If you are shopping for ink or toner on the big waters of the internet you need to be aware that not every seller can be trusted. On the one hand you want decent product, right? On the other hand you want good service. And then fast shipping speed. Also cheap prices. Cheap prices are good. Unfortunately getting the best of all these details is sometimes unlikely. To really find a good source you sometimes need to try a few options. But that takes time and attention and let’s face it, you just want to get your toner and go, right? Ok ok. How about I give you some hints and my best suggestion as to where to go for your toner and ink purchasing needs. Sound good? Fantastic, let’s go.
eBay. Shopping eBay is just plain fun. You can get a ton of stuff for cheap—and because its often used it is sure to have character. Unfortunately if you are looking for toner (especially for significant quantities) eBay is NOT the place to go. Sure, I confess in my college years I would grab the odd Dell 3130cn toner cartridge for my room printer, but that was hardly a major purchase and I learned pretty quickly why eBay isn’t the best place to get toner. You don’t know anything about any seller on there. Most of the cartridges (when you rank them low to high in price) are cheap knock offs made oversees. They use low quality ink, they take forever to cross the ocean, and they often don’t talk well to your printer, which can make them fail quickly or have the read as being empty even if they have toner in them. I had an ink cartridge once that came without protective tape on it—dry as a bone out of the box. Don’t shop on eBay for something like toner. Golf clubs, sure, but not toner.
Next up you have Amazon. Amazon suffers some of the same failings but not as bad. You can trust that the products will be better, but you will still tend to watch the lowest quality product come up at the lowest price—which isn’t what you want. You end up with the good product obscured by the flood of terrible product, and no way to tell between them.
Or you can go to a homepage, like www.oki.com, and try to navigate to find their toner store, and then navigate to find the Oki C3200 toner that you need. You are sure to get the product you asked for and you are basically sure to get quality product. The shipping time shouldn’t be too bad either. So what’s the problem? The problem is that you are looking at the Cadillac of your toner options, the premium stuff at the premium prices. The fact is that for most of us we want our printers to work and to work well, but that isn’t worth the price that these big boys ask. Their theory is that if they sell a printer they rope in most of the people who buy it and force them to buy their particular ink cartridge until the printer breaks, giving them a little monopoly in which they can charge what they want. But that doesn’t sit well with me. We shouldn’t be sheep. It’s fine if you need high quality toner for a professional project, but that’s just not where most of us are at.
Where most of us are at, and where you should look, is online at a major retailer (like the 247 site recommended in my links, if you need a place to start). These large sellers are great for a few reasons, and number one is variety. With their printer selectors you can easily select your make and model printer and get right down to the specific cartridge you are after, like that Oki C5500 toner we were talking about. Then you get a whole run down of options. Genuine cartridges, color, black, remanufactured, high capacity… those options show that they have a good supply (which usually means good shipping) and that you can stick by them for the future. So sign up an get an account and try to take advantage of their sales. These companies are great because they are big enough to have what you need and give you options, but small enough to value your business and sometimes get you a little extra if you know what to look for. So that’s my recommendation, follow the links or hop on Google and see if you like it.