In the past, major franking machine manufacturers were essentially scaremongering customers – practically forcing them to buy their specific franking machine ink and cartridges on the basis that anything else wouldn’t work and that using them would invalidate the warranty on their franking machine.
In 2005, however, the Office of Fair Trading ruled that major franking machine manufacturers could not ‘dictate’ to their customers that only their supplied ink cartridges could be used and that using anything else would invalidate warranties. These practices had meant that customers were overpaying for franking machine maintenance and consumables, including franking inks, labels and cartridges.
As a result of the ruling, the market has opened up significantly: customers have much more choice and information about franking machine maintenance, products are far more varied and affordable – particularly in regard to consumables – and competition across the industry has improved.
Customers are now well within their rights to purchase third-party manufactured ink cartridges from franking machine ink suppliers – all without voiding warranty. However, it’s important that customers educate themselves prior to purchase – especially around re-manufactured ink cartridges – and ensure that ink cartridges from franking machine ink suppliers are Royal Mail approved.
What are remanufactured ink cartridges?
Purchasing ink for a franking machine or printer can be challenging, especially when there are so many franking machine ink suppliers and so many ink cartridge solutions to choose from; it’s not always easy to know which one is right for you!
Remanufactured ink cartridges are one of the most popular – and affordable – options available at the moment. Remanufactured ink cartridges are ink or printer cartridges that are sent to a manufacturer who will restock the ink and/or replace or repair any parts that are damaged or not working correctly.
Often remanufactured ink cartridges are sold under the manufacturer’s own brand label – but you will also find ‘compatible’ cartridges, i.e. those that can work with a specific printer or franking machine and were not made by the original printer manufacturer.
Remanufactured ink is typically a lot cheaper than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink and can save you a considerable amount on ink cartridges for your franking machines. As these cartridges are refurbished and restored, it’s important to purchase from a franking machine ink supplier who will thoroughly test the chips (which keep track of the ink level in the cartridge) to ensure they are working correctly and ready for resale.
Choosing the right franking machine ink supplier
Purchasing remanufactured ink is only a risk if you fail to consider the quality of the ink and your current printing requirements. For example, if you print letters, documents and marketing materials in colour, it would be best to purchase brand ink from reputable franking machine ink suppliers. If you are franking and therefore using blue or red ink, compatible remanufactured ink that is of high quality is a cost-effective choice.
Working together with a reputable, franking machine ink supplier will not only allow you to get your ink at a discounted rate against OEM ink but also ensures it matches the quality of the manufacturer’s ink.
The benefits are clear. Working with a franking machine ink supplier that can provide Royal Mail approved ink will allow you to:
- Access high-quality consumables: Remanufactured third-party ink is comparable to brand manufactured ink
- Cut costsNo more paying excessive amounts for your ink and cartridges, access cheaper solutions that can provide similar quality
- Get everything in one place: Franking machine ink suppliers will have a large repository of ink products and cartridges for you to choose from, meaning you don’t have to go to different suppliers to get what you need.
What are Royal Mail approved ink cartridges?
These ink cartridges have been tested by Royal Mail through their Mail Centre Automation and can be recognised and validated by their systems for effective mail sorting. If you are using – or considering using – a Mailmark-enabled franking machine, you must use Royal Mail approved blue ink. The same applies to Smart franking machines.
Therefore, when purchasing ink cartridges or remanufactured ink cartridges for your franking machines, ensure that you:
- purchase from a reputable supplier who can provide cartridges that are compatible with your franking machine
- ensure the ink is Royal Mail approved.
At DPS, we provide a diverse range of compatible, Royal Mail approved ink and cartridges for franking machines. We believe that customers should have the option to purchase OEM ink or third-party ink where necessary to reduce expenditure – but still be able to get the same level of quality.
All of our franking inks provide the same yield as the original, and as we hold constant stock, you will never experience any delays to your order. If you want to find out more about our franking machine supplies, please click here.
Read our checklist which breaks down the elements of your franking machine costs to show you how much you're actually spending: