A Surprising Printer Repair Issue: Counterfeit Printing Supplies


Today, enterprises of all sizes rely extensively upon well-maintained copiers and printers. Many customers seek attractively priced toner and ink for these products. As a firm interested in promoting effective office solutions, Reach Technologies urges its customers to exercise care in shopping for printing supplies.

While shoppers sometimes discover excellent bargains online, a certain percentage of offers involve shoddy counterfeit merchandise. This brief article explores this problem. Firms optimize the money they spend on regular printer repair and service by avoiding the purchase of counterfeit goods.

Merchandise Counterfeiting: A Growing Problem

Probably most Americans think of illegal phony currency when they hear the term “counterfeit.” Yet surprisingly, printing money illicitly reportedly represents only one type of counterfeiting today. As ecommerce has expanded around the globe, criminal networks in many places have focused upon duplicating in-demand merchandise. They sometimes try to sell shoddy counterfeit goods using trade names and logos stolen from reputable businesses.

Counterfeit Printing Supplies

Last year, news media reports circulated about problems caused by counterfeit toner and ink cartridges. Possibly the steep prices commanded by certain printing supplies has prompted counterfeiters to enter this niche marketplace. Legitimate businesses today frequently search online for low-priced supplies for their office printers. Purchasing departments need to exercise caution in evaluating bargains, however. A small percentage of sales of ink and toner cartridges involve counterfeit goods that hold the potential to actually damage expensive printers.

An Illustration

For example, at least one well-known manufacturer of printers established a company team dedicated to protecting the firm against counterfeit merchandise carrying its trade names and logos. HP became alarmed after criminals sought to counterfeit its toner and ink cartridges, power cords, batteries, and PCs. The company has sought to cooperate with law enforcement efforts to prevent these types of deceptive sales. A spokesman listed several concerns relating to counterfeit printing supplies:

  • The inferior quality of counterfeit products;
  • Unsafe manufacturing conditions;
  • Environmental problems resulting from counterfeit cartridge disposal;
  • Concerns about harmful indoor air quality during the use of counterfeit printing supplies.

Caveat Emptor

Most counterfeit printing supplies allegedly come from Asia. Counterfeiters sometimes seek to market their wares online, so potentially sales occur over a wide geographic area today. During 2018 alone, reportedly some 500 raids occurred in which authorities seized counterfeit products (including printer supplies).