According to the national non-profit recycle organization EarthShare, more than 13 ink cartridges are thrown out every second in the United States. Instead of adding to your local landfill by throwing out those old ink cartridges, why not add to your wallet, instead — sell them! To get the most bang for your buck, sell as many cartridges at once as possible. Ask your office, friends, family and neighbors to save old ink cartridges for you rather than throw them away. Here’s how to make money from your old ink cartridges:
1. Sell them on eBay
If you don't feel like refilling or recycling your ink cartridges, why not let someone else do it? There's actually quite a market for used printer cartridges on eBay. There are listings for ink cartridges for all kinds of printer brands including Dell, Canon, HP, Epson, Brother and Lexmark. The average selling price for one cartridge is $2.50 — not bad for something you planned to just throw away, right? If you're new to selling on Ebay, check out this link to get started.
2. Sell them to one of these companies
Did you know there are online companies that will pay you for your empty ink cartridges — including shipping and handling? ECycle Group and TonerBuyer pay approximately $3 for lower-end ink cartridges and more than $20 bucks for the more expensive models. All you have to do is complete their online forms. They will send you a prepaid UPS shipping label along with instructions. Be sure to create and include a packing slip that lists your contents! On average, you can expect a payment via check within 21 days. These programs are reliable and professional - they even work with schools and other professional organizations. Check them out to see how much your ink cartridges are worth.
3. Get store credit
We all know that you can get discounts on cartridge refills at office stores, but some will actually pay you for your ink cartridges — even if you don't refill them!
- Office Max: Office Max will reward your MaxPerks account for each qualifying cartridge. Although rewards may vary by store, my store offers $2 MaxPerks for every cartridge (up to $20 rewards maximum per month.)
- Office Depot: With Office Depot's Worklife Rewards or Star Teacher program, you earn $2 in Recycling Rewards points for every cartridge you recycle — up to 10 cartridges every month. Once you earn $10 or more in Rewards, Office Depot will issue you a Rewards Certificate, which is redeemable on anything in the store.
- Staples: At Staples, you earn $2 store credit (good on anything in the store) for up to 10 ink cartridges per month. The only catch is that you must have spent at least $30 on ink or toner in the past 180 days, but I don't find this difficult to achieve.
4. Earth911 recycle centers
Earth911 recycle centers accept all kinds of recycled materials, including used ink cartridges. Some of the centers even pay you for them! Even if I only make 60 cents per pound, it's still better than nothing! Check for a recycling center nearest you here.
5. Take a picture
Recycle Pix is a program sponsored by Waste Management where you get paid to take pictures of recyclable materials, including ink cartridges! All you have to do is download the app and upload a picture of your recyclable material. Each picture earns points that can be redeemed for discounts on travel, entertainment and dining. You can even earn prizes like printers and computers! The app is currently only available for iPhone.