By Terence Narayanan
The production and sale of fake goods is a worldwide, multi-billion rand problem that has a serious impact on our economy. Businesses and consumers suffer alike, yet the consequences of buying counterfeit goods is often overlooked in the search for bargain price knock-offs that seem too good to resist.
However, when it comes to printer consumables such as ink and toner, there’s no doubt that original cartridges are far superior to the generic or knock-off type. Yes, they cost a little more, but users are paying for quality. They are also paying to ensure that warranties are honoured and that cheaper versions don’t damage expensive equipment.
Genuine cartridges are typically the best choice for printers, but can be difficult to understand why without trying both. Unfortunately, experimenting in this way can cause a lot of trouble.
Businesses should also avoid using any grey market products. Grey market cartridges are those that are intended for sale in one region but are diverted to another region without the vendor’s authorisation.
Counterfeit cartridges are non-vendor cartridges (new-build clones, refilled, or remanufactured) that are labelled and packaged to trick a potential customer into believing that they are the real deal.
There are several reasons why businesses should always purchase the original manufacturer's products:
Top vendors such as HP invest heavily in programs that are intended to help reduce grey market and counterfeit toner cartridges and get them off the market. These programs help protect HP partners and customers by:
There are several ways in which HP is identifying and reducing violations.
Firstly, by enabling regulators and investigators to trace origins in compliance reviews and audits, and secondly, by offering additional layers of fraud protection from grey market, counterfeit, and stolen goods by tightening supply chain security.
Certain original HP Toner cartridges are coded to ensure they only work with printers from the same region. HP cartridge boxes will feature messaging that alerts customers and channel partners to the zone for which the product is intended. This assists with identifying cartridges that are meant for sale in a particular region, and which have been diverted to another region without HP’s consent or authorisation.
In addition, HP adds serial numbers to the security labels on some of its Original HP Toner cartridge boxes and has put processes in place to track the product, from the vendor to the distributor, to the second-tier reseller. This helps to prevent grey market products from slipping under the radar and into the supply chain. Moreover, the use of serialisation is a good weapon in the fight to expose grey marketers that compete with legitimate HP partners.
Counterfeit supplies not only cost businesses time and money with costly reprints – they can seriously damage your printers. That’s why HP takes time to educate its partners and their customers on how to recognise, report, and prevent counterfeit goods.
It’s very easy for partners and customers to verify the authenticity of their ink and toner cartridges by checking the security label on the box, scanning the QR code, or manually entering the serial number. This can be done on the website, or by downloading the HP SureSupply app. Users can also use any generic QR code reader, and scan the code on the cartridge's security label.
Furthermore, partners or customers can ask for an onsite delivery inspection if they suspect any dubious bids or that their delivery might contain counterfeit products.
There are several things to look for when trying to establish whether a cartridge is a genuine HP one, or a fake.
Visible security labels, standard pricing, proper packaging, and reliable performance are the main key attributes of original HP cartridges.
Of course, buying printing supplies from a trusted partner such as Tarsus Distribution means that none of these steps are necessary.
There are many good reasons to choose original HP inks and toners, but perhaps the best one, is that there is simply no substitute for the real McCoy. Counterfeit, refilled, or remanufactured cartridges cannot hope to even come close, and can end up causing more trouble than they're worth.
Original HP cartridges deliver a low total cost of printing in the long run, while fake ones can impact productivity negatively, increase costs with reprints, and produce low-quality results.
Original HP inks and toners promise rapid, efficient printing and impressive results, while their counterfeit counterparts offer no assurance of quality at all. Similarly, while the real deal is backed by 20 years of research and development, the same can’t be said for fake products.
In addition, genuine HP cartridges are backed by outstanding support, service, and a warranty. They are built for results that are reliable and consistent, guaranteeing work that stands out from the rest with professional, quality prints.
HP original ink and toner cartridges are also more sustainable. HP ensures that its cartridges do not land up in landfills, and provides free and easy recycling in more than 60 countries around the world.
Moreover, in terms of indoor air quality, original HP Toner Cartridges meet eco-label emission criteria and are designed and tested with users’ health in mind.
HP also designs its cartridges to offer an additional layer of security with tamper-resistant and secure cartridge chips. HP chips in Original HP office printer cartridges contain tamper-resistant, proprietary HP firmware which helps to prevent any tampering or modification by others after production, which in turn, helps to lower the risk of malicious code entering the cartridge chip.
All original HP office printer cartridges that were introduced in 2015 and onwards, employ smart card technology that facilitates a secure transaction between the printer and the cartridge.
The tech giant’s chips are certified as Evaluation Assurance Level or EAL5+ and have been manufactured in facilities where products achieved EAL5+ certification.
Finally, in terms of supply chain security, original HP office cartridges are certified with ISO/IEC 20243 standard that ensures product integrity to mitigate malicious tampering and counterfeit in the supply chain.