Sell Empty Ink Cartridges on eBay: My Experience and Some Tips

November 19, 2010
There are a number of things you can do with empty printer cartridges.
You can recycle them, refill them, and even return them to big box office supply stores for a credit on future purchases.
Until I read this article by eBay Examiner Suzanne Wells, however, I wasn’t aware that you could sell empty print cartridges on eBay.
I kept Suzanne’s article in the back of my mind as I watched my empty ink cartridges begin to accumulate on my desk. When I had six of them, I decided to do something about them. I wasn’t very motivated to take them to an office supply store as I had done in the past, because I rarely shop at office supply stores. Tired of looking at them, and motivated by ways to find debt snowflakes, I decided to check out eBay.
After some very basic research using an eBay completed listings search, I snapped a quick picture, put them up in an auction format, and added a $24.99 buy it now option. They sold later the same day! I couldn’t be more pleased. The cartridges are no longer cluttering up my desk and another $20+ (after fees) is headed to the credit card.
At this time of year, that extra money in your PayPal account will even buy a Christmas gift. Thanks, Suzanne, for the tip!
For me, this is another example of why everyone should know how to sell on eBay, Craigslist, etc.
You don’t have to make it a full-time, or even a part-time, gig, but it’s a great tool to have for ridding your home of clutter and creating a little extra cash for your financial goals. You can use that money to pay down debt, as I’m doing, or save for something specific. At this time of year, that extra money in your Paypal account will even buy a Christmas gift.
Here are some tips to help you sell empty ink cartridges on eBay:
  • Selling these in lots (or groups) is a better use of your time than selling them one by one.
  • Include as many specifics in your title as space will permit. Be sure the manufacturer – such as HP – as as well as the cartridge number are included.
  • The word ‘virgin’ as it relates to a printer cartridge, means that the cartridge has never been refilled. If that applies to your cartridges, include that info as well.
  • Consider using the buy it now option if you’re listing your cartridges as an auction. I chose a $24.99 buy it now price for my six cartridges because it seemed to be a competitive price and it was as high as I could go to have my buy it now fees not exceed 10 cents. Very unscientific, but it seemed to work.
So I’m curious: what do you do with your old print cartridges? Do you sell other everyday things on eBay? I’d love to hear about it!
  1. Is there a really big market for empty cartridges? Do you think people buy them to refill them, or to turn them in at their local office supply store?

  2. Graduatedlearning – A quick check of eBay's completed listings tells you that there is definitely a market for these cartridges. My guess is that people are refilling them and reselling them.

    Anon – Thanks!

  3. I seldom leave comments on blog, but I have been to this post which was recommended by my friend, lots of valuable details, thanks again.

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