Buying ink cartridges is the most expensive part of maintaining a printer, and to buy them you need to know details about your printer. There are thousands of types of ink cartridges and, although they may look the same, they are all made for specific types of printers. The best way to buy ink cartridges is to have the printer brand and model number at hand for easy location of cartridges in stores or online.
Determine if you have an inkjet or toner printer. Lift the front flap of the printer and look at the cartridges. A color inkjet printer uses two or four small cartridges, while a toner color printer uses four larger cylinder cartridges. Some toner printers print only black and have just one large cartridge.
Locate the printer’s model number. This is usually on the front or top of the printer. It will also be in the documentation that came with your printer.
Find the compatible ink cartridges for your printer brand and model number. Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM ,cartridges are the most expensive and are made by the company that produces the printer. Compatible ink cartridges are a generic brand and are less expensive.
Purchase the ink cartridges at any store that carries them or online. Options include Staples, OfficeMax, Walmart, Target and other larger office supply stores or large retailer.
- Avoid buying more than a three-month supply of ink cartridges at once. The ink can dry out and cause clogged print heads.