How the industry itself broke third-party cartridges


Printer. Surely printers have their own place in hell. Again and again they don’t work as they should, and if they do, then the ink is empty. Printer and third-party manufacturers have been playing a completely different cat-and-mouse game for years – and it’s taking on absurd proportions.

Third Party Manufacturer: Cat and Mouse

Yes, there are compatible cartridges that do not come from the original manufacturers, but are third party or are filled by them. It goes without saying that this is not well received by HP, Canon and Co. That’s why there’s been a tug of war for years about who’s tricking whom. Twitter user vonrosceau put it beautifully:

link to Twitter content

In German:

  • Printer manufacturers sell expensive cartridges
  • People learn to refill them
  • Manufacturers insert disposable security chips into the cartridges
  • Refillers invent chip resetters
  • Refillers invent limited-use chip resetters

What happened? In order to take action against so-called refillers, manufacturers have installed DRM chips in their printers, which allow them to only use their own cartridges and only once – in order to sell more of them.

Pretty nasty, both for the wallet and for the environment.

For their part, the refillers have put reset chips in their cartridges to circumvent the restrictions and trick the printer into thinking they are using the cartridge for the first time.

Here’s how the Refillers shot themselves in the foot: The resetter chip only works 20 times, so infinite refills are no longer possible. Of course, that’s not exactly small, but it makes the clinch with the original manufacturers ad absurdum.

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Ink cartridges: a money dig

Printer ink is ridiculously expensive. How expensive? I own an HP printer that wants to be fed 901 cartridges from the same company. Cost point for the XL version of a black printer cartridge: according to Amazon, just under 40 euros. Content: 12 milliliters.

This corresponds to 3.33 euros per milliliter.

For comparison: If I want to buy my wife Chanel NĀ°5 in a 100 ml bottle, I pay 131.83 euros – which is cheaper than buying 100 milliliters of black printer ink.

In short: Printing is and remains damn expensive.

Incidentally, my colleague Peter made his own experiences when buying a printer and has been doubting the world ever since:

Ink cartridges are extremely expensive, even in 2023. That’s because every manufacturer does its own thing. The refillers also seem to want a piece of the cake. Do you always buy original cartridges? Or do you have your cartridges refilled? Feel free to write in the comments how you deal with the valuable liquid.

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