6 Ways Empty Ink Cartridges Can Make you Money Fast

Updated on: by Olivia

Curious on what to do with all those empty ink cartridges? Check out these 6 ways to recycle empty ink cartridges for cash. It seems like we go through ink cartridges like candy over here. You print and print, then you end up with an empty ink cartridge. What can you do with them? Are they worth saving?

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Perhaps they are. There are a few different ways you can save on purchasing new ink cartridges when you recycle your old ones. So, perhaps all the years of you saving them will finally pay off!

Sell Used Toner Cartridges on eBay

Okay, hear me out before you think I am scamming people.

When you are thinking ‘what to do with old printer cartridges’ the first thing comes to mind is selling them on eBay.

Just the cartridges


You and I know we are not going to take the time to refill these bad boys up with ink again, right? Well, there are people out there that do just that.

Shocking, right?

How to Write A Killer Product Description

When you are listing these empty ink cartridges on eBay, you will need to have the following information in your description:

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  • Model Numbers
  • Manufacturer
  • Whether the cartridge is black, color, or a combo
  • Photos of the cartridges
  • If it’s ever been refilled

Pro-Tip: If you’ve never refilled your ink cartridge (no judging here!) you will want to label it as ‘virgin’. These virgin cartridges are a delicacy in the ink world, and the price for much higher than a ‘used’ one.

Drop Them Off at an Office Supply Store

This is a more well-known idea. You’ve probably seen these bins a time or two and made a mental note of bringing your empty cartridges the next time you came to the store.

Well, let’s be real, you haven’t brought them, and you are still kicking yourself in the butt for it. You should be. You are missing out on easy money.

What’s the Deal?

Office stores such as Staples and OfficeMax do have these bins for empty ink cartridges. These stores will usually give you a $2 in-store credit for every accepted cartridge up to 10 cartridges a month.

In theory, you’ll have an additional $20 a month that could be spent in these stores on more ink, school supplies, and whatever else you may need.

How to Participate?

In order to participate, you will need to join their rewards program. In order to join their rewards program, you will need to typically supply them with a good email and a good telephone number. It is completely free to join the program.

You will be informed of all perks including their empty ink cartridges one when signing up. It’s well worth signing up, if you purchase from these stores regularly.

Check Mom & Pop Office Supplies Store

Just like the big box office supply stores, it is always best to check your local mom and pop office supplies stores. They may have a program and it may pay better or they may not. It never hurts to ask though.

Sometimes it pays to keep your business local.

Locate Buyback Sites

Another awesome way to make money off your empty cartridges is to check out these buyback sites. There are several out there that will pay you to ship your empty cartridges to them and even pay you for the cartridge itself.

How cool is that?

eCycle Group is one place that will buy back your cartridges. They even pay for shipping. The company typically will pay between $0.25 to $4.50.

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This won’t be a quick rich scheme, but this will allow you to offset some of your ink buying costs.

You will always want to check out:

  • Tonery Buyer
  • Dazz Cycle
  • Cartridges for Kids
  • FundingFactory
  • NeedEmpty
  • UsRecycleInk
  • US Laser Ink

Recycle Empty Ink Cartridges for Cash on Craigslist

Craigslist is always worth mentioning. You can literally sell nearly anything and everything on the site and find a buyer.

It’s the same for ink cartridges too. There are people out there just like on eBay looking to purchase empty cartridges. This is a great market to tap into, if you have the resources. If you are like me, you have the resources.

Pro-Tip: Sell empty ink cartridges in a lot (meaning pack) they will attract many more buyers than if you sell one or two at a time.

Read More: How to Get Cash for Old Appliances? Everything You Need to Know

Send Them Back to the Manufacturer

Many manufacturers have their own recycling programs that you will certainly want to investigate. Some of them offer money, while others just give you a better option to recycle them through the company rather than putting the cartridge in the landfill.

What Should I Do?

With so many options, it is hard to try and find the best option for you.

The best option for you will boil down to if you are looking to make cash (selling on Craigslist buyback companies, office stores), or if you are just looking to recycle them.

Of course, you can make the most money on Craigslist and eBay, while you can also make quick money going to office stores.

As we previously stated it’s all going to boil down on what you are ultimately looking to do. All the above options are great. We do recommend picking at least one of the above options. This will not only make you a little bit of money that can go to your ink purchase, but it will also be one less ink cartridge that gets thrown in the landfill.

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