Market Potential: Toner vs inkjet refills

Aug 8, 2017
A little background on me:

I have served as an account executive for a media group for the past three years. I've handled accounts ranging from large property management companies to small hair salons in a wealthy community of about 150,000 people. While I enjoy the strategic planning and creative thinking that goes into helping these businesses connect with the local market, I have always felt I could be doing something more significant for them. A lot of my clients have been small mom+pop type establishments where every dollar counts.

Knowing that printer ink can range from $13-75 an ounce, I'd imagine these smaller businesses spend a significant amount on inkjet cartridges. This is assuming they are small enough that they can't justify buying a laser printer, in which case they would be using toner. In the instance they are using toner, I'd imagine it would take them quite awhile to expend an entire cartridge at an approximate 1,500 page yield. From what I understand, ink is decently more expensive than toner with a 7-8 cent average for black ink per page, and 20 cent or more per page for color.

That being said, it would likely be a more profitable endeavor to focus on refilling toner for various offices as it has proven somewhat more feasible for me to refill toner cartridges and either reset the printer or replace the chip, than it is to refill individual inkjet cartridges. I honestly don't know if the value of a refill would be enough to entice businesses, as it seems there are several sites that sell remanufactured cartridges relatively cheap. I guess I was just looking to see if this is a futile endeavor or something with some sort of potential for a side gig that might actually help some businesses and their bottom line.


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