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Replacement Ink Cartridges

What should you do when your PC printer runs out of ink either because you have printed to much or the cartridge has dried out? There are four strategies to consider, which you choose will depend on the amount you want to pay and your desire for simplicity:

  • Buy a new cartridge - Printer cartridges are a major source of profit for the printer companies; that is, they sell you the machine so that they can make money off of you everytime they run out of ink. While this is often the simplest and most reliable approach to ensuring high print qualtiy, it is almost always the most expensive alternative.
  • Buy a new printer - Not as far fetched as it may seem. Printers are often times priced only a little more than the cost of the ink cartridges it uses, so if you shop around, you can often find a new printer on sale for less than the cost of the ink cartridges included with it. Buying a new printer allows you to upgrade to the latest printer technology, although you will have to go through the printer installation routine. Just check the box to make sure that regular (rather than demo or "starter") printer cartridges are included.
  • Buy a 3rd party cartridge - The old argument was that you might damage the machine if you choose something other than the original manufacturer's cartridge is fairly weak these days since the cartridge contains the ink and the printing head; that leaves questions about longevity and print quality. Pick a major ink company, and the only question will be does this lower priced cartridge have the same print life as the original?
  • Refill your cartridge - In most cases, you can refill your original cartridge and thereby save considerably on

    the cost. Working with printer ink found in refill kits can be pretty messy, so if you want to avoid stained fingers, seek out a local company in the business of refilling cartridges.
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