Printer & Accessories
Printer & Accessories
Printer & Accessories

What is a Compatible Ink Cartridge?

Whether you are shopping here at or one of the many online retailers for Ink cartridges, one of the terms you may have come across quite frequently is "compatible Ink cartridges". What are compatible Ink cartridges exactly?

"Compatible Ink cartridges (also known as aftermarket Ink cartridges) refer to cartridges that were produced by a 3rd party and not the printer's original manufacturer. Compatible Ink cartridges however, are designed to meet the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) specifications, so quality can be rest assured."

What are the benefits of going with Compatible Ink Cartridges?

Save money...even more money. Compatible Ink cartridges generally are not only cheaper than their original OEM counterparts, but also their remanufactured counterparts as well. The compatible version of the popular Canon Ink cartridge PGI-220BK for example, is more than 60% cheaper (save money) when compared to the original OEM version of the same cartridge. In comparison to its remanufactured counterpart, the PGI-220BK is still 30% cheaper (even more money).

In another example, the Brother LC61BK compatible version is almost 60% cheaper versus the OEM version and 20% cheaper in comparison to the remanufactured version.

How many pages can I print with my compatible Ink cartridge?

The number of pages you can print entirely depends on the compatible Ink cartridge itself, as some cartridges state a higher yield than others. Current printing industry standards provide a yield (estimated number of printed pages) based on a 5% page coverage (5% of a page is printed on). For example: a 5,000 yield compatible Ink cartridge will provide ~5,000 printed pages at 5% coverage per page.

Your compatible Ink prices are still too expensive. What are some other ways I can save money?

Follow any of the tips below to save additional money on already low everyday prices at

  • Buy more than one: Many of our Ink cartridges offer a quantity discount when you purchase more. For example: when purchasing at least 3 compatible Canon CLI-221M Ink cartridges, you save 8% on each cartridge, 20% on 6 or more.

  • Buy Ink cartridge sets: For color laser printers that require multiple Ink cartridges (such as Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow for the Canon CLI 221), consider buying Ink cartridge sets as they are generally cheaper compared to buying each cartridge separately.

  • Sign up for our email promotions: Receive email alerts delivered right to your inbox with our latest and greatest offers on compatible Ink cartridges.

  • Print in draft mode: For documents where print quality is not a concern (e.g. online receipts, directions, etc.), consider printing in draft mode (usually under printer settings under "Preferences") to save Ink that ultimately saves you money.

Still Have Questions?

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