Toner Wars: The Epic Battle Between the OEMs and Toner Remanufacturers (and why you should care!)

There’s been a secret war going on that you may have no idea about. It’s not fought with guns, but there are soldiers and battle maneuvers under way on a daily basis. For most, this war is invisible – the stuff of legend and conspiracy. But for those in the trenches, the tug and pull of their battles is very real indeed. I speak of the toner wars that have been waging since around 1985.

I’ve been in the managed print space for most of my career, and lots of you reading this have spent even more time than me in this channel filled with printers, copiers, and toner. For those reading who are not in the print/copy channel, you are still the beneficiaries of all the hard work that has gone on to ensure you get fair pricing and sustainable options. It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when a few powerful OEMs controlled the market and dictated price and quality. Don’t get me wrong, the OEMs do an incredible job of innovating how we print, copy and scan. Without them, there would be nothing but a blank page. But in a free market economy, consumers deserve choice, and remanufactured toner offerings ensure you have that.

In last week’s episode of Tigerpaw Radio, we got a rare glimpse into the mechanisms and legal history (and future) of the toner and other supplies you use to copy and print. Join your hosts, James Foxall & West McDonald, as we spend time in conversation with a legend in the battle to keep remanufactured toner in your printers and copiers. Some of what you’ll hear:

· The need for choice: Nobody gets to tell you what brand of gasoline you put in your car or what brand of oil to keep the parts moving along. How you supply and care for the printers you buy needs to come with the same freedom of choice.

· Tales of battles won: You’ll hear true stories of legal victories over the years that ensure you continue to have the choice of supplies that you deliver or receive.

· New vs. Re-manufactured vs. Compatible vs. Clone: Not all toner is created equally and new threats from China and other countries mean you need to understand the difference in offerings. They are far from equal.

· The future: Like any sustained confrontations, old battles won do not allow us to ignore the battles of today and into the future. There are those who continue to fight and you’ll get rare insights into why they keep going.

Our guest:

· Tricia Judge, Executive Director at IITC and President, Remanufacturing Technologies Corp.

Perhaps you’re a soldier in this war, or perhaps you need to join the fray. You can find out by listening to the episode HERE.

And don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss another episode of Tigerpaw Radio!

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