How to Make Money with Ink Cartridge Recycling Rewards

by Andy Hough on January 18, 2012

I previously wrote a post detailing how you can save money with ink cartridge recycling rewards. I also shared that I had gotten lots of items for almost free and had used rewards to buy all of our toilet paper and paper towels last year. Although that is a good deal you can actually get an even better deal from recycling ink cartridges at the major office supply stores.

Recycle Ink Cartridges for Cash

Although using ink cartridge recycling rewards for purchases at the office supply stores is a great way to take advantage of the ink cartridge recycling programs they are not as good as cash. Unfortunately,the office supply stores do not give you cash for your ink cartridges but rather rewards that can be used for purchases at their stores. There is a simple way to turn those rewards into cash though. Simply buy products at the office supply stores that are free after rebate. These stores often have items available free after rebate which makes it easy to return you rewards into cash. You do need to be careful that the item you are buying is free after rebate rather than free after rewards. If you buy a free after rewards item with your rewards you will not get any money or rewards back.

As an example I recently bought Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 – 3 Users at Staples for $49.99 with a $49.99 easy rebate. Since I used $46 in rewards to purchase this item I will actually be making money from my ink cartridge recycling rewards. I plan to use more of my rewards for rebate purchases this year since cash gives me more flexibility in spending. There is only so much stuff to buy at Staples.

You might be skeptical of the rebate process but I can say from previous experience that Staples Easy Rebate process is in fact actually easy. You just enter a couple pieces of information at their rebate site online and your rebate is processed and sent to you within a few weeks. I’ve always gotten my rebates in a timely manner and if you are worried about your rebate you can view its progress on the rebate site. Submitting a rebate online is much easier than having to cut out UPC codes and mail a copy of your receipt to a rebate center. There is no worry about losing your rebate in the mail and you have immediate confirmation that your rebate has been submitted.

My last piece of advice to get the maximum value out of this deal is to have them pay you via PayPal or by a rebate check. They sometimes have a default option of receiving a Visa or Staples gift card. You don’t want the gift card option because it deprives you of further rewards you could make by using your credit card on future purchases.

If you have any questions about how the recycling or rebate process works please feel free to ask.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robert @ The College Investor January 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I’ve never thought or looked into this before, but I’m going to now!

2 Andy Hough January 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

If you have any questions after you start feel free to ask me. This has been working well for me and I know there are some who do this on a much larger scale.

3 Lisa January 22, 2012 at 4:07 am

I suppose you could take it one step further and sell the item you just got a rebate for. A double win!

I really like this idea. I use it for Rite Aid but never made the cross to Office Supply Stores. I use very little ink.

4 Andy Hough January 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I try to get products that I’ll actually use but there are lots of people who do sell the rebate items. You can actually buy multiples of many of the rebate items and I’d guess that those who do buy multiples are probably selling the extras.

5 close fan January 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

Doesn’t your wife have a business? Do you use the rebate items to help her business? It would seem a good way to help cut any cost she would have and increase her profit.

6 Lisa-Gay January 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I always wait to turn in my ink cartridges when there is a bonus: last year Office Depot was rewarding $5 per cartridge, so I was able to buy a printer for free, plus other items. I have combined rewards and coupons at Staples to buy a Keurig brewer for free and a $100 webcam for $10. Right now OfficeMax has the best everyday reward at $3 cartridge, but you must have accumulated an equal of purchases before you can redeem your rewards. When I use my rewards at OfficeMax I convert them to non-OfficeMax gift cards.

7 Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder January 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

That’s awesome Andy! I definitely have to share this one with my readers…

8 Robert Smith January 8, 2013 at 5:47 am

Nice post, When you own your own business, the expenses for your equipment can take a lot out of your profits. Printers is a fact of life for business these days, and once you run out of ink in your printer, there are more expenses to add to your overhead. There is a way to save money on part of the upkeep on your printers and that’s the cartridges you use for them.

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