Kenya is indeed an interesting country. It is a country in which two people can buy the exact same item at different prices. The main reason why this happens is because there are basically no standards. This means the customer who in most cases is the end user of the product has no way to differentiate a good product from the bad one.
In the laser toner market there happen to be 3 quality standards with 3 matching prices. There are the refill toners mostly of the HP brand that sell anything between ksh 1500 and ksh 3000. There are the grade 2 toners that sell anything from ksh 3000 and ksh 6000 and finally what is called the original that costs anything between ksh 6000 and ksh 12000.
The biggest issue is that there are cases in which the customer will actually buy a toner that should actually cost ksh 3000 for ksh 12000 thinking that he has bought an original toner. The customer generally believes that if he buys the toner from a particular shop or trusted source expensively, then he must be telling the truth. It appears that most toner buyers have not learnt that Kenyans are capable of doing and saying anything to make money. If there are pastors that are faking miracles and yet pastors are considered holy and honest what stops your toner supplier from also been dishonest to you?
The intention of this article is to therefore give you additional tools that are product based that are independent of the supplier. Actually, customers of toners need to be educated on quality and the expected performance of the products they use since it ensures value for money.
Why pay more for a product that you can get at a much cheaper price and performs better? If you were sure you could get a genuine acre of land in Karen say for ksh 20 million instead of ksh 50 million would you buy it? well you would say it must be a con. But what if you were given the tools to know if the deal is genuine? What if you are taught how to measure the size, how to do a search, verify the ownership, how to pay for the land to ensure no money is lost, to find out any legal cases or issues that the land has and after you apply the knowledge that you have acquired everything shows the land has no issues will you buy it? This article hopes to give you the same tools and information that are independent of the person selling to you to help you get a good product at a bargain maximizing your value for money especially in this hard Kenyan economic environment where every shilling counts
So as stated in part I of this article the aim is to give you the tools on how to independently identify a good toner. Let us start with
- The obvious
Any good quality toner needs to print a clear and dark copy. Clear copy means that it should not have any dirt like dots, lines and dust particles on the page. Sadly, a lot of Kenyans due to past experiences with printers have got used to this type of printouts and accept them especially when there supplier mentions to them that they have no alternative. GOOD NEWS you can now get printouts without any dirt on the page no need to suffer any longer since 2009 a solution has been there in the form of compatible toners and one of the leading brands in that market is coloursoft toners. More so with the availability of digital buying outlets one can get the toner in any part of the country just with a touch of a button you can find out more by googling coloursoft toners.
- Learn about the standards
Every product in the world has a standard even the button on your shirt. The role of standards to ensure that the buyer get a product that would serve him. Some sellers of products since the 1900s have always been looking for shortcuts to make more money and some unscrupulous businessmen would even sell ineffective products. Governments therefore in the interests of protecting their citizens created rules and measures to be met before one would sell a product to a customer… this later evolved to become the ISO (international standards organization). The first thing therefore is to learn about the standards for toners. One of the key ones is in relation to yield which is ISO 19752 for more information on toner standards visit www.tos.co.ke/tonerstandards the standards are independent of the manufacturer and therefore sales pitches that consist of false information become ineffective. This now means the tools to verify if the products you purchase are now in your hands and not in the hands of your supplier. You can also now ensure that if you spend ksh 4000 on a toner you get ksh 4000 worth of value and not ksh 3000
- The packaging
One thing that’s standards demand is that the customer must be informed of any good or bad thing about the product that he is using. Say if he is buying medicine, the manufacturer must inform the customer of any side effects of using the medicine. Ordinarily, the seller would want to hide the information but ISO standards force him so share it. One of the requirements is that any useful information on the usage of a product must be printed on the box of the product in a language the user understands. Therefore the rule of thumb is the more the information on a product box, the more likely it is genuine or from the manufacture and meets the required standards. In the world of toners most boxes are reprinted boxes lacking security features… that’s a clear sign that the toners are not genuine. Other toners are sealed with cello tape and lack proper binding meaning they can be easily be tampered with to learn more about how to tell good toners via the packaging you can call +254722144396 or on our toll free number -0800 (they are available in Kenya)
- Test the toner output and quality using the actual printer
The ultimate test one can use to determine if the toner is a good toner is by installing inside the printer and doing a few printouts. Then compare the actual print outs with the requirements as per ISO. Please note don’t measure against your eyes or what your supplier tells you… test against the ISO standard. In Kenya one of the major problems with toners is that users do not know the amount of powder in the toner cartridge and the number of expected printouts you are to get from the said toner. Most people rely on the number of paper reams they have used or the number of days the toner lasted in the machine. But since it is possible to print a lot of material in say two days then not print in a month and since it is also possible for staff to buy reams of paper without informing the business owner, this are not reliable methods of determining number of copies. ISO has the solution and it states as per ISO 19752 a HP 85A toner should produce 1600 copies at 5% coverage yield. Now the current HP toner boxes do not have 1600 copies written on the box. That is one of the main reasons why toner prices have such a huge price range from ksh 3000 to ksh 12000 for the same HP 85A toner. Since the customer does not know the yield he might buy a toner that prints only 500 copies for ksh 3000 and think it’s a cheap toner. What he doesn’t know he may have bought an different 85A toner for the same ksh 3000 and got 2000 copies from it. Now that is a real saving! Moreover the printer itself has setting that informs you of how to know exactly how many copies your toner has printed. It is usually under the print preference setting section of the printer for more information visit www.tos.co.ke/howtofindprinteryieldsettings
- Finally find a reliable, trustworthy and consistent supplier
Ultimately and this has happened a lot in Kenya, a lot of toner suppliers sell very good toners on the first orders or when they are trying to acquire the business and then later sell worse performing toners on later orders. The reasons are because they do wish to make bigger margins on the toners they sell so they comprise on quality or the sources from which they get their toners from become unreliable and inconsistent. It is therefore important to find out if the supplier themselves as a company adhere to any standards that forces them to be consistent, reliable and putting the customers interests first over a long period of time. For us at coloursoft toners the company is an ISO certified company meaning that it must stick to certain procedural activities that would guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. Now 100% customer satisfaction is not an event but a process which means that if you have achieved 100% then you aim for 150% percent by continuously improving the quality of the product and its delivery to the customer. Does your supplier have this kind of system in place? What happens when there is an issue? Does he make follow ups and resolve the problem in a way that it does not occur again without offering shortcuts or offering a bribe to maintain the business? With coloursoft we ensure that the performance of our toners is maintained right from the factory to the installation on your printer. In case of any issues we resolve the issue in a way that it does not occur again by either training the users of the products or removing from the system any unreliable reseller or part manufacturer. That’s why as I said in the beginning that we offer various guarantees including a 14 day money back guarantee and for us it is not a sales pitch but a statement of fact. So much so that for 85A toners the acceptable failure rate is 2 toners per very 1000 toners, at coloursoft we are now heading to 10,000 85A toners over the last 3yrs and with a zero failure rate. It does mean that all our toners are perfect but we make every effort to get there and even surpass the general ISO performance standards. That’s why we do have clients that have not used any other toner even when offered a cheaper option over the last 10 years.. Do you want to be one of those customers thatss will have a guaranteed performance on your toner without all the numerous explanations and drama that most suppliers give as they supply you toners? Visit www.tos.co.ke or call +254722144396 for more information