Generic printer ink cartridges

Has anyone used generic ink cartridges with success? I’m looking at the website Inkstation to purchase Epsom Stylus cartridges - significantly cheaper than Officeworks and the hundreds of reviews are glowing fo course. Naturally the manufacturers say don’t use, but then so does Nespresso and the supermarket capsules work fine so is this scaremongering. I know that newer printers won’t accept generic, but that in itself suggest they do work and thus use of prevented. Keen to hear of anyone else’s experience.


I have used generics in my Brothers for years with no worries I could attribute to the inks. I did have a cart last year that was not recognised by the printer (bad chip in the cart). The vendor took care of me very well.

However each printer manufacturer has a different tactic for compatible inks. Some screw with you and others do not. The only relevant responses will be from Epson printer owners using generics. FWIW business shops that sell printers almost always sell original and generic inks. If you find an Epson seller who stocks generics for your printer that is a good omen.


I use generic toner in my Fuji-Xerox CM305df - I don’t regret spending on the laser - aftermarket toner has worked fine for me.

For ink you could look into a CISS - I had one from - they work find if you * follow the instructions to the letter *, I did have a ‘braveheart moment’ where I covered my face in cyan :slight_smile: funny in hindsight but took some cleaning - I did the wrong thing and pressurised to canister.


We have used generic ink cartridges and laser toner for many years, for Cannon & HP printers.

It may be that if there is an impediment on using generic cartridges they won’t sell for that particular printer. So when buying, make sure you purchase for your exact model of printer. What they sell you will have to work with your printer.


Have bought cartridges from Ink Station for my Epson XP410; no problems at all!


I recommend ‘INKJET WHOLESALE’ I have been buying ink from them for about 10 years and always use the generic ink and have never had a problem. And you will find it hard to beat their prices. And if you order say on a monday you will have it on the Wednesday.


I ordered my third party HP toner cartridges this week from Better Batt, who replied:

We just found out that the HP Color Laserjet Pro M154nw printer has updated its firmware and it will not recognise the toners we have in stock.

I still have some “old” cartridges at home, so this has annoyed me. I have not signed up to the HP App because it checks the installed toner to see if it is genuine, and I preferred to trade off the advantages to preserve some privacy.

Have always had sterling service from Better Batt, but both Canon and HP have now left me fuming. I see this as a scheme by HP to keep peddling overpriced “genuine” cartridges.


That’s exactly what it is.

I would not touch another HP product with a a barge pole.


HP has already had legal difficulties in Australia because of this, and undertook to ‘fix’ its firmware and pay affected consumers $50 each.

If when you bought your printer you were advised that it would only accept HP ink, then you are not covered by this settlement; the basis of the agreement was that printers were sold without advising the purchaser that they would only accept the manufacturer’s ink.

Check the fine print that came with your printer (and needed to be visible at the time of purchase - no weasel words inside the packaging) to see if it stated it would only accept HP ink. While the ACCC agreement related to specific printer models, if HP has again done dodgy things the ACCC would undoubtedly like to know.


I sympathise. I use authentic toners (from Inkstation) for my colour printer. However, I only ever print in black and white and yet curiously I get notifications that the colour toners are running low despite never having been used!! I remove them, wipe them down and reinstall. I wonder if there is a timing mechanism that sends the low ink alert rather than it being based on usage in a bid to drive more ink sales. I have contacted Epsom but got told to take the printer to a dealer for inspection. Yeh right!

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All ink jets run routine clean cycles for all the colours, and thus use ink even if you do not print.

From Epson

Some printers, including my Brother, has settings to only use the black for black, but it still uses colours during the cleaning cycle.

Some make and models will and some will not print black and white if any cart reads empty.

I hope that helps.


The other odious practice is region coding of toner and ink cartridges, which has been raised on this site before.

Of course manufacturers sell these schemes as a means to give the user perfect results. We know the schemes are to make money as the first objective and quality falls somewhere below that perhaps even last in the manufacturers concerns. Monochrome printing certainly only uses one “colour” and I doubt that is a hard one to match, you still have “you should only use Genuine” but why couldn’t refills or well made after market cartridge sets meet the challenge? No reason that I could think of, my Brother Colour Laser happily accepts after market without any hiccups, with no quips about genuine, and great print results still come out each and every time.

I had an issue with my Canon laser being out of alignment. Their Support and discussion groups insisted that it would be solved by replacing all toner cartridges with originals. Several users pleaded that they had never used anything but genuine Canon and replacing with more genuine product did not fix the problem. Same with people replacing generics with genuine. Didn’t work.

In the end I had to give up on Canon as they no longer manufactured cartridges for that model. I was using a refilling shop who sold me HP cartridges that fitted until having the magenta out of alignment finally irked me so much that I gutted the Canon and sent to scrap.

I bought a HP in the hope that I could keep using the cartridges, only to find they were a millimetre out. So they went back to be recycled. I would hate to add up all the wasted toner and cartridges.


Hi, thanks for that. I doubt that routine clean cycles would render colour cartridges empty at the same time as the mono ink cartridge that prints daily. I also get messages stating the printer does not recognise the cartridge despite them being genuine, usually after an Epsom software update. I contacted Epsom who said I should clean the cartridge and reinstall but that doesn’t always work, I usually have to install a new cartridge despite the old one not being empty. I won’t buy Epsom again.


@saimi posted a link to a relevant Choice article in another topic about Right to Repair. Epson is mentioned.


After looking at posts in this topic yesterday, I thought I should order a set of cartridges for our new Epson Workforce Pro WF-4830 and went to the Inkstation website which I have been using for years.

Much to my surprise, they and everyone else only have genuine Epson cartridges.

Calidad don’t list them, perhaps because it is a new model, and I have messaged them to ask if and when they will have them.

The $199 printer is fantastic and does everything but make my morning coffee but I don’t want to be paying over $100 for a standard set or over $160 for a high capacity set of cartridges.


Thanks for that.


Calidad replied today to say they do not have cartridges for my model and did not mention if they ever will…

I can only hope that as it is a reasonably high capacity business model, the cartridges last a lot longer than our previous Canon units.

I have experienced no issues using generic printer ink for Canon or Epson printers, especially as the cartridges have the same chip installed like the branded equivalents which are more expensive and contain less ink. You can fire up your trusty web search engine to find who sells the generic cartridges online.

I am not mentioning who I buy mine from especially as HP has recently commenced legal action to restrict ink vendors being able to sell generic cartridges. Hence a HP branded printer will never appear in my household, particularly as the essential software that is installed also contains much useless bloatware that adds no value and slows down the most basic printing actions.

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‘Epsom’ as in salts! :rofl:

I purchased an Epson Workforce printer, per a previous Choice recommended buy. It worked really well for the first 2.5 years and three changes of the high capacity inks. After which it chose to not print any ink consistently despite numerous cleaning cycles and realignments. Print head failure? The cost as high as a new printer. Lousy value all up. All done with real Epson inks too!

I’ve moved on and the slightly cheaper and less sexy Brother MFC inkjet works just as it should. While the Epson printed photos more reliably, we found it much more economical to do that from a kiosk at a Kmart, Office Works etc. Assuming it could wait for a trip into the urban jungle.

We use the MFC as often for document scanning as for printing.

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