Toner Refill Business Idea
There are many niches in technology and computer service businesses that are needed by customers. Thinking outside the box can sometimes lead to an excellent opportunity where others aren’t looking. One niche that can provide an excellent opportunity is starting an ink and toner refill business.
This type of business is going to provide customers with the ability to refill their ink and toner cartridges for a fraction of the cost that it would take to buy new ones. The business can also stock supplies that some customers want including syringes, needles, plugs, aluminum tape, hand cleaner, and do-it-yourself kits for refilling empty ink cartridges.
Since many printer manufacturers now sell printers that only take company-made ink cartridges and no generic equivalent, there is a very good business to be had by offering to refill ink and toner cartridges.
Ink And Toner Refill Business Overview
Many of the products mentioned earlier are easy to learn how to use. Different ink cartridges do require slightly different tools. Because of this, some may require the use of short or long needles while other cartridges may use 10 ml and 20 ml syringes. Sometimes a combination of both is required. Plugs and aluminum tape both allow a cartridge to be filled and then sealed as good as new. The hand cleaner is a definite must, as printer ink and ink toner does not wash off easily with anything else.
The service of filling up used ink cartridges and preparing them for use, either in individual cases or mass quantities, is one that many local businesses and residential customers are going to appreciate. If an ink and toner refill business offers weekly or monthly pick up and drop off for a small fee, there’s a very good chance that many businesses will gladly pay for the convenience of the service. Recycling old cartridges can also provide another opportunity, since those cartridges can be filled, kept in stock, and sold to another customer who still uses this older printer.
Toner Refill Equipment and Supplies
Not a lot of expensive equipment is required in an ink and toner refill business. Aside from the obvious things that all retail businesses need like a cash register and shop location, for this particular type of business the needles, syringes, tape, plugs, hand cleaners, kits, and cartridges are all most people need. If there is a pick up and delivery service offered, then a vehicle is also needed.
Specific education or certification is not required in order to start and run an ink and toner refill business. But entrepreneurs should have enough experience with all the equipment mentioned to be able to help customers and provide expert level service in filling the empty toner cartridges. These are not hard skills to learn or master, but they are necessary for running a successful store.
Beyond the skills and equipment, the last two very important considerations to make when looking at starting an ink and toner refill business are: 1) Location and 2) Finding customers. Location is very important. A business like this is best served by being in a high foot traffic area and especially if there are other small businesses nearby.
The beauty of an ink and toner refill business is that it can serve the needs of both residential and business customers. Getting discovered early is a major benefit, and being positioned in a high traffic area is going to speed up the process.
Finding customers is the final piece of the puzzle. Traditional advertising includes newspapers, local magazines, local television, and phone books. More creative ways could be to start an online blog or website, put up fliers, or set someone to work the old fashioned way of going to other businesses and offering your services. Any advertising should obviously focus on the cost benefit of cartridge refill. You’ll also need to be able to address customer anxiety with using your services.
Some printer manufacturers state that using refill ink voids the product warranty. Educate yourself about the pros and cons of an ink and toner refill business before pitching your services to customers.
If advertising, time, and hard work is combined with quality service, there is a good chance that an ink and toner refill business can be successful. Aside from competition, this is one of the easier businesses to start and run.