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499inks review

499Inks offers the lowest prices, combined with great shipping options. It's the best value ink cartridge seller out there, but the ugly website holds it back.

499inks review
(Image: © 499Inks)

Our Verdict

If you can get past the rather ugly and outdated looking website, 499Inks has some great deals on ink cartridges. Many of its remanufactured and compatible models are, as the name suggests, just $4.99 - that's cheap.

For

  • Very cheap
  • Good variety
  • Free shipping over $49

Against

  • Ugly website

If you’re looking for the cheapest ink cartridges on the market, then you won’t find anywhere better than 499Inks. The key is in the name 499Inks, as a huge number of the remanufactured and compatible ink cartridges that it sells are $4.99 - this is significantly cheaper than what most other websites are offering. Prices for original equipment manufacturer ink cartridges are also extremely competitive too.

Our biggest gripe with 499Inks is the website itself, which is rather outdated in its appearance and can be cumbersome to navigate. That really is our only major concern though, as the service it offers is top-notch. You even get a one-year guarantee on all it’s non-OEM products, which isn’t quite as good as the two-years you get from 4nkJets, but it’s still great for peace of mind.

So if you can put up with a slightly under par website, then we think 499Inks is an excellent place to buy the best discount ink cartridges.

499Inks review: Service quality

We searched for dozens of products on the sites we reviewed to compare prices, and 499inks carried 41 percent of them, compared to the around 60 percent we found at 4inkjets and 123inkjets, the two stores with the best inventories. While 499inks’ inventory is small compared to stores with the best stocks, it carries more products than most of the sites we reviewed. It also carries more than half the brands our top picks sell and provides a lot of the same services.

If you subscribe to 499inks’ newsletter, you periodically receive coupon codes. However, the site only offers a 5-percent discount as an incentive to sign up, compared to other sites that offer 10 percent or 15 percent off your first order when you subscribe.

499inks' website doesn’t say if you can set up corporate or school accounts, so we contacted customer service. Per the representative we spoke to, you can set up an account for your organization by sending an email to customer support. We found few benefits to setting up this type of account, though. It gives you access to updates on inventory and reminders about discounts, but you can’t subscribe to a monthly or weekly order. Your account also isn’t assigned to a specific account manager unless you contact customer service and request additional support.

The site is also lacking online troubleshooting options, such as a page with videos and tutorials about installing or caring for your ink cartridges and printers. This dedicated page was missing from most of the other sites we reviewed, but we appreciated the ones CompAndSave or Carrot Ink include.

499Inks review: Shipping

At 499inks, you qualify for free shipping when you purchase $49 worth of products, which is a few dollars cheaper than some of the best stores. If you don’t meet that minimum, two- to five-day shipping only costs $4.99. If you need your ink sooner, you can pay more for two- to three-day shipping; however, 499inks can’t overnight orders.

Like most of the ink companies we compared, it only ships to the United States and Canada. Because packages have to pass through customs, shipping to Canada costs more than the standard fees listed above. This increased cost of shipping internationally is pretty typical, according to our research.

4InkJets review: Payment options and support

Unlike our best overall pick, 499inks doesn’t let you pay using social media or your Amazon account. However, you can pay with credit cards, money orders, checks or your PayPal account.

The cartridges you buy from 499inks have one-year warranties, which is shorter than the warranties other sites provide. You can exchange defective cartridges for up to 365 days after your initial purchase, but you can only get your money back within the first 30 days. Other online ink cartridge stores give you longer to return items for a refund, reimburse you for shipping expenses and have other flexible return options, so you don’t get stuck with an unwanted or defective cartridge.

Should you use 499Inks?

With just a few minor improvements to its offerings, 499Inks could easily steal the top spot and become the best place to buy discount ink cartridges on the web. The website needs a makeover, and improvements to the overnight shipping options would be great. If neither of those things is a concern to you, or if you just want the absolute cheapest ink cartridges there are, then 499Inks is the place for you.