Initially we identified from search engines, 47 sites that sold compatible cartridges. We culled this down to the top 20 by eliminating sites that sold only a restricted range of cartridges or sites that had very small web traffic volumes, based on Alexa statistics.
From each of the remaining 20 sites, we bought online a standard set of cartridges. These cartridges were the most popular cartridges for the two market leading brands of printers.
Three sites were subsequently eliminated because our order had not arrived after 3 weeks. Another 5 were eliminated because either they would not refund our money or gave us a hard time getting our money back.
We tried all cartridges in our office printers, where the returns policy allowed for opened cartridges to be returned.
All the cartridges we tried worked fine though there were definitely small differences in color. It is hard to describe these differences in terms of better or worse. They were just ... different. For example, some cartridges gave more saturated reds. Was this good or bad? Well, it made some things look better, others worse. Go figure.
It is fair to say that we achieved good results with all the cartridges we tested from the recommended sites. Overall the cartridges we tried, worked just as well as the original OEM cartridges though not necessarily identically.
Given that OEM cartridges cost up to three times as much as compatibles, it's very hard to justify paying the full price. One thing is for certain, we will never use OEM cartridges again while the printer manufacturers maintain their current pricing policy. The manufacturer's strategy is clear: sell the printers cheaply and make the money on selling ink.
While site suggestions are welcome you cannot pay to be listed at this site. If you feel you offer prices and service equal or better to any of the sites listed here then by all means email to let us know why you think you are better. We will then anonymously buy from your site and return the goods. If your company cuts the mustard you will be listed free of charge.
Offering us a commission on sales will not affect our decision to list you either. If you offer a commission we will take it, if not then you will still be listed provided you have a quality offering. Indeed some of our top recommended sites offer no commission and some of the worst performing sites offer the largest commissions. But, in a way, that figures. The best suppliers with the best prices do not need to offer big commissions.