Back in 2007 Walgreens stormed the ink cartridge refilling and remanufacturing by offering Black refills for $9.99 and Color for $14.99. Many places like O-ink had to adjust some tactics and prices to compete. However, if you look closely at the details the service that they are providing isn’t quiet top notch. Let me poke some holes in their ship.
Training – For anyone who replaces or creates something, it takes years to master the craft. The tech at Walgreens learns the process in a few days to a week. I have been in the cartridge business for over 5 years and am still learning new things about cartridges.
Quality of Ink – If you talk to a high performance car owner and ask them if they put regular gas in the engine, they will laugh at you. While it will ‘work’, it will not provide the same level of quality that the higher octane gasolines provide. Same can be said for ink. Lexmark, HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, and so on use different ink formula’s in their printer cartridges. While using a Universal ink will work, it will not provide the best quality over the long run. Plus using an ink that is not created for the printer cartridge, you run the risk of the ink plugging up quicker. Printer ink to a cartridge refiller is like oil to a mechanic, one size does not fit all. Walgreens only uses 5 inks total, 1 pigment black, 1 dye black, 1 cyan, 1 magenta, 1 yellow. This is like using only 5w30 to change oil in all vechicals. Currently at my store, I have 13 inks on hand. 4 for HP, 4 for Lexmark and 5 for Canon. We use ink designed to work in the cartridge.
Guarantee – I should state lack there of a guarantee. If you visit any Walgreens location or their website you will see no guarantee listed. Any company who works on a product and who depends on their reputation will put a guarantee on their craftmanship. We have a 6 month guarantee on our refills. So if you take it home and it doesn’t work, oh well, they have their money.
And what if it doesn’t fill – Walgreens does have a small selection of printer cartridges on hand you can buy, but most of them are OEM’s. If it doesn’t work, why should you have to drive else where to get a cartridge that works? We don’t think you should.
While I do not discourage people from using Walgreens ( I personally use them for my prescriptions), I would recommend people take a close look at their cartridge refilling process before they use it. For one company to run one special 3 out of 4 weeks a month on the same item, I question the quality of that item.
For information on O-ink’s cartridge refilling please visit here.