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This site started out as an advice site to educate people on how to save money amid all the confusion and scams on the net. What the printer companies are doing amounts to legalized piracy and our goal was to help you keep your own money in your pockets. Eventually visitors urged us to stock the items we recommended and offer them on the site. When we discovered the reusable cartridges, we found a fantastic product difficult to obtain in the US so we had to import them. Our advice site evolved into a family business. Our goal is help you save money while getting great results from your printer.
We consider ourselves more than reasonable in dealing with customers and go the extra mile to make sure no one is disappointed. However, sometimes a few individuals make it difficult for everyone else. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone conducted themselves fairly and we wouldn't need lawyers and contracts to keep people honest? So while we would like to say 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked, a few people have made it impossible to do this without adding some conditions. They can be summed up in two words: be reasonable.
We have a 60-day window in which to give credit car or paypal refunds, so refund requests must be received within this time frame (though we have at time sent refund checks even after that time period). The time limit for replacement is much more generous. If there is a problem with one or two of our cartridges, we will replace them. If three cartridges, we will refund the purchase price for those cartridges and any unopened ones returned within the window. If a printer uses four or six different cartridges (black and 3-5 colors) and you opened one of each, we will take those back. But don't open more than one of each color and expect a refund.
Why this limit? It is always possible that one or two were defective. This can happen (and has) even with genuine Epson products. But if it is two of the same color, this indicates a problem with the printer itself. What happens is the print head gets clogged and the printer stops producing that color. The customer puts in a new cartridge and it still won't print. The customer assumes the cartridge is defective and tries a second. At that point, the customer should realize it is a printer problem. Even if the customer believes it to be a cartridge problem, if two don't work, there is no point in continuing to open the rest. Return them for a refund. But we did have at least one person order a dozen black cartridges, then (without contacting us) return them all opened and empty six months later, claiming they were all defective. We did not refund in that situation. Another customer received 12 black cartridges on a hot day in a southern state. Exposure to heat creates pressure within the cartridge. (So does exposure to extreme cold.) He then emailed to say all 12 cartridges spewed ink when he removed the yellow tape and he wanted a refund. Had he called or emailed after opening the first one or two, we could have told him to put them in a refrigerator and let them cool off before opening. (And had it been a cold day, we would have recommended letting them warm up.) But if the first one spewed and then the second, why continue to open all 12? We have to protect ourselves from geniuses like that. Incidentally, we did send another 6 free and that person is still a loyal customer. But we went beyond our warranty and are not obligated to do so.
It does not take months to decide an entire order is defective. The customer tries one and it doesn't work, tries a second and has the same issue and at that point should contact us. Naturally we don't expect a customer to test an entire order within two months. So if they bought a quantity and a few months later find that one didn't work properly, we will replace it or add extra to their next order. But to request a refund, it must be done within the window. The excuse "I know I bought these 6 months ago but I just got around to using them" doesn't cut it. What's to stop anyone from buying anything - a MP3 player, computer, car, etc and saying they didn't use it until after the warranty expired? The warranty begins from date of purchase, not the date they decide to use it.
We have made exchanges a year after the purchase date when there was good reason. For example, customers bought a quantity of cartridges and then had to buy a new printer which couldn't take the old cartridges. We almost always take back sealed cartridges. But we don't want to be obligated to do so, hence the limitations in the warranty.
If you experience a problem, email or call first. Often we can resolve the problem over the phone. We get very few cartridges back and most of those work just fine in our printers. If we can't solve it, the next step would be to replace or refund. We may require that you send the product back to us. We do not send prepaid potage labels or reimburse your shipping. If this is for replacement, we will add extra to cover your costs. (We also put extra cartridges in most of our Epson, Canon and Brother orders.) This is what you accept when placing your order online. If you buy an item from a store and it doesn't work, it must be returned to the store. You can't call them up and expect to get your money back. If you expect a refund without returning the merchandise, shop elsewhere.
When returning opened ink cartridges, you must be careful to seal them against leaks. If they leak, the Post Office will dispose of them without delivery. Tape the bottom of the cartridge where the printer punctured it and the top where you removed the yellow tape. Place them in a baggie. Do not put closed cartridges in the same baggie. Return them to:
2412 Oceancrest Blvd
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
We supply schools, professional printers and corporations. We do almost no advertising. Most of our customers come to us by referral from other customers. We must be doing something right (and our cartridges must be working properly) to achieve this track record. As long as your expectations are reasonable, we will be more than reasonable.
Our warranty only covers the cartridges bought from us and for up to the amount paid us. We do not cover any other expenses. If someone waited until the day an important job was due and discovered a cartridge didn't work and had to run out and pay a lot more somewhere else, they can't expect us to refund the amount they paid for the other cartridge. We had one customer say since a cartridge didn't work and she couldn't find another one, she bought a whole new printer and expected us to pay for it. Sorry, but that's not the way it works. Another customer complained that his 4-year old printer stopped working a year and a half after putting in our cartridges so it had to be the fault of our cartridges and therefore he expected us to buy him a new printer. I hope anyone reading this understands why this is not a reasonable expectation. If not, please shop elsewhere.
Don't wait until you're down to your last cartridge on the last day you have to complete a critical job. At about $3 a cartridge, there is no reason not to have a backup. Someone's failure to spend an extra $3 does not impose an obligation on us. An entire set of our cartridges cost less than a single Epson cartridge. Instead of spending $60-$100 for one set of Epsons, spend $20 to $40 for two to three sets of ours. With our special bonuses for buying backup sets, there is no excuse not to be prepared.
We do not offer lifetime free replacements. Cartridges do not contain any moving parts. There is no particular reason a reusable or refillable cartridge can't last for years. We have a set going on four years. However, electronic chips can be damaged by stray voltage, liquid, or being touched by sweaty fingers. So don't count on your cartridge lasting forever. We typically replace it free within a few months of purchase or we add an extra in your next order. But we did have a professional print shop with multiple printers buy a single set of refillable cartridges and move it from printer to printer. Naturally doing this caused the ink to be used very quickly. Every time time cartridges are inserted in a printer, they go through a charging process which uses a good deal of ink. This print shop kept calling to complain the ink was being used too quickly. In four months we had sent five replacements for the four cartridges they bought. In all that time, despite our reminders, they didn't take the obvious step of buying a set for each printer. Expecting unlimited lifetime replacements of a $4 item is not reasonable. Epson won't do it and their cartridges cost five times more and give one-third the ink. Incidentally, when we stopped replacing the cartridges, this print shop bought several sets and has had no problems since. They still buy their ink from us and gave us a glowing recommendation. See our customer testimonials on the upper left. We also had customers call every few months to ask for a replacement for a different cartridge - all without placing any new orders. They were basically using our warranty to get free replacements every time they ran out of ink. Over a year they had received a complete new set, cartridge by cartridge. With some people abusing our warranty we can no longer afford to be that generous. So if you make your purchase expecting our basic warranty and you experience some issue, you will receive service which exceeds any reasonable expectations.
I bought compatible Epson cartridges elsewhere and they didn't work. How do I know yours will?
We offer a full money-back guarantee of the full amount you paid for your order - including the shipping, even for opened ones (with reasonable limitations - read the warranty). We are taking 100% of the risk. We obviously couldn't do this unless we were certain our cartridges worked.
Why do your compatible Epson cartridges work when so many others I've tried don't?
Epson keeps changing their printers to better detect and reject compatible Epson cartridges. While the Artisan 800 and 837 both use the same T098 cartridges, the 837 is a later printer and has been programmed to reject most compatible Epson cartridges. Some sellers, particularly on eBay, pick up large quantities of cheap Epson cartridges to resell. These are older Epson ink cartridges whose chips have not been updated to work with the later printers. We get our compatible Epson cartridges directly from the manufacturer. The chips in our Epson cartridges are updated regularly. Over time we went from version 3.0 to 6.1. When a potential customers calls us to say the Epson ink cartridges they bought elsewhere don't work, often they have version 5.0 or earlier.
There are times when Epson releases a new printer which will not work with our Epson cartridges. We will not post this model on our site until we have confirmed that it can use our Epson cartridges. Some of you may have noticed that some of the printers on our site are marked with an asterisk and a notation to contact us first. If you choose certain printer models, reusable and refillable Epson cartridges will not be listed. This is because we are still testing.
This is why it is important that you order your Epson cartridges by printer model. A few customers noticed that we did not have reusable Epson cartridges listed under Artisan 837 so they clicked a different printer which took T098 and ordered those. Then discovered those cartridges would not work with their 837. (They work in about 75% of 837s). And they still got their money back.
How much ink do your Epson cartridges hold compared to genuine Epson cartridges?
Epson cartrridges gives you as little as 7 ml of ink (see http://inkdaddy.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/review-epson-t068-t069-t088-split-open/ where researchers actually opened the Epson cartridges and measured the amount of ink supplied). Our standard Epson cartridges give you 13.5 (color) to 15 (black). Our refillable and reusable Epson cartridges give you 18 ml, almost THREE TIMES the amount of ink Epson cartridges contain. Our refillable T676 cartridges contain 100ml of ink, 50% more black and 200% more color ink than Epson cartridges. However, Epson printers do not accurately measure how much ink remains in the cartridge. That is why the printer often reports the cartridge is empty when there is still 10-15% of the ink remaining. Once a regular Epson ink cartridge is flagged as empty it can not be reused - even if ink remains.
Some people remove the cartridge when it is half-full and then re-insert it. The printer may then report it as a new, full cartridge and they get to use all the ink. Often the printer then goes through another charging process and the cartridge now has even less ink in it. The chips on our reusable and refillable Epson cartridges are designed to reset to full upon re-insertion after the printer says they are empty. However, re-inserting an ink cartridge must always be done with extreme caution, since the printer may not detect if the cartridge actually does run out of ink. Your only notice may be when that color no longer prints and if you wait for that to happen, you could damage your printer. Read Caring for Epson printers for more details. That is why it's nice that our reusable and refillable Epson ink cartridges are transparent, so you can see for yourself how much ink actually remains.
Is your ink identical to Epson ink?
No. Epson's ink formula is protected by patent and can't be duplicated. Epson uses pigment ink and our compatible Epson cartridges use dye. We have not seen any compatibles Epson cartridges which use pigment ink nor would we want to use these if they did. Read Pigment vs Dye Ink for the differences between the formulas.
I was told using any ink but genuine Epson ink cartridges will clog my printer and void the warranty. Is this true?
No and no. First, pigment ink contains particles of pigment floating in solution. Dye ink is fully dissolved. So it is pigment ink which is more likely to clog. In fact, Epson's first pigment printers suffered from excessive clogging, which is why Epson printers still have a reputation for clogging. Second, Epson has always implied that using third-party ink cartridges voids the warranty. They are very careful not to state this outright because this exclusion would be illegal. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 states:
Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. In other words, they can not insist that you use only their cartridges.
If your Epson printer fails, Epson will fedex you a replacement and pick up the old one at their expense. They instruct you to return it without the ink cartridges. So you get your replacement in advance and Epson never learns you used compatible ink cartridges. Just don't foolishly volunteer this information because they could use it as an excuse not to replace your printer.
How do you compare the quality of your ink to Epson ink?
Read Pigment vs Dye Ink for details on the difference between the formulas. In short, pigment ink lasts longer because it sits on top of the paper and isn't absorbed into it. However, dye ink is usually brighter. This is why after touting their durabrite pigment ink, Epson reformulated their dye-based Claria ink specifically for photographs. The oldest photos I printed with compatible ink are over 10 years old. They were done with an Epson 640 on plain paper. Hanging on my wall, they still look about as good as the day they were printed except that the paper has started to yellow. Photos in my album printed on photo paper and encased in plastic sheets look fantastic. Will they last 100 years like Epson claims their ink will? Ask me in another 90 years :) Take a look and judge for yourself.
One of these scans is the Costco catalog. The other is a scan of a printout of a scan of the catalog done on an Epson Artisan 730 using our refillable cartridges. Can you tell them apart? The one on the left is the copy.
Here is a comparison sent to us by a professional photographer using our T098 ink cartridges in an Epson artisan 837.
What special steps do I have to take with your reusable Epson cartridges and refillable Epson cartridges? Do I have to inject ink with a syringe?
No, our reusable Epson cartridges come with special, sealed ink tanks. There is no injection of ink and no mess. Pop out the empty tank and pop in the new one. You must remove the yellow tape at the top of the tank, just like you remove a yellow tape on the top of regular Epson ink cartridges. If you are using a later model cartridge (T069, T078, T079, T098, T125, T126), that's all you have to do. If you are using an earlier cartridge (T044, T048, T060), you also have to touch the chip resetter to it so that it resets the chip to full.
Our refillable Epson cartridges require the removable of either a piece of tape or a clear plastic plug, depending on the model. They are filled using special 30 ml ink bottles or 100 ml bottles topped by an injection tube. Remove the cap from the tube, insert it in the cartridge refill hole, and squeeze gently until the cartridge is filled to near capacity. (Do not overfill. Some air space is needed. If ink remains in the refill bottle, you can recap it and use it to refill the cartridge later.) All our refillable Epson cartridges have auto-reset chips.
Which is better, the reusable Epson cartridges or the refillable Epson cartridges?
That is a personal decision you have to make. The refillable ink cartridges are cheaper and contain more ink but they require a little extra effort and care. You can get your fingers dirty. They are not recommended in a home with young children. Reusable ink cartridges are more convenient and neater. You can bring empty ink tanks to Office Depot or Staples and get $2 in store credit for each one. Empty ink bottles have no value. Read Reusables vs refillables for a detailed comparison.
How long will the reusable and refillable Epson cartridges last?
Since there are no moving parts to wear out, they can last indefinitely. We have one set of reusables going on 4 years and a set of refillables more than 2 years old. However, a chip can always go bad. This can be due to stray electricity, getting wet, even being touched by sweaty fingers. So it's a good idea to have a backup set, which is why we offer discounts on multiple sets. It won't help you to have dozens of tanks or ink bottles if you don't have a complete set of working cartridges.
Click here for a list of Discounted Epson Ink Cartridges.