Hewlett Packard are not by any stretch the only manufacturer to loose revenue to cloned consumables, but they are by far the largest supplier effected by corporate procurement of counterfeit items. GEN as a HP partner will of course only supply HP branded consumables and we're confident that our supply chain is trustworthy, but in December 2015 a large IT distributer was found to have a significant stock of counterfeit HP consumables and had of course supplied those to corporate customers.
There has always been an argument that counterfeit supplies somehow help to control the price of genuine products but its rarely backed up with any evidence and if you actually analyse the cumulative effect that counterfeit consumables have then the opposite is far more likely the case. The reason for this article is that one of our good customers has recently returned a HP Laserjet printer to us for repair still containing a counterfeit cartridge. The damage to the printer was as a direct result of the failure of that cartridge and as such we are in a difficult position. In all likelihood we'll repair it at our cost under its warranty and then speak to the customer about the risks of counterfeit items, but how many times must we take the loss before we simply have to start charging for the repairs?
And its not just us that will loose out, of course HP in many cases make zero (or less) profit on the actual hardware but instead rely on revenue from the consumables to fund future development. If the market becomes saturated with counterfeit consumables then, (a) HP will have no other choice but to charge more for the hardware, (b) HP will not honour its warranty where fake consumables have been used and (c) HP will have its reputation for high quality products tarnished unfairly by printer failures resulting from sub-standard fake consumables, and who looses out in the end? We do.
Now identifying counterfeit consumables is actually quite hard as they are deliberately manufactured to be 'clones' of the genuine article but the key indicator is the cost. If your suddenly offered consumables (in small quantities) at significant discounts then they are almost certainly fake and/or substandard.
The only advice we can give is to purchase your consumables from HP Authorised distributors or Partners and that way your assured genuine items.
HP have their own pages dedicated to counterfeit consumables which I'll link in HERE.
Hardware, consumables and duty are the three factors that any business must factor into a price performance calculation when looking for a new hard copy solution and we would always do that for you, but if your a business that has purchased a number of HP printers and are now having issue with the cost of consumables then do talk to us as we can in many cases offer bulk pricing which over time can provide a significant saving.