The Toner Buyback Q&A You’ve Been Waiting For

Most recent by James Cai

Back in the dark ages before Toner Connect came around, you had two choices with what to do with your extra toner cartridges. Either use the boxes as makeshift bricks and build a fort in your office storage closet or toss them into your local landfill where they’ll take over a century to decompose.

That didn’t sound too great. So with the help of a bright idea, a minivan, and the fact that almost every business in the country was forcibly hoarding extra toners, the buyback program was born. And it’s pretty amazing if we do say so ourselves. 

However, we want to make sure that you as the customer are getting the maximum benefit from using it; and to do so, we want to make sure you understand it completely. So we hashed it out with company founder and CEO James Cai to find out exactly how it works.

What would you say is the “perfect” situation for a great buyback rate?

Perfect situation for a buyback rate would be a new and very popular toner model in perfect condition (no markings, tears, rips, dents, or labels). If the box has shipping label or stickers on the box, it’s fine. We know how to carefully remove them without damaging the box.

Are toner buyback rates continuously fluctuating or do they stay pretty consistent?

Toner Buyback Rates do fluctuate on a monthly basis. Similar to how the value of cars depreciate over time, so do the copier machines and printers AND the supplies that go with them. When OEM companies release  NEW and IMPROVED machines, the older models slowly get phased out and pushed off-market. When that happens, the supplies that go with the drop in demand and price.

It’s like buying a Mercedes Benz car at a steal! 

How do you compare the manufacturing price of the toner to what you’re willing to pay for the buyback?

When you say, “manufacturing price of toner”, if you’re referring to the retail price, then I would say that it doesn’t play into calculating our buyback rates. Of course, we would never pay higher than the retail price because that wouldn’t make any sense. But, we wouldn’t know what the cost of producing one toner cartridge is for OEM companies like HP or Xerox.

For example, the HP Laserjet 2100 Monochrome Laser Printer was released back in Feb of 1999 and then discontinued on April 2001. Since then, the retail price of an OEM toner for that machine (toner model # C4096A) still remains at $71 (Amazon) and $154.99 (Staples).

That’s highway robbery. We buy that particular toner model back for $5 and resell them for $30-35. 

From the surface, our own profit margins look high, but you also have to factor in the risk of stocking a low demand item. The chances that this will remain on our shelves forever is pretty high, too. But nonetheless, that still huge savings pass onto the customers for an OEM product. 

We’re basically putting these products back into circulation and into the hands of those who can use them at significantly discounted prices.

It’s like buying a 2013 Mercedes Benz car at a steal! (Sorry, I like using car analogies, haha). It’s still a quality vehicle but available at a discount since newer models exist now. You get the idea.

What condition should the toner be in for consideration for buyback?

All toner must be in brand new condition, never opened or used. The boxes it originally came in also have to be completely sealed. If we find it’s been tampered with in any way, the value may decrease or we might not even accept them.

How quickly does the seller receive payment after accepting a buyback rate?

Payment lead time depends on the seller’s preference. We offer 2 payment methods: “Paypal and Check”. If the seller chooses Paypal, then they normally receive payment on the same day. If they choose payment by check, that usually takes about 2-3 business days AFTER we receive/inspect their items.

So if we roughly guestimate that it takes 3 days for their shipment to arrive, 1 day for inspection, and 2 days for the check to arrive, then 6-7 days total for the whole transaction to be completed.

Does the buyback policy work for those overseas?

No, we only offer our buyback program to everyone within the US. Due to the recent uptick in counterfeit toner, we stay away from imported OEM toners.

What advice would you give to those considering selling their unused toners?

The advice I always like to give is: if you have leftover or unused ink/toners in your closet, it’s better to sell them sooner rather than later. Chances are you’ll get a higher appraisal than if you waited 6 months down the road. In this market, time is not your best friend.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar