From offices to homes, average consumers are now capable of producing high quality prints with a push of a button.
Popular brands such as HP, Canon, Brother and Xerox are a favorite by small business and households alike.
While the inkjet printer still constitutes a greater percentage of printers found in households, lasers are no closely nipping at its heels.
The laser printer owes its recent popularity to more than just print speed and quality.
The introduction of compatible laser toners and remanufactured cartridges has made laser printing more affordable than ever.
For instance, compatible cartridges for the Brother TN360, HP Q2612A, and Canon X25's sell at an average of $35 each whereas equivalent OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) toners can cost well over a hundred dollars.
While ink cartridges have a page yield of anywhere between 200 to 400 pages, laser toners are known to exceed 3,000 pages or more.
If you do the math, affordability clearly favors compatible laser cartridges.
But how reliable are compatible laser toners? Can consumers make a seamless transition from OEM to remanufactured toners without compromising quality? The not so surprising answer would be NO! Sadly, unscrupulous importers and suppliers far outnumber honest manufacturers who value quality and customer satisfaction.
Any small business owner who can gain access to a reliable source of empty Brother TN360 cartridges can purchase his own refilling equipment and post products online.
The good news is, common sense is often all that it takes to steer clear of these scams.
We've come up with a few tips to help prevent you from being conned by fly by night online sellers.
Check for Warranty Always check for warranty.
Any reputable online seller should always be confident of a product he sells.
If an ecommerce site doesn't offer to replace a Canon X-25 within a specific time frame, you know you need to redo your search.
Certifications See if the company has been subjected to quality control inspections administered by a recognized body.
Security seals from agencies such as the BBB and ISO help you differentiate the good apples from the bad.
Testimonials When in doubt, it's always a good idea to seek the opinion of someone who's made a previous purchase.
Reading buyer feedback and testimonials is a good way of assessing how a particular seller performs.
Buyer confidence and satisfaction is an indication of product quality and customer service.
Consulting friends is another good way to check for quality.
If need to purchase a specific laser toner, consult someone who has one.
Contact the Seller A well established online store is often backed up by a professional and knowledgeable customer service department that can give you straight courteous answers.
If they give you the runaround when you inquire about product quality and return policies, or can't differentiate an HP 12A from an HP12X well then you better think twice.
There are no hard and fast rules that can guarantee your online shopping success, but with a little research and good old common sense finding a reliable supplier of toners shouldn't be too difficult.