Hardware Thread, Company offering free printers!? in Technical; Had a rep from the company 'Cartridge Stockroom' visit. He is offering us as many free printers as we want ...
18th October 2010, 11:25 AM #1
- Rep Power
Company offering free printers!?
Had a rep from the company 'Cartridge Stockroom' visit. He is offering us as many free printers as we want as long as we buy a set of cartridges for each one, and only replace them with their remanufactured cartridges. They guarantee the printers for the length of the contract with them (2 years).
It all sounds too good to be true, but I can't see a catch. They've sent us some of their cartridges to test and they seem at least as good as HP originals. He was quite up front and said the printers were "a bribe". He also told us he has had problems breaking in to the schools market.
Has anyone heard of them/ had dealings? They are an Austrian company, also known as Emstar.
18th October 2010, 11:43 AM #2
I suppose one thing you have to think about is the cost of the toners from them...(they must be making thier money back somewhere). There are so many cheaper alternative around at the moment and so many cheap printers! Also are they new printers..if so are they just charging you for the inks/toners that you would usually get for free in the printer anyway! I would be interested in what printers they are offering you and what they are charging you for the toners! I can than tell you if you are getting a good deal or if they are taking the mick!!
18th October 2010, 11:51 AM #3
- Rep Power
They will send us brand new boxed printers (with the set up toners that they are supplied with). The colour laserjets they suggest are HP CP3520. Their cartridges are all cheaper than oems to varying extents depending on the cartridge, many are 'over-filled' to give greater yield.
18th October 2010, 11:53 AM #4
This is how it works
They supply a printer worth lets say £120.. they bought for £100.00 trade
They make £20.00 on each toner cartridge so they have to sell you 4 to break even ... any more is profit ....
They also have a new customer !!!
This is just an example and different Printer/toner could vary but the principle remains the same
18th October 2010, 03:42 PM #5
I have had companies try sell me these. I worked it out its allot cheaper to buy the printer and get remans from someone else
18th October 2010, 03:50 PM #6
I have to Say it sounds good but i think they will try and rip you off with the cartridges. We have the Inkwell scheme with Silicon Alley who sponsor the behind the red door forum.
They have a cupboard in our school (which they provide!) and fill with cartridges for the printers we have. Then once a month we will out a form on the website saying what we have taken and they invoice us for that amount plus send new cartridges to fill the cupboard back up.
It says saying buying 10 cartridges for printers then after using 2 or 3 the printer is replaced leaving you with loads of cartrigdes that you cannot use
18th October 2010, 03:56 PM #7
2 years is a long time, you may be stuck with an ever increasing price on the toners themselves unable to break away from this 'contract'. I'd be very careful, nothing in life is free and certainly when it comes to companies getting into the education sector.
Ring round and find out what it would cost you to find the same from someone offering a printer for a price.
18th October 2010, 04:03 PM #8
It's the 2 year element of the deal thats not OK.
If you have capital money issues then maybe its OK for you but if not - buy the printer yourself and then buy the cartridges yourself - suppliers fall over themselves in offering you the "best" deals for these
18th October 2010, 05:34 PM #9
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21st October 2010, 11:25 AM #10
I took a call from them yesterday after reading this post. Must say i'm not keen on the "free printer offer but tied in for 2yrs" although apparantly, they do "marathon" cartridges which are meant to print alot more than the cartridge is designed for. My opinion on this is that the physical toner hopper (and waste hoppers) are only designed to hold so much toner, so surely it's a physical impossibility to make extra-extra high yield? An example I was given was the HP 2600n range, colours typically 2k yield @ 5%, with their cartridges allegedly doing 3.5k yield with a different chip.
Personally I don't buy into this and i'd welcome someone from the company to "properly" explain to me how this works, although given the above post outcome i'm not sure if that'll happen. What's the general feeling here about that claim? As it turns out the price per-page still can't price-beat what we're paying already but still, i'm intrigued how this claim can be made when i've never heard of a a high-yield for these before!
21st October 2010, 11:29 AM #11
My worry would on these 'extended life' toners is that the drum inside the toner cartidge is really only supposed to do so many prints...and by the time you get to using the 'extra capacity' in the toners, the drum (which may not be new anyway!) may well start giving you poor image quality!..these are just my thoughts!
21st October 2010, 11:30 AM #12
I've got no general problem with companies claiming 50% extra for re-fills as I buy cartridges all the time with different capacities but I once had a company claiming 700%
One problem with overfilling 2600's is that the waste container part of the cartidge already gets too full even with normal fill levels (according to my engineering mates at Cartridge World) so I don't think extra toner in this case is a good idea.
21st October 2010, 12:03 PM #13
My thoughts exactly (relating to insufficient space in the hopper causing a risk of leakage when it gets too full) which is what I noted to them yesterday; the response I got was:
As Vicki said too, the drums are only designed for 2000 so there are so many factors which make this claim (especially on this range) really concerning!
the main cause of leakage was always due to remanufacturers not having access to wiper blades of a sufficient standard to prevent waste toner from escaping the hopper. We’ve now been able to resolve this issue by designing our own.
21st October 2010, 01:52 PM #14
- Rep Power
Right...I'm hoping that this doesn't get seen as an illegal attempt at marketting
To answer the question raised about how you achieve a higher page yeild on certain products, notably the 2600/2605 models which do have a tiny waste toner hopper, it mostly comes down to the transfer rate (i.e. efficiency) of the powders used.
OEM transfer rates on this model sits over 90%. This means that more than 90% of the toner ends up on the page and less than 10% in the waste toner hopper. A high-end chemical toner, whilst much more expensive (sometimes more than double) than a cheap organic (or mechanical) powder can deliver 90% efficiency or more. Lower end organic powders deliver transfer rates far below this, meaning the waste hopper fills quickly and leaks out of the cartridge. To demonstrate this, OEM cartridges leak a lot less than remanufactured cartridges. Ad the efficiency of the powders is the reason why.
A lot of remanufacturers blame the cartridge to hide the fact that they wish to cut costs in their manufacturing by using cheaper powders. The Q6000/1/2/3A toners are far from perfect in design, but such excuses are no longer justified given the quality of powders made available in the aftermarket in the past couple of years.
Thanks to CartridgeStockroom from:
salan (21st October 2010)
22nd October 2010, 03:35 PM #15
Well firstly, can I thank Arash from Cartridge Stockroom on his very thorough explanation of their business model and spending in excess of an hour to me on the phone yesterday(!) There were a few unhappy staff when they eventually did manage to get through to us though, however that is another matter! The fact I wasn't desperate to hang-up says something I guess!
On the subject of the free printer offer, I do get the impression it is a genuine offer; however on the HP printers under this offer, for us at least, the cost-per-page still can't compete with the cheapest prices we're already getting on our existing printers with existing reman cartridge suppliers that we're happy with, so for the time being for us I don't think that is an avenue we'll explore. In saying that, we'd instantly save money if we replaced our CP1515n printers for example, although jumping in to a 2yr contract isn't something you do quickly! Didn't go enough in to it to know the ins and outs about price fluctuation etc.
On the quality of the cartridges, I am assured their toner "quality" (not quantity or quality of the remanufacturing process) is the same as the OEM cartridges. Of course, we haven't bought any of Cartridge Stockroom's cartridges so I couldn't possibly verify or vouch for that. For us, this is rather meaningless as we have to put cost at the forefront as opposed to toner quality, and generally speaking we're already satisfied with the cartridges we receive now, even if they probably use the inferior mechanical power that I guess most remanufactured cartridges use (again though, can't possibly verify that as I'm not an expert in the field)! All I know is generally speaking they work for us.
I suppose what I was most intrigued about was the extra-high yield claims, most particularly on the HP 2600n range. The issue of the drum isn't a big one, as I already know most remanufactured cartridges use the same drum to do another cycle for possibly in excess of 4000 pages (except on magenta), so a cartridge claiming to do 3500 in that respect won't be negatively affected by the drum. I think as I understand it, and as explained above, toner quality/efficiency plays a factor in waste percentage and also whether the toner hopper can actually fit this amount in.
I still have reservations about this though, despite the very long explanation on the phone, so I suppose the only way to really test this is to get one and see (disappointed my request of a freebie was turned down though ). The good thing for us on this range is that, if the 3500 yield is achieveable without compromise and risk, the cost per-page works out equal to that of our cheapest standard yield remanufactured cartridge we can buy, so if we get the full 3500 yield amount compared to 2k, we're not financially losing out.
I think the push from this company in terms of their cartridges is about quality of toner and an extra premium on top of that to get the same "quality" OEMs use. Unfortunately for someone like me, i'm very price-driven (both professionally on behalf of our school but also outside school too), so it'd take quite alot to convince me that paying more for something to essentially achieve "roughly" the same result is better! Somehow, I don't think management would be happy if the consumable bills went up again because we're now using cartridges with a better powder!
Anyway, thanks Arash for your time yesterday (I know you'll be checking this thread). As the company isn't a sponsor, i've tried not to sound in any way promotional or favouring (I don't see how I could be mind as we only spoke yesterday), though i've just tried to give my own opinion, whether that helps anyone reading the thread who like me are skeptical about the offers/claims! If I do bite the bullet and buy 1 or 2 of their cartridges, i'd be sure to either verify or dismiss the claims!
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