Are re-manufactured toners really cheaper

Editors Notes:  We get questions regarding the use of re-manufactured toner cartridges all the time.  This article is written by Hewlett Packard specifically about their toner cartridge program and HP's position on re-manufactured toner cartridges.  To be clear, this discussion concerns re-manufactured toner cartridges, not refilled cartridges which we never recommend or sell. The Computing Center does sell certain re-manufactured toner cartridges as well as the full-line of Hewlett Packard and other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toners. We are always available to discuss your toner needs and finding the most cost effective ways to manage your printers.

In order to increase their bottom line, many businesses are making an effort to cut down on printing costs. There are several ways to do this, including printing on both sides of the page, printing drafts in draft mode and shrinking your document to fill fewer pages.

Some businesses also choose to purchase remanufactured toner to reduce printing costs. But this could be a mistake—in the long run, refilled or remanufactured cartridges may end up costing more than you think.
Below are some busted myths about remanufactured toner that you should be aware of before you choose to go that route.
Myth #1: Remanufactured cartridges always save you money
Fact: Don’t be fooled by low purchase prices paired with promises of high quality. Unreliable cartridges can create hidden costs that add up in the form of support calls, reprints and wasted supplies.
In a separate survey of printer technicians by Photizo Group/Lyra Research, more than two-thirds reported that HP LaserJet printers fitted with non-HP toner cartridges required more service—including cleaning, repairs and replacements—than printers equipped with Original HP toner cartridges [1]. When you consider the high price of poor reliability and print quality, non-HP toner cartridges can actually cost up to 10% more than Original HP toner cartridges [2].
Myth #2: Remanufactured cartridges are just as reliable as Original HP cartridges
Fact: Remanufacturing is a manual process that can lead to cartridge damage and may cause performance and print-quality problems. Remanufacturers often reuse critical cartridge components that may be damaged or near the end of their usable life. This makes aftermarket cartridges more likely to fail.
In a survey of HP LaserJet users, Photizo Group/Lyra Research found that 42% of customers using non-HP toner cartridges experience problems with those cartridges. In fact, a full 22% have a cartridge fail, leak or run out of toner prematurely [3]. By contrast, during QualityLogic testing, the Original HP LaserJet toner cartridges worked every time [4].
Myth #3: Remanufactured cartridge print quality consistently equals that of HP cartridges
Fact: While the print quality from remanufactured cartridges may seem “good enough,” it often degrades, resulting in pages that are not fit for distribution inside or outside the company. In fact, Photizo Group/Lyra Research found that of those customers who use non-HP toner cartridges, 40% have a problem with print quality [3]. On the other hand, during tests by QualityLogic, 97% of the pages printed with Original HP toner cartridges were acceptable for all uses [4]. That means less frustration and fewer reprints.
Myth #4: Remanufactured cartridges are better for the environment
Fact: Reusing a cartridge is not the same as recycling it. Remanufacturing rarely prevents cartridges from ending up in landfills. In fact, based on an InfoTrends study, nearly 94% of toner cartridges sold from the remanufacturers surveyed will ultimately be thrown away. Most remanufacturers surveyed fail to collect their own products because they prefer to work with cartridges that have never been remanufactured before [5].
HP makes recycling used cartridges easy with HP Planet Partners, a worldwide take-back and recycling program. We recover recyclable material from used cartridges and convert it into new products—including new HP cartridges [6]. By buying an Original HP LaserJet toner cartridge and recycling it through the HP Planet Partners program, you can rest assured that it will never end up in a landfill.
Myth #5: Remanufactured cartridges won’t hurt your printer
Fact: The reliability problems associated with aftermarket cartridges can cause printing problems—and may even harm your printer. According to the same Photizo Group/Lyra Research study, nearly one in ten LaserJet customers using non-HP cartridges end up with a damaged printer that requires cleaning or repair and 26% experience printer downtime as a result of cartridge problems [3].
Lyra also found that 64% of HP LaserJet users who have a problem with a non-HP toner cartridge turn to a company or external resource for help [3]. That can get costly—fast.
In this recovering economy, it’s not surprising that businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. But if you think you can get the same high HP quality and save money by using generic cartridges, you might want to think again.
 [1] From a 2012 NA Photizo Group/Lyra Research study, commissioned by HP. Results based on interviews with 100 HP Authorized Service Providers who have at least 6 months’ experience servicing HP monochrome and color LaserJet printers, and have last done so within the previous 12 months.
[2] HP calculation based on the average results of a QualityLogic 2010 study comparing Original HP LaserJet toner cartridges with seven brands of non-HP toner cartridges sold in North America for the HP LaserJet P1505 and P4015 printers, HP 36A and 64A. For details,  (Calculation includes paper, cartridge replacement and labor for reprints.) Assumes equal number of pages for external, internal and individual use. Labor rate from Mercer 2009 Global Pay Study. Assumes purchase price for HP cartridges is $170 and 30% lower purchase price for a non-HP toner cartridge. Actual prices, costs and savings may vary.
[3] From a 2012 NA Photizo Group/Lyra Research study, commissioned by HP. Results based on a total of 1009 HP monochrome LaserJet users who have used both Original HP and non-HP toner cartridges, of whom 424 experienced problems with non-HP cartridges. For details go to
[4] A QualityLogic 2010 study compared Original HP LaserJet toner cartridges with seven brands of non-HP toner cartridges sold in North America for the HP LaserJet P1505 and P4015 printers, HP 36A and 64A. For details, see:
[5] InfoTrends, 2011 U.S. Supplies Recycling study. Study commissioned by HP. Results based on interviews with thirteen remanufacturers and brokers. For details, see:
[6] Program availability varies. Original HP cartridge return and recycling is currently available in more than 50 countries, territories, and regions in Asia, Europe, and North and South America through the HP Planet Partners program. For more information, visit:


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