What's the difference?
Before I discuss the choices, here is a definition of what is meant by OEM and remanufactured:
Original or OEM is a printer cartridge that has been produced by the same manufacturer as your printer model. For example if you have a Samsung printer, then the OEM cartridge would have been manufactured by Samsung.
Remanufactured (sometimes referred to as own brand) cartridges are previously used OEM cartridges that have been refilled and have components that have been replaced. Generally, the main plastic casing of the OEM is cleaned, refilled, and then the mechanical components and springs are replaced with brand new parts. In simple terms, buying a remanufactured cartridge is equivalent to buying something like Asdas own brand ketchup rather than Heinz.
So, now to the big question, which do you choose?
Some companies do claim that 'remanufactured cartridges are amazing, are better than the originals and produce the finest results whatever you are printing' but the truth is, it's very unlikely that anything with reused parts will ever be as good as a product created by the manufacturer because of general wear and tear, so let's discuss the pros and cons:
Pros and Cons
There are many pros and cons for each type, for example the biggest benefit of buying remanufactured cartridges is the reduced cost compared to the OEM and you can often purchase a cartridge with a higher capacity of ink or toner. On the flip side, remanufactured cartridges often have a higher failure rate and the quality of prints can sometimes miss the mark.
So what you really need to ask yourself is; what am I printing and for what reason? For example, if you are printing documents for personal use and the quality of a printout doesn't really matter, then stick to remanufactured cartridges. Some will be as good as the originals, produce great quality documents and are worth the cost savings, but if you are a graphics designer and you need high quality print outs for customers or a portfolio, do you really want to run the risk of trying a remanufactured product? I very much doubt it! In general, if you were printing black and white documents or simple colour prints; for example an invoice or a poster, I would say that a remanufactured cartridge is perfect.
Some retailers will offer a warranty or guarantee with their own brand cartridges, which is usually longer than the warranty you would get from an OEM.
One point I will stress, is that some companies often sell very low cost, low quality remanufactured cartridges, so be warned. A good way to spot the higher quality remanufactured cartridges is the length of the warranty. If the reseller doesn't provide a long warranty, do they really have full confidence in their product?
The next time you think 'OEM or Remanufactured?' think about what you are going to print and what quality you require. A good rule that is tried and tested in life is that you often get what you pay for! Every consumer will have their own take on the matter and there will be some people who have had a bad experience, but keep in mind that every company's remanufactured cartridges will be different and if you need to save money, why not take a chance? I leave the decision up to you.