Carrot Ink has been around since the ‘90s, but it’s one of the more attractive, well-designed sites we reviewed. Its homepage has a nice layout, and it’s easy to navigate.
The site currently doesn’t sell Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. OEM cartridges come directly from the printer manufacturers and are the best option while your printer is under warranty. They are more expensive, but using the cheaper remanufactured cartridges can void your printer’s warranty.
It also doesn’t sell other printing supplies like paper and cables. When you buy in bulk for an organization or business, it’s convenient to pick up all the supplies you need in one place. The best discount ink cartridge sites sell supplies for 3D printers in addition to ink and other printing necessities.
On average, it costs about 3 cents to print a page with a cartridge purchased at Carrot Ink. With a remanufactured cartridge from 499inks, our best value pick, it costs an average of 2 cents to print a page. This may seem negligible, but if you print a lot, that difference could add up over the life of your printer. Fortunately, Carrot Ink makes it easy to find discounts like coupons – it displays these offers in large banners at the top of the page.
You only need to purchase $40 worth of items at a time to qualify for free shipping, which is about $15 dollars less than at our top pick, 4inkjets, and around $10 less than 499inks requires. If you don’t reach the minimum, you pay $3.95 at check out for shipping. Orders sent using standard shipping arrive in three to eight days. Carrot Ink also offers overnight and two-day shipping, but they cost extra.
Carrot Ink doesn’t ship internationally at this time, not even to Canada. However, you can send packages to Hawaii and Alaska, as well as other U.S. territories, using standard shipping options.
Other sites we reviewed have more payment options. For example, 4inkjets lets you pay with your Amazon account or Facebook, which are convenient, modern payment methods. Still, Carrot Ink accepts standard methods like credit cards, checks and money orders, as well as Paypal. And soon, it may accept Google Checkout.
Carrot Ink has account programs for organizations like schools and government entities, corporations, non-profits and wholesalers. Unlike a consumer account, orders made with a corporate account can be sent to multiple locations. You can also use the account to request bids for large orders. In most cases, you need to contact a customer service representative directly to place a bulk or subscription order. Schools and government organizations qualify for additional discounts.
To make a return, you need to apply for a return merchandise authorization (RMA), which is a standard practice on most sites. Similar to other ink cartridge sites, you have a year to return defective ink cartridges. However, Carrot Ink doesn’t refund you for shipping fees, which is a bit of a letdown.
What makes Carrot Ink stand out from other discount ink cartridge sites is its customer service options. There is a troubleshooting page on its website in case you encounter problems installing your cartridges. You can also contact customer service in a variety of ways, including live chat, phone or email. The store has social media pages, and you can contact customer support through those as well.
Carrot Ink would be a much more convenient place to shop if it had a larger inventory that included other printing supplies and OEM cartridges. However, it has an easy-to-navigate site and great support options.