We have all heard this saying and it's there for a very good reason. What seems a bargain usually isn't and you end up buying the genuine one and you spend twice as much money.
So this post is basically to save folks that extra money.
I have a printer connected to my Mac and it's a Kodak C310. I bought it because of the smaller cost of ink cartridge. I was going to say "Cheap" but no ink is cheap for home pc's.
My previous printer was a Canon and wonderful as it was the ridiculous price of changing 5 cartridges at £80 was outrageous and so i gave it away.
I've been happy with my Kodak. I don't print photographs on it, just mundane stuff. When my 3rd lot of ink was almost gone i went to my supplier and asked for the 2 cartridges.
Unfortunately he didn't have any in stock but offered me a compatible set called Jet Tec for about the same price but 2 for the price of 1.
I don't usually go for cheap ink, because it's a poorer grade i am led to believe but this guy was convincing without being pushy and as i don't do photographs thought what the hell, i will give them a go.
I changed the cartridges when the red light said empty and put the compatibles in place. Switched on the printer and low and behold. Red light and Error.
I started again and switched on the printer. Message:- Error cartridges not recognisable.
Always one for not giving up, i tried to logically work out what was different. How does a printer know that they are compatibles and not Kodak.
Well on the back of the cartridge there is a 3mm square bit of plastic with 2 contacts on it. I just thought these were the signal providers which interface with the printer to tell the cartridge that it's services were required. Well it seems that these contacts also have a micro circuit board on the back and this must also provides "Who AM I" information to the mother board of the printer. Just like a Ewe and lamb they know when it's not one of their own. So it pushed me away.
I thought i could get round this problem by removing the circuit board of the my old original Kodak cartridges and attaching them to the new compatibles ones. So with a bit of carful faffing i managed it.
I reloaded the now disguised compatibles and switched on. I thought the Ewe will never spot the difference now.
Wrong! New error message. These cartridges are empty please replace with new.
So even though there was plenty of ink, the mother board remembers the old cartridge signatures and recognised that they were empty. So even filling them from a 3rd party source would have the same effect. Once Kodak cartridges are empty, that's it. You have to buy new.
Unfortunately for me because i have now bodged the compatible cartridges i cannot take them back for a refund.
I was never aware of this before and have never come across it. My old Canon printer accepted compatibles and refills no problem. I always thought getting an old cartridge refilled was a viable alternative. Well obviously Kodak don't think so.