While the purchasing of toner cartridges at (legal) third-parties is a conscious decision and the buyer shoulders the risk alone, counterfeits are more than a simple nuisance, not just for the customer. Fake cartridges not just produce a bad print image, a loss in quality and damage the manufacturer, but they endanger the functionality of the printer as well. The possibility of permanently damaging the printer exists. At the same time, the authenticity of a genuine HP cartridge is easy to check.
First signs of a possible fake
There are some general points that could hint at a possible counterfeit. Genuine cartridges of HP are generally shipped with visible security signs and are always sold in the original HP box. A deviation from the customary prices could be a clue as well. If the toner cartridge doesn’t print with the quality, that you, the customer, are used to, it’s a clue as well.
Scrutiny of the safety label
Forgers don’t just try to imitate the original product (at least the outward appearance), but they also are trying to copy the packaging as authentic as possible. The original products of HP all are bearing a safety label. A real label features a watermark with the lettering “OK” as well as “tick”, which behaves like follows if tilted: If the box is turned from front to back, both the “OK” and the “tick” move outwards of each other. If the box is turned from right to left, both the “OK” and “tick” move in the same direction. If the safety label doesn’t hold up to this test, it’s most likely a fake.
Checking the QR-code
Another possibility is the scrutiny of the QR-Code. With help of your smartphone and an installed QR code reader (e.g. the Hewlett Peckard App “HP SureSupply”) the on safety label fixated QR-code can be scanned. It will show instantly if the code belongs to a genuine toner or not. But even without the QR-code reader it is possible to test, if the label is proven online at www.hp.com/go/ok. Just simply follow the shown steps. On the HP homepages counterfeits can be reported directly.