Why we can’t pay top price for your unused OEMs

printer ink cartridge vending machine
Image by dmscvan via Flickr

Several times a week we get calls from folks asking if we’ll buy their unopened OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges.

Usually it’s because they have been keeping a few backup cartridges on-hand. When their printer dies, they have a few unopened and unused original cartridges. They often paid full retail price for these and are looking for a way to recover a portion of their purchase price.

There are several reasons we cannot buy these at or near their full retail price.

  • They are often past the pull date printed on the box
  • We cannot know how they were stored or what condition the cartridge may be in
  • We cannot resell them as new cartridges since we can’t determine their condition
  • We have approved and authorized channels through which we purchase OEM cartridges when we need them, which isn’t often.

People shop at CW San Diego expecting to find quality refilled and remanufactured cartridges at a substantial savings. We seldom get customers looking for OEM product.

As a result, the only value an OEM cartridge has for us is the external shell. To use any OEM cartridge, we first have to clean out all the original manufacturer’s ink or toner before filling it with our own. We do purchase empty cartridges from a variety of sources. Those cartridges we need and that are in excellent condition we give store credits for in the amount of $1 (inkjet) or $3 (laser).

If you have unused OEM cartridges that you’re looking to recoup more than that from selling, we suggest you list them on Craigslist or perhaps your business’s internal bulletin board. There may be someone who would jump at the chance to save a couple of dollars for an original cartridge for their printer.

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