InfoTrends: Purchasing Ink, Toner Online is Risky for Both End-Users and OEMs

Canon 118 Replacement Toner Cartridge

A new study published by market-research InfoTrends, Sizing Ink & Toner E-Commerce: Mapping the Impact of China and Third-party Supplies, finds that purchasing supplies through e-commerce marketplaces is risky for both OEMs and end-users. Preliminary results from InfoTrends’ Business Purchasing Survey shows that about 20 percent of businesses report that they “shop the internet” among the top two ways in which they buy ink and toner cartridges. Among the 20 percent, almost half of those businesses reported issues with product purchases.

“We believe that e-commerce represents the largest threat of third-party toner and inkjet cartridges to the OEMS and domestic remanufacturers,” commented John Shane, Director at InfoTrends. “This creates a serious marketing challenge as both the customer experience and brand integrity can be negatively impacted.”

There are several risk factors that vendors face, according to InfoTrends:

  • E-Commerce marketplaces offer supplies buyers a bewildering assortment of ink and toner cartridges – these include remanufactured cartridges, new-build compatibles, and unknowns.
  • Many third-party ink and toner supplies sold on the Internet appear to be patent- or trademark-infringing.
  • Third-party supplies sold via the Internet often cost 20-percent less than the cost of OEM supplies
  • Users may or may not be receiving the products that they are expecting.
  • Competitive manufacturing sources are frequently unknown.

Results  from the new InfoTrends are said to:

  • Qualify the impact of e-commerce marketplace.
  • Size the annual units and revenues (at final sale) of inkjet and toner cartridges by Internet-based retailer.
  • Identify key industry marketing challenges.
  • Profile the customer purchase process, product, and overall experience from a cross-section of internet-based retailers.
  • Profile the customers of inkjet and toner cartridges from internet-based retailers and understand their characteristics, behavior, and experiences.
  • Distill multiple data sources to characterize the impact of third-party supplies on the internet

For more information on Sizing Ink & Toner E-Commerce: Mapping the Impact of China and Third-party Supplies, see InfoTrends’  online brochure or contact

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