Tips for Purchasing High-Quality Supplies

Whether you purchase OEM or alternative brand print supplies, it’s important to ensure that the product you receive is the one you intended to purchase. This is particularly the case if you are purchasing supplies over the Internet, or from a new source.

A misrepresented product can lead to issues around quality, warranty coverage, and technical support. In addition, these supplies may not be legal. This blog post will review ways to ensure that the supplies you have purchased are those you meant to buy.

Tip #1: Look closely at the packaging

The first thing you can do is check if the outer packaging matches the description and/or images shown during the purchase process. A plain box with no visible markings or brand may suggest the product is a generic low-cost version. If you are purchasing an OEM cartridge, look for security features such as holograms and barcodes to guarantee it is a genuine product.

Various types of toner packaging

Inside the packaging, check how securely the product has been held in place. You should also look for any signs of damage or leakage before using it in a printer of multifunction printer (MFP).

A lack of documentation relating to operating instructions, safety certifications, and warranty provisions should raise questions as to both the source of the product, and how compliant it might be with local laws.

Tip #2: Check the language on the packaging/documentation

Another warning sign is packaging and/or documentation that is not in the native language of the country the products were purchased from (or in). This could suggest that the product has been sourced elsewhere, and imported.

Even if the product is genuine OEM, some OEMs will not provide warranty coverage or technical support for items that have been imported from other regions of the world.

Tip #3: Consider the purchasing channel/location

Purchasing supplies through an authorized retailer/reseller is typically a sure bet you will receive the product you intended to purchase.

In contrast, marketplaces like Amazon and eBay can offer a huge range of lower-cost alternatives—but they are accompanied by a higher risk that the product is different from what is advertised.

Tip #4: Consider the price

Oftentimes, the price of a product can be a good indicator of its quality. An OEM product available at a significantly lower price than normal might suggest it is a grey market or counterfeit version.

Third-party products can range from 20%-70% cheaper than the OEM equivalent. The larger the price differential, the greater the potential for lower standards of quality and performance in the product.


It’s important to ensure the print supplies you receive are those you intended to purchase. Depending on the vendor, it’s possible the product has been misrepresented in some way. Consider following the advice laid out in this blog post to guarantee you are receiving high-quality print supplies.