The Obscene Cost of OEM

The cost of the genuine brand cartridges continues to rise, but why? We take a look at some of the biggest disparities when it comes to original cartridges.

The price of Genuine Ink and Toner is now officially obscene

CEO of Australia’s leading Ink and Toner Retailer says that the genuine Ink and Toner manufacturers have pushed their prices up from the existing “horrendous” to “simply outright obscene” pricing

Vincent Teubler is CEO of Inkspot the major online retailer of Ink and Toner in Australia with additional retail stores in every state. Operating since 2007 they have seen the price of Genuine Ink and Toner from companies like HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, OKI, Samsung and Fuji Xerox continue to increase year on year to the current levels which he describes as “simply outright obscene”.

“It pains me to think that both retail and business customers think that it is the retailers that are pushing the prices higher and higher and nothing could be further from the truth” Teubler says. “We recently had an example of an online customer purchasing a single set of common genuine toners for nearly $907.  Our cost for these was a whopping $894.50, meaning we made around $12.50 on the sale. Barely more than a 1% retail margin.  It is obscene for the customer to have to pay this much for some plastic and toner powder and a chip…and fairly pointless for us as a business to sell them at those RRP margins.”

We asked Teubler if there are cheaper alternatives.  “Absolutely 100%. Reliable high quality aftermarket (home brand if you will) cartridges are available for practically every printer model nowadays. And the price difference between the Genuine cartridges and Home brand cartridges keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. We aren’t talking 10% cheaper anymore. We are talking 50, 60, 70 even 80% or more cheaper to buy the highest quality aftermarket products with identical page yield to the genuine product.”

But is the quality the same for aftermarket? According to Teubler “sure , go back 10+ years and it was often touch and go if a manufacturer (and practically all cartridges are manufactured in China) could produce consistent quality output. But now there are literally hundreds of high quality manufacturers operating in China and the trick is securing the production line space of the leading ones amongst them. They make Mercedes in China …and they also make consistent exceptional quality aftermarket Inks and Toners”. They literally manufacture millions of units a month for the US and European markets alone, markets that like Australia, demand the highest quality products. And these companies are no longer small…. one of our suppliers of aftermarket products recently  purchased Lexmark in a multi Billion dollar deal.”

So why, according to IDC’s market research, is ¾ of the Billion + worth of Ink and Toner sold in Australia each year, still the genuine product, if aftermarkets are so good? “A few historic reasons, a lot of people had issues when they tried aftermarkets and have been put off...either due to early day quality problems …that is no longer an issue. Everyone from Officeworks to Inkspot sells quality aftermarkets…go to a reputable brand  retailer and they will likely have sourced their aftermarkets from the same 4 major  manufacturers  in China. ”

Teubler also believes that most people are being fooled into believing that their printers warranty will be voided if they use aftermarket products. “Manufacturers put a line like…’using non genuine cartridges may void the printer warranty’….yeah right….it doesn’t. It is a bit like buying a new Ford and Ford saying that the cars warranty will be voided if you use non Ford petrol. It is straight out BS.”

But then again Teubler says that that is no longer a financial sound argument. ‘The huge price difference between the Genuine cartridge prices and their aftermarket alternatives, means you could more than buy yourself a whole new printer for the price difference which in some cases exceeds 4 figures on a single set . …let me give you some examples based on the most common cartridges being sold today across Australia


The Brother HL3170CDW printer can be found online for $218.94

One set of Genuine Cartridges from a leading Office superstore $622.00

Identical aftermarket set of Cartridges from Inkspot undiscounted $278.00

For the $344 saved you could buy another identical printer plus have $125 left over!!!

So why even worry about the warranty. Buy a new printer …you’ll still have $125 left over to spend.


The HP Laserjet M522dw printer can be found online for $802.96

One set of Genuine Cartridges from a leading Office superstore $1632.00 (yep that’s not a misprint)

Identical aftermarket set of Cartridges from Inkspot undiscounted $625.00

That’s over $1000.00 saving on a single set of toners and enough again to buy a new printer with change


And for home users, the HP Deskjet MFC 2130 printer can be found for $28 at the major office superstore.

One set of Genuine Cartridges from same Office superstore $108.76 (yep 3 times the printers cost)

Identical aftermarket set of Cartridges from Inkspot undiscounted $64.00

Saving $44.76 and again more than enough to buy a brand new printer with change!


Teubler says it is the same story with practically  every common printer given that genuine cartridges  are now so insanely priced (his words but hard to argue). 


“There simply is no valid argument for businesses, or indeed home users, to be spending so much on printer consumables. I rang one of the genuine companies only last week and told them, again, what they must already be more than aware of, that their prices are pushing businesses and home users to use aftermarket inks and toners and retailers like us to promote aftermarkets. As I told the startled executive retailers have to make money, if there is no money in genuine we will promote aftermarket products….and if consumers have to take out a mortgage to afford a single set of their consumables, well maybe just maybe its time for them to rethink their pricing strategies.”

Teubler says if you are not convinced, just go to and see the most common inks and toners being sold in Australia and compare the comparative aftermarket price








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