Compatible inkjet cartridges are another economical option. These are original, new ink jet cartridges that have not been remanufactured, but instead, are produced by a company other than the printer manufacturer. These cartridges can be purchased at lower prices than their brand name counterparts, and then refilled. There are patents protecting some brand name cartridges, and compatibles will not be available for those model. However, suppliers of compatible inkjet cartridges often offer brand name cartridges as well, usually at a significant discount. Compatible EPSON cartridges cannot be refilled with much success. They have a very porous sponge in the cartridge which fills with air as the ink leaves. You need to use a vacuum pump to displace the air when trying to refill the cartridge. Often a refill kit is not sold if a compatible cartridge is available.
Compatible inkjet cartridges vary greatly in quality. Look for a company that manufactures their cartridges using the same ISO standards as brand name manufacturers. A “no questions asked” return policy is a good indication that the company stands behind the quality of their cartridges. Suppliers who are upfront that compatible cartridges have not yet been successfully produced for all inkjet printers are likely to provide you with the best quality and guarantee for your money. Finally, if you are worried about a generic ink jet cartridge voiding the guarantee on your printer warranty, or even ruining the printer completely, learning more about how an inkjet printer works will help you allay your fears.