Choosing Toner: OEM and Compatible and Remanufactured—Oh My!

Which toner cartridge is right for you?OEM and compatible and remanufactured—oh my! Choosing a toner cartridge should not elicit Dorothy’s fear of lions and tigers and bears, though sorting through the options available today can be confusing. It is important to choose the right cartridge for your organization and avoid purchasing cartridges that could end up costing you more money. In this post, we hope to demystify the types of cartridges available and help you make a more educated choice the next time you need to order toner cartridges for your organization.

OEM Toner Cartridges

What Are OEM Toner Cartridges?

OEM toner cartridges are cartridges that are produced by the original equipment manufacturer. For instance, if you have purchased a Sharp multi-function printer, by purchasing a toner cartridge manufactured by Sharp you would be purchasing an OEM toner cartridge for your machine.

What are the advantages of OEM Toner Cartridges?

Being manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer, OEM cartridges represent high quality and reliability. With an OEM toner cartridge, you also have the guarantee or warranty that big brand names can offer.

What are the disadvantages of OEM Toner Cartridges?

While OEM cartridges are high quality, they also carry the highest price point. Similar to purchasing a Band-Aid brand box of bandages vs. a box of Walgreen’s bandages, with the name-brand product, you are paying for the name—and all that stands behind that.

Compatible Toner Cartridges

What are Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Compatible toner cartridges are produced by third-party manufacturers. The toner cartridge is made from an OEM cartridge that has been returned or recycled. The compatible toner cartridge has been cleaned and a new virgin core and new drum have been inserted, just like the OEM cartridges. The compatible toner cartridges Copeco sells are also tested and ISO certified.

What are the advantages of Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Compatible toner cartridges have the same yield as OEM toner cartridges, but at a better price point. Those that we sell at Copeco are guaranteed 100% for up to one year after purchase. They are also tested and approved by the manufacturer, so you are guaranteed quality.

What are the disadvantages of Compatible Toner Cartridges?

Not all compatible toner cartridges are created equal. Manufacturers do not all adhere to the same standards. It is important to purchase compatible toner cartridges from a reputable company you trust. When choosing suppliers for our compatible cartridges, we went through a rigorous process to make sure the suppliers we work with deliver compatible cartridges with the same quality as OEM cartridges.

Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

What are Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

Sellers of remanufactured toner cartridges take a compatible or OEM cartridge that has been returned or recycled and refill it, then they resell the cartridge.

What are the advantages of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

Just like compatible toner cartridges, remanufactured toner cartridges can be purchased at a lower price point than OEM cartridges.

What are the disadvantages of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges?

It is hard to know what you are getting with a remanufactured toner cartridge or where it is coming from. While it may come with a lower price point, it may also come with lower quality as well. If you purchase a remanufactured toner cartridge that ends up being low quality and can’t produce the same yield, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Which Type of Toner Cartridge Do We Recommend?

We recommend and sell both OEM and compatible cartridges. You can’t go wrong with an OEM toner cartridge. It comes from the manufacturer of your machine and you can rest assured that there will be no issues with quality. If there are issues, you also can have peace of mind that the brand will stand behind their cartridge.

Compatible toner cartridges are a good middle ground between OEM and remanufactured cartridges. You are able to save money while still ensuring quality. Many compatible cartridges have a warranty, and you do not have to worry about inferior performance. As we stated before, make sure you are purchasing compatible cartridges from a company you trust.

We hope we have given you the confidence to make the right toner cartridge decision for your office, but if you have questions about OEM, compatible or remanufactured cartridges, feel free to contact our supply department. We are happy to help you find the right one for your organization.



At Your Service

COPECO is your complete consumable resource center. Whether you need sales or service support, we are ready to help you today!

If you require supplies for your printer, copier, or fax, we carry virtually anything your office needs:

  • Printer Inks
  • Staples
  • Back Up Media
  • Paper
  • Fax Supplies
  • Copier Toner
  • And more...

If you need more information, please call


Recent Posts