Printers are staging something of a comeback thanks to a surge in people working from home. Home printer sales are expected to grow by 15pc this year to around $5bn (£3.86bn) this year thanks to the pandemic, Deloitte has said. As such consumer sales of printer ink is expected to rise in tandem.
And it seems Britons are shelling out of top-quality ink. Consumers fear that third-party cartridges could lead to a drop in print quality, be incompatible, or worse damage their printers, according to a survey of 8,788 printer owners.
Which? found that 58pc of printer owners regularly bought branded cartridges over third-party options. Around 41pc said they had never tried non-branded before.
The survey highlighted the incompatibility fears among the most-prominent concerns. Poorer print quality and fear of damage to the printer were among the other top concerns.
The consumer group said that incompatibility concerns were not an “unfounded worry” and that some printers were designed to prevent customers from using other cartridges.
However, Which? Said that a tenth of third-party users regularly experienced issues with non-branded cartridges. Of those, 4pc reported leakage, and 3pc stated that print quality was lower than they expected.
Which? magazine editor Harry Rose added that the high-cost of ink needed to be addressed.
“Printer ink shouldn’t cost the earth and we’ve found that there are lots of unbranded products that are just as good as their branded counterparts and only a fraction of the cost - so you can keep your hard-earned cash for actual luxuries rather than spending it on printing,” he said.
“Choosing third-party cartridges should be a personal choice and not dictated by the make of your printer.”
In a statement, HP said its ink and toner cartridges delivered the "best possible printing experience for customers".
"We make significant investments in R&D each year to provide the highest levels of print quality, safety and environmental sustainability," the company said.
Epson had yet to respond to a request for comment from the Telegraph and the time of writing.