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 user 2005-01-11 at 10:10:00 am Views: 50
  • #11211

    Finding ‘Black Gold’: Exit Strategies for Remanufacturers

    A lot has changed since our industry’s beginnings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Word began to spread that there was “black gold” to be found in remanufacturing toner cartridges, and fledgling entrepreneurs sought out the training necessary to start their own cartridge recharging businesses. Many rechargers first learned about the industry as the result of a small, black-and-white “business opportunity” ad in the back pages of Entrepreneur Magazine. The ad featured the caption:“Refill toner cartridges at your kitchen table.” And thousands of entrepreneurs did just that.

    Remanufacturing Cartridges was relatively easy given the limited number of toner cartridge SKUs. Until 1992, the narrow product line was mainly comprised of two cartridges, the SX and the EX. No refilling equipment, overhead or inventory was necessary to get started. These extremely low barriers to entry attracted a wide range of individuals seeking home-based business opportunities.

    Today, according to Lyra Research Inc., the Aftermarket represents a $4 to $6 billion industry and has captured about 32 percent of the total Laser (monochrome) printer supplies market share. The product line has mushroomed and now comprises some 300 toner cartridge models and 125 inkjet cartridge models. The top 75 percent of the installed base for toner Cartridges is comprised of 41 SKUs.