Customer Appreciation Day – Coupon

May 31, 2008

5 years ago on June 2nd, 2003, O-ink opened the Mt. Pleasant Store. After making it for 5 years, we have decided to throw a little bit of a party of sorts for you, our customers.

Our First Annual Customer Appreciation Day

If you live either near Mt. Pleasant or Saint Johns Michigan, you can stop in our stores that day and get 10% off replacement cartridges. If you have an HP or Lexmark cartridge that we can refill, you get 50% off.

For those of you who shop on the web, at our website,, you can get 10% off any replacement cartridges using the following coupon code at the check out, thankyou.  This offer is valid only on June 2nd, 2008.

In New Cartridge news:

We have added some new products to our website and store’s computer systems. First is the high yield replacement for the Lexmark T430. This is a 12,000 yield cartridge priced at 189.99. The second cartridge will be available June 6th, is the HP CB435, which goes into the HP Laserjet P1005 and P1006 printers. This cartridge is rated for 1500 pages and cost 57.99


Estimated Ink Levels

May 5, 2008

Just had a customer today return two bad color cartridges that we sold her.  The first one we got from our supplier and it was electronicly dead.  The second one was a cartridge we had just refilled in house.  She had brought the cartridge in from her printer cause it had just been emptied, 13.99 plus tax she had the same cartridge with ink in it ready to go.

Her complaint was that the one we refilled said it was empty.  I assured her it would and reminder her that according to HP, the Ink Levels are estimates only as they can not tell you the actual amount in there due to the kind of cartridge HP designed.  She still wanted her money back, even after I put it on the scale for her (showing that it was 3 grams above full).

So how do you tell how much ink is in your cartridge?  Well, if you own a Brother or Canon printer that takes the single tank cartridges, you are fine.  Canon and Brother employ an optical sensor to view the levels.  HP, Lexmark, and Dell use estimators.  These estimators go off from page count, paper used,  and quality level.  So how off can they be?  It all depends on the printer, some printers, they are right on, maybe have a error ratio of less than 5%.  Others, especially HP printers that use the 57 color and 58 photo, can be off from 70% to 100%.  While it is rare, we do get people turning in ’empty’ HP cartridges that by weight, are completely full.  Going back to the question posted above, how do you tell?  There are two main ways.

1.  Time – You have an idea on how long a cartridge should last you, couple months or a year, each person is different.  Any cartridge you put into your printer should last as long, assuming your printing habits do not change.

2.  Quality – If what you print starts to look bad, there are only two possible reasons, dirty or empty.  Most of the time it means they are empty.

What about the cartridge that O-ink sells, how do I know they are full?  Every cartridge that O-ink fills in house is weighed two times before we seal it.  Our Factory filled cartridges are weighed 3 times before they leave.  We have the full weights and empty weights for every cartridge that we have the ability to fill, so we can tell you how full your cartridge is.

Cartridge is in printer, but where is it?

March 23, 2008

Everyone I know has had it at least one time that they installed their printer cartridge into the printer, only to have the printer fail to recognize it.  So what is a person supposed to do in that situation.

1.  Double Check the cartridge – Is it the right cartridge for the printer.  Some times it is that simple that the wrong cartridge was purchased.  If you can try to return it if it happens to be the wrong cartridge.

2.  Is it installed correctly – Is there anything that needs to be removed?  Some printer cartridge manufactures put a blue tape over the printhead or yellow tape over the air intake, these need to be removed.  Do not remove the copper contacts from the cartridge.  This is not tape, it is how the cartridge talks to the printer.  Think of them like the nerves in your hand, take them out your hand is still there, but it will not do anything.  Also, make sure the cartridge is in the right slot.  I have seen it a couple times that a person has installed the cartridge into the wrong location.  This can possibly harm the cartridge or printer or both.  It can be removed, but is not easy.

3.  Electrical failure – This is the most common problem that happens, with both new and refilled cartridges.  Sometimes the contacts do not want to work.  There is nothing you can do for this.  However, if three different replacements do not work, look at the printer instead.

4.  Software – Does the printer’s software know you installed a new cartridge?  Some printer’s driver need to be told that a new cartridge has been installed.  Lexmark and Epson are the most common with this.  Canon can do this as well, but with refilled cartridges sometimes you have to push certain keys on the printer or AIO.

Bait and Switch by Lexmark??

March 6, 2008

This past week we had a customer come in and purchase replacement cartridges for a Lexmark 28 and 29 cartridges, which she pulled out of her Lexmark X2580. They didn’t work for the customer, and we were closed, so they went to a big retailer and purchased the official Lexmark Return Program 28 and Return Program 29 for their printer. By the way, they pulled out the 28 and 29 from their printer when they became empty.

Those didn’t work. Strange that the exact same cartridge that was pulled out didn’t work, especially since it was from Lexmark. The customer actually called Lexmark for troubleshooting. What was the problem, she was buying the wrong cartridges.

But how could they be the wrong cartridges? They matched to the number to what she pulled out. Well according to Lexmark’s Website they will not work. They take the #2 Color and or the #3 Black. And the X2580 is not the only printer affected. Here is the list of printers that will take the #2 and #3:

Item Printer #2 Color Cartridge #3 Mono Cartridge #31 Photo Cartridge
1 Lexmark Z738 Yes
2 Lexmark Z1380 Yes Yes Yes
3 Lexmark Z1480 Yes Yes
4 Lexmark X2480 Yes
5 Lexmark X2580 Yes Yes Yes
6 Lexmark X3480 Yes
7 Lexmark X3580 Yes Yes Yes
8 Lexmark X4580 Yes Yes Yes

So if you have one of those printers, which you can only purchase at Circuit City in the USA, do not get the number 28 or 29, you need the 2 and 3.

Currently O-ink has the #2 replacement available for the public to purchase at our website.  We also can refill the #3 cartridge through our mail in program.

*UPDATE* – O-ink now has the #3 replacement available at our stores and our website.  Here is the article.