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Quickfill online anyone?

Discussion in 'Retail Refillers Forum' started by inkme, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Nov 11, 2011
    inkme

    inkme Newbie to Printing

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    Im researching equipment and supliers for ink refilling business. Got a reply from Quickfill online they sound pretty impressive just wanted to know if anybody dealt with them and what experiences you had?
    Also what equipment manufacturer is good in north america?
     
  2. Nov 11, 2011
    qwertydude

    qwertydude Printing Ninja

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    This comes up almost every week. I'll post the same info. There's a couple reasons why there's not a lot of refill businesses around. For one thing every generation of printer that comes out makes refilling more and more difficult. This greatly increases the hardship for the little guys.

    And think about your core business. What segment of the market do you want to serve. You generally want to actually avoid the refilling market for one specific reason. People who refill are penny pinching tightwads. The people on this forum are just more talented penny pinching tightwads smart enough to know how to refill these printers. But it's difficult to translate into a business of just refilling.

    You're competing with online vendors of remanufactured cartridges, especially on ebay. Look at the price of a remanufactured cartridge or generics. You're competing with the big dogs and Chinese labor for the generics on price alone you've already lost. And figure you have to beat that online price, and it's awefully low. And on top of that you have to do this pretty much on a local area so you need to know the printing landscape and possible demand.

    Back to the penny pinching cheapskates. Often these guys buy the cheap HP printers with the black and tri-color cartridges. That's sorta ok cause they're easy to refill but here's the rub. It's so easy to just press the OK button to acknowledge the cartridge is running low and people just print til nothing comes out. HP pretty much wants people to run their lower end cartridges dry, why? Because it ruins the printhead and if you run it dry it's nearly impossible to refill and get printing correctly, so off to buy a new one. I think the remanufacturers have specialized equipment that can rinse out a dry cartridge and bust the ink sludge that forms over the printhead heaters when it runs out. And this is not an in and out 5 minute process which is what the average consumer thinks of when they think refill, they want it now. You're basically going to have a cartridge trading program if you want to do that route, plus the risk of having an unrecoverable cartridge will eat your profit right up.

    So how do these penny pinching cheapskates affect your business? Well you being local means if your refill doesn't take or sometimes even if it does but it doesn't print perfect, they're coming after you. They're going to want you to replace that refilled one with one working. This means you'll need a steady supply of fresh or remanufactured cartridges for customer satisfaction and you'll be building up a supply of dead ones. Overall it's a losing business, hence why you don't see too many.

    Now one market that's slightly less tapped out is business side stuff. Businesses generally understand print needs much better than cheapskate refillers. So you may be able to sell them on a refilling service, either toners or even converted CISS printer sales. Often you can sell CISS converted printers to mid to high volume print businesses like offices. The big thing you're selling though is services. Partnering with local photography guys and offering print services might be another avenue.

    Basically don't think you're ever gonna make money in the refill only business, the specialized machinery costs thousands and local demand for refilling is limited and customer satisfaction means they go to you to complain and trust me they will complain, complain, complain.

    It's cut throat and you're dealing with frustrating technology and frustrating people. But think about who is making money here. You want to sell services, so instead of just relying on a machine hoping you can turn a profit. Learn the total ins and outs of printing. Make yourself indispensable to your customers. When you can do that and turn it into a business, then you'll thrive. Service is where it's at cause I work with children and every week there's one thing I learn more and more. Anyone who can work with their hands will always be employed in the future market, I love it when I find almost every kid I meet can't even turn a screwdriver and the funny thing is when I ask what they want to be, lots of them say engineer, good luck with that.

    Basically this rings true. You can not complain when a plumber charges $75 an hour when you don't know how to unclog your drains. I unclog my own drains like I refill my own printers. What does the plumber have that makes him indispensable? Is it his truck, tools, buttcrack? No it's his skills. Be the plumber of printing. Plumbers should know how to unclog drains, deroot pipes, braze copper, work on sprinklers, service septic systems, etc. etc. It's a lot to know. And printing is the same too. You better know everything, and just having a machine won't help you much.
     
  3. Nov 11, 2011
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    I reckon you have just about covered everything including the kitchen sink.
    I couldnt agree with you more about learning something before getting into it.

    Business commerce is one thing but hands on stuff it something else and one need to be sure
    before turning on the Water, Electric or Gas or dealing with the skinflints who will use the cheapest cartridge/ink combination available
    and expect the highest quality prints and the best of service for a mere buck.

    So choose wisely your next move and just remember qwertydudes words of advice hes not kidding,
    the World Wide Web has very big hungry spiders out there..:hit
     
  4. Nov 11, 2011
    inkme

    inkme Newbie to Printing

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    Thanks for the info i understand the problems when dealing with those customers but there is no business out there thats easy. Thats why i want to focus more on small office, home office and manufacturing co in my area with ink recycle exchange program maybe later i would consider opening shop for everyday cheap consumer. I work for a large manufacturing firm in my area so i have inside view on their catridge usage and where they buy it from (amazon.com). They are also big on recycling and going green and into a lot of charities in the area this would be one way for them to raise funds for their charity. I live in a relatively small town with a lot of manufacturers and different firms in the area and only 2 franchise competitors who dont practice actively any practices from above mentioned. I just wanted to know if anybody dealt with Quickfill online people since they offered me the most extensive starter package with begining inventory for a good price. I want to start local and do quality work and focus on my customers even though im still in research and business planning mode the idea still seems atractive to me maybe because of the unique area that im in and lack of competition. Thansk for you input ahead of time.:)
     

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