Why Toner Connect Only Buys OEM Toner

Most recent by James Cai

Toner Connect Supports OEM Toner Over Compatibles

There are a quite a few decisions that have to be made when you’re in the market for replacement toner.

First, you have to determine the types and sizes of toner cartridges that will fit your brand of printer.  Once you have that down, there are capacity and colors to worry about.

Even after all of that, there’s still a choice left to make: will you opt for toner made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), or will you choose a compatible or remanufactured model to save some money?

Quality Products


When manufacturers release a new model of printer, they will also have an associated toner cartridge that they make to work with that printer (and most likely a few others in their line).

This toner, known as the OEM, is made with that company’s quality standards, and they’re usually bound by some guarantee that it will work with a certain model range of printer.

When you buy these cartridges, you’re buying that level of quality, which means that the retail price of these cartridges is generally higher than what are known as compatible cartridges, or those that have been reverse engineered to work with various printer brands.  These cartridges, often from much smaller companies, are not held to the printer manufacturers’ quality specs and are not guaranteed to the same standard that the OEM cartridges are.

Without knowing where they came from, Toner Connect can’t pass them on to you with the same level of confidence as it can with the OEM cartridges.

Checks and Balances

The costs of making compatible toner is so low, it’s a no brainer for some distributors to buy direct from the manufacturers of these products and pass them on to the end-user without any checks or balances.

The companies making the compatible cartridges don’t care who they sell to, how they’ll be sold, or at what price.

As the buyer at the other end of the chain, you have no way of really knowing where that toner came from or who handled it before it got to you.  When you buy an OEM cartridge from a trustworthy distributor, you can verify that it came through a certified channel of distribution and is being sold to you by a company you can trust.

Toner Connect relies on those same checks and balances to ensure the toner wey back meets the printer makers’ standards.  This means that when we then sell a cartridge, we know that we’re passing that quality on to the next user and that it will work with the same level of quality that was originally intended.

Product Verification


You might be asking “How do I know I’ve gotten a real cartridge?”.  There are quite a few telltale signs of a genuine toner from an OEM:

  • Packaging:  Manufacturers have been catching on to the trend of counterfeit and lookalike ink and toner refills for quite a while now.  They know that some distributors and resellers have pretty sophisticated techniques up their sleeves to fool you into believing you’re buying the real deal.  Because of this, many brands will have added security labels to the outside of their boxes. Tags, like holograms and QR-coded stickers, show when they’ve been moved or changed.  You should notice a clean box inside, with a neatly wrapped cartridge firmly secured with appropriate labeling.
  • Verification:  Speaking of QR codes…  Those are there so you can quickly scan the label with your smartphone to make sure you’ve gotten a genuine product.  Brands like HP and Xerox have their own apps, which will tell you right away if you have a fake, but you can also use QR scanner apps that you might already have downloaded.  Don’t have a smartphone handy?  Don’t worry, you can go to the manufacturers’ websites and enter the serial number to quickly check for authenticity.

This may seem like a lot of effort just to check for a real cartridge, but when you consider the price you are paying for that toner, taking a moment to verify is worth the time.

Future Outlook

Would Toner Connect ever buy back compatible cartridges?  The short answer is no.  The longer answer is – nope.

Toner Connect hasn’t ever accepted compatibles and doesn’t have any plans to start.  The costs of not knowing the toner cartridges’ origins or quality standards are just too high.  Plus, it wouldn’t be cost effective to resell those compatibles back since they’re so cheap direct from the distributors in the first place.

We are working towards partnerships with select manufacturers to offer compatible cartridges direct to our customers.  This way, we can verify the source and make sure we’re selling a product that you can trust.  You will never find any compatible cartridges in our store that were repurchased, as we will continue buying back only the OEM cartridges so that we can pass those quality assuranceslong to our customers.

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