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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find what you are looking for please get in touch. One of our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help. We are often able to source even the most obscure ink or toner cartridge. Email: Phone: 0203 001 0234 (calls are charged at normal UK national rates) Customer service representatives are available Monday to Friday 8am-6pm (excluding Bank Holidays), Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.

Having trouble printing? Occasionally, you may encounter an error code when trying to print. If this happens, we'd strongly advise you to click here and select your printer brand and printer error code from the list shown. From there you'll be able search through the common codes and be given information on how to resolve your issue.

"HP Protected Cartridge Error"

If you have seen this message appear on your HP printer, please click here and find out what you can do to solve this issue.


I have unwanted cartridges, unopened, will you accept them back?

We are happy to provide a refund for any unwanted items or items bought in error that are returned to us within 30 days of purchase, providing the packaging is unopened and the goods are in resalable condition. Please return the cartridges to: Cartridge People Returns Department Unit 13 Orion Park University Way Crewe Cheshire CW1 6NG Please ensure that you include your name, full billing address including postcode, order number and a contact telephone number inside the package. We recommend that you ask your post office for a proof of posting receipt as the postal service do not accept liability for lost items without this (this is free of charge). Upon receipt of your cartridges we will process your refund.

Ink Cartridge Information

What is an original (OEM) cartridge?

An 'original' or 'OEM' cartridge is a cartridge which has been manufactured by the brand specifically for their printer. For example, a cartridge manufactured by Epson for an Epson printer. 'Original' cartridges often cost more than 'compatible' cartridges.

What is a compatible inkjet cartridge?

Compatible ink cartridges are specially remanufactured to meet OEM specifications. Our compatible cartridges are manufactured to the very highest standards of quality and reliability and offer excellent results. A compatible cartridge will print as many or more pages than your OEM cartridge. Not only are compatible cartridges cheaper, your cost per page will also be reduced due to the increased ink levels.

What is a compatible remanufactured cartridge?

A compatible 'remanufactured' cartridge (generally referred to as remanufactured) is an empty 'original' cartridge. For example, an empty branded cartridge that has been factory cleaned, refilled to the maximum capacity and fully tested. Inkjet cartridges sold as 'remanufactured' products are cartridges that have been used at least once by a consumer and then refilled by a third party. Ink cartridges can be recycled and refilled up to seven times, which has a positive impact on the environment; reducing waste and decreasing the use of plastics.

Does using a compatible cartridge void my warranty?

Using a compatible printer cartridge does not affect the warranty unless failure or damage is attributable to it. Keep in mind that the ink does not come into contact with any part of the printer or its internal parts other than the cartridge itself and the print head. The ink is applied to the paper as the paper is fed through the printer. Should your printer be damaged as a direct result of the cartridges (original or compatible) supplied to you by the Cartridge People, we will either replace or repair your printer free of charge. Any hardware problems with the printer are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Will I get the same number of printed pages from a compatible cartridge as an original cartridge?

You will get at least the same number of printed pages, and often more, from compatible cartridges as you will get from original (OEM) cartridges.

What is the life span of an ink cartridge?

The life span of an ink cartridge varies, depending upon a number of factors. The most important factor is whether the cartridge is opened or sealed. Cartridges sealed in the original packaging and stored in a cool, dry place should last up to two years. However the cartridges must be sufficiently protected while in storage, because even a small pin-prick in the packaging will break the seal and the ink will start to dry out. It is also a good idea to store your cartridges in an upright position as they would be placed in the printer. The lifespan of a cartridge also depends on the kind of wear and tear it gets over the time period it is in use. If you do a lot of colour printing obviously the ink cartridges will become empty much quicker.

What is a printhead?

A printhead is the device within the printer that actually sprays the droplets of ink onto the paper If it weren't for the printheads, you would always end up with a blank piece of paper! A lot of printers these days use cartridges that already have the printheads attached to them. To see a printhead, take your ink cartridge out, flip it over and look for a metal bar. That area is the printhead. On the other hand, some older printers will have separate print heads. If this is the case, they are located right next to where the ink cartridges snap into place. If you're still not sure where your print heads are, you should be able to find some more information about them in your printer manual.

What is a photo cartridge?

Some HP, Dell, Lexmark and Canon printers can operate with a 'photo' cartridge. These cartridges will fit into the BLACK port, and work alongside the usual colour cartridge. They are designed to offer the very best colour definition possible when you are printing photographs – by giving the printer a total palette of six colours. If you print mainly black and colour documents then using a photo cartridge isn’t beneficial. Photo cartridges contain a very small amount of black ink (about one third of the black only cartridge).

What is an image drum?

Although it may be referred to as an imaging/drum unit or photoreceptor drum, an image drum is primarily responsible for transferring the toner along with the image or text, onto the paper. In order for this transfer to take place, an initial positive charge is received from the corona wire (a charged wire inside the printer). From there, the laser will then write on the drum and a negative charge appears where the image/text should appear. As the paper is fed through the rollers, the negative charge pulls the toner from the cartridge to the drum before transferring onto the paper. Once the toner hits the drum, the oppositely charged areas are attracted to it in order to create the text and images. After this has taken place, the paper goes through a ‘fuser unit’ which effectively melts the toner to the page holding the image on the page. The imaging unit itself can go through a lot of wear and tear. This is due to the drum being repeatedly hit by a laser and this will eventually see performance drop. A way in which you can identify when the drum is ready to be replaced is if black spots on the page begin to look lighter. It’s worth noting that a brand new toner cartridge will fail to resolve the issue of faded text and pictures. The number of pages an image drum can print before it needs replacing can vary from anywhere between 10,000 to 25,000 pages. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to include drum units with cartridges meaning that customers can combine replacing the toner cartridge with the image drum itself. We would recommend looking through your printer manual in order to determine the best course of action should you encounter an image drum issue.

What is the best way to store cartridges?

Always store your cartridge upright (for example, with the print head at the bottom) as it would be placed in your printer, as during shipping the cartridge could get jolted and shaken around and the air which is normally at the top may have moved to the bottom. By storing the cartridge upright the ink is free to settle, the air will rise to the top and the ink will flow freely without any air bubbles. If you install the cartridge as soon as you receive it and you have a problem with the print quality then leave it overnight before attempting to print again. This will allow the ink to settle. When installing a new printer cartridge always make sure that you remove the protective clip (if there is one on the print head) and any print head tape. The printer automatically runs a print head cleaning routine after new cartridges are installed. If however the print quality is not as you expected, please run another print head cleaning cycle via the printer’s software.

I have used compatible cartridges in the past, why won't my printer accept them anymore?

Software on the printer can produce the message you see regarding low or zero ink levels if the machine detects a cartridge that is not a manufacturer's original cartridge. The cartridge should last as long if not longer than the original. If you feel that the cartridge has run out quicker than you anticipated, then please contact a member of the customer service team. However, there may be a problem with the communication link between the cartridge and your printer – this can be caused by dirt, such as dust or even a fingerprint, on the copper contact plate on the cartridge. Please follow these cleaning instructions to resolve the problem: Place some newspaper down to capture any spillage of ink. Remove the cartridge from your printer – switch your printer off. Using a piece of damp kitchen paper, gently wipe the copper plate on the cartridge to give it a thorough clean. Allow the chip to dry. Once the chip is completely dry, reinstall the cartridge into your printer and switch the printer back on. We recommend that you run the print head cleaning programme on your printer to clean the heads and push the ink through. For best results you should run the programme three to four times.

How do I get more prints from my cartridge?

It is worth noting that cartridges often still contain anywhere from 8% to 30% of their ink when a low ink/replace cartridge message appears. Your printer is likely to be set at 'factory setting' which will give the best print quality possible. Some changes worth considering to improve page yield where print quality is not paramount are listed below: • Set the print quality to 'draft' • Set the colour to 'print in grayscale' • Avoid large fonts • Generally use smaller font size • Print preview – proof before you print.

What should I do if my printer cartridge is not being recognised in the printer?

This could be caused by a problem with the communication link between the cartridge and the printer – this is usually caused by dirt, such as dust or even a fingerprint, on the copper contact plate on the cartridge. Try this: Place some newspaper down to capture any spillage of ink. Remove the cartridge from your printer – switch your printer off. Using a piece of damp kitchen roll, gently wipe the copper plate on the cartridge to give it a thorough clean. Allow the chip to dry. Once the chip is completely dry, reinstall the cartridge into the printer and switch the printer back on. We would recommend that you run the print head cleaning programme on your printer to clean the heads and push the ink through. For best results you should run the programme three to four times.

My ink cartridge has arrived and it's leaking, what should I do?

Occasionally, items can get damaged during transit. If this is the case, please contact our customer service team immediately. Please do not attempt to open the cartridge from the packaging and, more importantly, DO NOT try to install the cartridge into your printer. If you have received a damaged/leaking cartridge, we will send you another cartridge along with a postage paid label for you to return the damaged/leaking cartridge to us.

The cartridge you sent me is correct but why does it look different?

First of all, please check that you have ordered correctly for your printer. Make sure you are placing the correct cartridge into the correct carriage. Some compatible cartridges may look slightly different to the originals. All of our cartridges have been thoroughly tested and the cartridge you received should work in your printer. Our products are only sourced from manufacturers with the highest standards, and are all fully guaranteed to give peace of mind as part of our Performance Pledge.

How many times can you refill an ink cartridge?

The amount of times a cartridge can be refilled depends on the care taken between refilling and the inkjet print head. Until this wears out you can keep recycling your empty cartridges. As a rule of thumb a cartridge can usually be refilled up to seven times.

When is the best time to replace a cartridge?

If possible you should replace your inkjet cartridges before they run out. This will stop ink from drying in the print head between replacement.

How do you define page life?

Page yield for a cartridge is an estimate only, and is subject to countless variables, including, but not limited to, the initial ink fill, cleanings, printer clean cycles, saturation, etc. It is based on 5% print coverage per page, which is approximately one paragraph with a darker header. Printing pages that cover 25%, 50% or 75% of the page will decrease the page yield.

Printer Information

How can I carry out maintenance on my laser printer?

Maintenance procedures for a laser printer should be performed on a monthly basis. These procedures can also be used to correct printing problems such as streaking, gaps in printing, and toner smears on printouts. NOTE: The information provided below is a general overview of how to clean a printer and recommendations for cleaning materials. For best results, please refer to your printer manual/documentation for detailed printer maintenance instructions. 1. Unplug printer. For safety reasons it is best to let the printer to cool down before starting the cleaning procedure. 2. Remove paper trays. 3. Open printer and remove toner cartridge. Place the toner cartridge onto a piece of disposable paper or newspaper. Be careful not to tip or shake the toner cartridge as this may lead to toner leakage. 4. Clean the interior of the printer with a dry lint free cloth. Many models of laser printers provide a brush inside the printer that can be used to gently remove toner from hard to reach areas. If no brush is provided a clean, dry paintbrush can be used. 5. Clean the rollers with a slightly damp cloth to remove dirt build up. Laser Printer Cleaning Sheets can be purchased and are recommended in the maintenance of your laser printer. Use these sheets to quickly clean the inside of a laser printer; the sheets are designed to remove excess toner and dirt.

What is 'firmware'?

Firmware/software updates tell the printer how to communicate, how to move motors, fire nozzles and most importantly, how to recognise original versus compatible (non-original) cartridges, which may result in incorrect messages regarding ink levels being displayed.

What should I do if my printer is not listed on the box?

Some of our compatible cartridges are suitable for over 30 different printers. Therefore the supplier cannot list all printers on the packaging.

The printer is telling me that the ink is low/empty, but it’s new?

You need to check that the nozzles aren’t clogged and that the copper plate is free from dust/dirt preventing the correct contact being made. To do so, place some newspaper down to capture any spillage of ink. Remove the cartridge from your printer – switch your printer off. Using a piece of damp kitchen paper, gently wipe the copper plate on the cartridge to give it a thorough clean. Allow the chip to dry. Once the chip is completely dry, reinstall the cartridge into your printer and switch the printer back on. We would recommend that you run the print head cleaning programme on your printer to clean the heads and push the ink through. For best results you should run the programme three to four times.

Website Support

What is the best way to find the correct cartridges for my printer?

We find the most accurate way to find the cartridges for your printer is to search using your printer make and model at the top of Homepage.

How do I place an order if I'm a New Customer / Non-Registered Customer?

You can place an order by adding the items required into the basket and filling in the New Customer/Non-Registered customer section of the website. In this section you can also add a password of your choice so that the next time you order you can use the log in facility by clicking 'Your Account' on the Homepage. Alternatively, you can select Register on the home page and fill in your details, and then add the items required to the basket.

What do I do if I have login or password problems?

Although you may have ordered with us in the past, if you haven't registered with us on the website, you will not be able to log in and you will receive a message advising that there is no password allocated to the email address.

How do I change my email address?

To change your email address, simply log in to your account here and then go to You will be asked to enter your new email address, confirm your new email address and, for security reasons, enter your password to verify that it is you that is making the change. Once you have entered the relevant details, click the 'Change Email Address' button to submit. Next time you log in to the Cartridge People website, you will need to use your new email address.

How do I remove items from my basket?

On the basket page, click on the image of the dustbin next to product descriptions.

How do I create an account with you?

To create an account all you need to do is place an order with us. Once you have put the required items in to your basket, visit the checkout, then click 'pay now'. This will then take you to a screen where there is a fast checkout for registered customers at the top of the page, and further down the page there is a section for new customers. Please fill out all the details for 'New Customers' and then should you wish to create an account you can enter a password at the bottom of the page and confirm it. Click ‘Continue’ and this will save your details for next time.

Is your website secure?

This site uses Verisign to ensure all personal information transferred to/from the site is done so securely. To protect and ensure the integrity of your credit card details we use WorldPay, one of the largest and most secure online credit card processing companies on the web. WorldPay are part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, one of Europe's biggest financial institutions.

I have not received a confirmation of my order?

Once we have received your order, an email confirmation is immediately sent to the email address that was provided. Another email is then sent when the order has been dispatched. If you have not received any of these emails it is possible that the email was delivered to your junk/spam mail folder. If you require any further clarity please contact a member of the customer services team.

Delivery Information

When will you dispatch the goods?

At Cartridge People, we understand that timely delivery is extremely important to you and we want you to receive the very best service possible. We will therefore process your order to ensure that your goods are dispatched to you as soon as possible. Most of our items are dispatched and delivered within 2 - 4 working days. We make every effort to dispatch orders on the day of receipt, if received before 12pm Monday-Friday. Please note that for items not advertised explicitly as Next Day we are unable to monitor the delivery of your item(s) once they have been dispatched. The large majority of item(s) arrive within the estimated delivery time but if you have not received your item(s) in this time, don't worry as delays can occasionally occur. We ask that you allow 7 working days before you contact us if you have not received your item(s).

What is your 'Next Day Delivery' policy?

All products advertised with ‘next day’ delivery, and ordered before 5.30pm Monday-Friday will arrive the next business day following despatch (Monday-Saturday, excluding Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays). This service is via Royal Mail 24 Parcel Service (delivered by your postman) and, in our experience, 98% of items do arrive the next business day. To ensure we meet customers’ expectations for larger orders, we also, where appropriate utilise the services of a specialist carrier, again at no extra cost to you. A Monday to Friday service, excluding Bank/Public Holidays, applies.

How efficient is your delivery service?

We hold stock in multiple warehouses and, as above, utilise different delivery options which helps us to ensure you receive your goods as quickly as possible. We ensure the optimum method is chosen to enable speedy despatch and transit by selecting the appropriate carrier and we may also opt to ship items in more than one parcel and from more than one warehouse. This helps us provide a prompt service, particularly for multi-item orders. We find this also helps you, our customer, as a smaller packet will usually fit through your letterbox, saving you a trip to your local sorting office or having to arrange re-delivery.

What happens if a delivery is not received?

Deliveries generally are received within 2-4 business days, however on some occasions it can take up to 7 business days. It is worth noting that we find a high proportion of missing items are held at local sorting offices or are held by a neighbour or colleague. Royal Mail should leave a card indicating this, however there are times when these are misplaced or not left at all, so if possible please check first. If you have not received your package 7 business days after despatch please would you check with your local depot/branch to see if they are holding it there for you? If after checking the packaging is not being held for you, then please let us know. Your statutory rights are not affected.

What if parts of the order are missing?

Some orders are split into separate packages, as we have multiple warehouses. This is to provide better availability and efficiency for our customers. Occasionally the packages will get separated in transit. Please be assured that the missing packet will arrive within the delivery time stated. Each package will contain an invoice showing the price of the contents of each package. The sum of the invoices in each package received will total the full price of the whole order.

How do I change the delivery address?

You can amend your delivery address at any time throughout the order process. The best place to put an alternate delivery address is on the checkout page, at the bottom of the billing address. However, if the order has been accepted please contact us immediately via telephone or live chat. We can amend a delivery address within 20 minutes of the order being placed. If you place an order out of business hours we are unable to amend the delivery address prior to shipment therefore we would ask you to contact the address originally provided as this is where the good will be delivered.

Do you deliver outside of the UK?

Unfortunately, we currently only ship into the UK.

How do I cancel the order – but goods have already been despatched?

If your order has already been despatched but you wish to cancel the order, we are happy to receive the items back within 30 days of purchase, providing that they are unopened and in resalable condition. Before returning any products, please contact our customer service team. We can then ensure the correct actions can be taken for you.

Payment Methods

Can I pay by cheque?

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to accept cheque payments. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Can I pay by Paypal?

Yes. Please be aware that your billing and delivery address within your Paypal details will be used for the order. Please check your delivery address is correct on your Paypal account before placing your order.


Cartridge Finder

Use the dropdowns below to find cartridges for your printer:

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