If you have a printer, either at work or at home, then you’ll know how important it is to keep it well-stocked with ink or toner cartridges. However, it can be expensive to keep buying new cartridges, so a good solution is to buy your new supplies online. Shopping online can get you some great discounts, especially if you bulk buy.
If you decide to shop for ink or toner online, then do take care. You can buy original branded cartridges, or ones made by third-party manufacturers, but make sure you go to well-regarded suppliers in order to protect your printer.
Here are a few tips for buying ink or toner online to help you along.
Make a note of the cartridges your printer uses – you need the colour as well as the model number. It’s also important to have the brand name that the maker gives to the cartridges.
Spend some time online to find out all about buying ink cartridges – there are quite a few forums out there for advice, as well as review sites to help you to find a good store.
Make sure you only consider online shops with good reputations. Look carefully at review sites and do a background check on the supplier; the Cartridge People site has great feedback, for example. This effort really is worth it.
A good way to do the background check is to make sure the store has a verifiable postal and customer contact address and a working telephone number. The website should have at least one recognisable security banner, too.
Take some time to do some window-shopping so you can do some price comparisons between different retailers for the orders you need.
Stay alert for any discounts or special offers. When you find a supplier you like, make sure you sign up to a newsletter if there is one because this is a good way to stay informed about upcoming promotions and special offers. If you’re a regular customer, you may be able to get your delivery charges reduced or dismissed altogether, especially if you buy in bulk.
If the supplier doesn’t offer a refund guarantee, then don’t bother with it. You should always be protected by guarantees or warranties in case the cartridges are damaged or faulty when they arrive.
When you’re ready to buy your ink or toner, you should make sure that the store accepts several types of credit cards, especially major ones, as well as some less well-known types and PayPal. There should be a very secure gateway with several forms of authentication – like VeriSign for example – and don’t use any stores that say they only accept cheques.
As with any online store, if it asks for bank details – in particular your three-digit security number (the one at the end of the signature strip of your card), don’t go any further. You should report the site to the online fraud squad.
Following these tips should help to keep you safe from faulty cartridges and fraudsters! You should, however, only buy as much ink as you’ll use in six months as ink cartridges tend to dry out, rendering them unfit for use.