Cartridge Value

The Progression of HP Black Ink Cartridge Model Values Over Time (OEM)

    Cartridge Year Volume Retail Price Cost Breakdown
    51626 (HP 26) 1988 40ml ink $37.99 $0.95 per milliliter
    51629 (HP 29) 1995 40ml ink $37.79 $0.95 per milliliter
    51645 (HP 45) 1997 42ml ink $36.79 $0.88 per milliliter
    C6614 (HP 20) 1999 28ml ink $37.99 $1.36 per milliliter
    C6615 (HP 15) 2000 25ml ink $37.79 $1.51 per milliliter
    C6656 (HP 56) 2002 19ml ink $23.99 $1.26 per milliliter
    C8727 (HP 27) 2002 10ml ink $19.99 $2.00 per milliliter
    C8765 (HP 94) 2005 11ml ink $23.99 $2.18 per milliliter
    C9351 (HP 21) 2006 5 ml ink $14.99 $3.00 per milliliter

*Based on current retail store prices

A Trend of Decreasing Volumes

See how the ink volume has been decreasing disproportionately to price in recent years?

The “51645” cartridge is $0.71 per milliliter, producing 833 pages of text while the “C9352” – “CC653AN” cartridges are $3.00 per milliliter and can only print 150 pages of text (based on 5% coverage). This equates to .03 cents per page for the older cartridge compared to .10 cents per page for the newer ones.

Since the cost of the OEM cartridges are very expensive, remanufactured cartridges are the most cost effective choice for printers that exclusively use the HP 21 and HP 22 cartridges.

The remanufactured cartridges contain a much larger quantity of ink for a lower price.
HP 21 OEM 5ml $14.99 or $3.00 per milliliter
HP 21 remanufactured 10 ml $13.97 or $1.40 per milliliter –less than half the price!

This seems to be one of the best places for quality remanufactured HP ink cartridges.

What are Remanufactured Inkjet cartridges?

Simply put, a remanufactured inkjet cartridge is a cartridge that has been collected, inspected, emptied, cleaned, refilled, tested and packaged for reuse. All remanufactured cartridges were originally OEM cartridges at some point.

Remanufactured inkjet cartridges (like most HP inkjet cartridges) have a built in printhead on each cartridge. The built in printhead on most HP OEM cartridge models mean that an empty cartridge has some value due to the electronics built into the ink tank. The complex, patented design of a cartridge with built in printhead makes it impossible to duplicate as a new cartridge so they must be refilled.

The chrome rectangle on the bottom of a remanufactured cartridge is the actual printhead that moves ink to paper via a series of tiny little nozzles. The copper colored foil area with little vanilla squares is the contact area AKA contact strip. The 3/16” squares located on the contact strip need to align with the pins in the carriage (portion of the printer that carries the inkjet cartridges and moves side to side across the paper) in order to complete a circuit. Binary information travels from the printer, through the contact pins, through the contact strip and ultimately to the printhead which then fires 1 of 100’s to 1000’s of individual nozzles.

Companies that remanufacture HP inkjet cartridges acquire empty through various sources.

The empty cartridges are inspected prior to undergoing the remanufacturing process o ensure that the printhead and other electronics are in good condition before starting the process.

The cartridges that pass inspection are drained of any remaining ink, then flushed with cleaning solution, ultrasonically cleaned, and new parts installed where needed. Once prepared, they are refilled with new high quality ink formulated for the make and model of the cartridge. The cartridges are then print tested to ensure proper performance, and then repackaged for reuse. All of these steps are necessary to create a quality-reused cartridge that will perform as well as the OEM.

The remanufactured cartridges usually contain the same amount of ink as the OEM if not more, as with the HP 21 and HP 22. This fact, along with a lower selling price makes the remanufactured cartridges a much better buy.