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What are compatible ink cartridges?
Compare with OEM ink cartridges, the compatible ink cartridges can offer same functionality as OEM one, they can work well with the OEM printer. But they are at much lower price.
What are OEM (original) ink cartridges?
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) ink cartridges is coming from the original maker, which represents good quality and guarantee, but, the price is normally higher that compatible one.
I always purchase ink from http://www.britanniainks.co.uk/
I think the refilled quility is very good.
I've refilled my own ink cartridges and bought commercially refilled ones as well. I assume you are thinking of the commercially refilled ink jet cartridges for your office. I found no difference in reliability or longevity between the refills and new, expensive OEM cartridges. For black and white printing I would not have a problem using refilled cartridges. My experience with color wasn't quite as good. While the quality was ok for casual use with the refills, the colors weren't as bright and there was often a lot of "banding," with lots of either vertical or horizontal lines noticeable in images. So, in short, I would use black ink refills, but I probably wouldn't use the color ones.
I remember reading this article a few years ago when I was asking the same question. There are some photos that show the banding issue I was talking about. The article is about commercially refilled cartridges, not the refill kits that you do yourself. To sum up, their results mostly mirror my experience. The refilled http://www.pcworld.com/article/147267/ThirdPartyInk.html
Nearly everything I've read online ranges from "if you're not too concerned about print quality, refilled ink cartridges are fine" to "stay away, refills aren't worth the trouble."
If most of your printing is for internal use, and quality really isn't an issue, and you can save a lot of money (as defined by you), it might be worth trying refilled ink cartridges -- assuming they can't mess up your printers.
But if the savings are minimal, why go through the bother and angst?