on customer satisfaction, units needing repair and loyalty to the manufacturer.

    Counterfeit Cartridges

    At the other end of the spectrum of cartridge deception is the counterfeit cartridge. Counterfeit cartridges are remanufactured or refilled cartridges that are sold as new.¯

    According to the Imaging Supplies Coalition, counterfeit imaging supplies account for more than $1 billion in sales. The manufacturer's good name is damaged and they lose revenue, profit and most importantly brand equity and future hardware and supplies sales,¯ said Bill Duffy, executive director of the Imaging Supplies Coalition. Remanufacturers lose because they must compete with the counterfeit product in the marketplace.¯
    Counterfeiters do not care about quality, so the customer often has an unpleasant experience with the counterfeit cartridge and returns it, with ire, to the OEM. The OEM is understandably unhappy to have to defend a bad product with its name on it. Its representatives will undoubtedly inform the customer that it is counterfeit and it is reman

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ReInk Technologies Inc.
3370 North Hayden Road, #123-686
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-6632
Toll free: (800) 354-2233
Local: (480) 829-8182
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Cartridge Technologies