More than 2-billion ink and toner cartridges will wind up in landfills this year. In the U.S. alone, eight cartridges are discarded every second. One Bay area company has been doing its part for the past five years trying to keep that number from going higher, while saving businesses and consumers a significant amount of money.
Rapid Refill Ink, 10416 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, is a franchise which provides ink and toner cartridges specializing in remanufacturing, refilling and retail sales of inkjet and laser toner cartridges for printers, copiers, fax machines and all-in-one machines for both consumers and businesses.
According to owner Bob Giest, “I was attracted to open the franchise back in 2007 by the opportunity to work in the local community and support the Bay area economy, while helping businesses and consumers save money and benefit the environment. Not many business models allow you to do all of that.”
Giest says the appeal of Rapid Refill Ink is due to cost, convenience, the eco-friendly side of the business, a 100-percent product guarantee and customer service. In addition to cartridges, Rapid Refill Ink also solves printing problems, checks and replenishes ink and toner inventories, performs repairs on small inkjet printers and performs emergency ink and toner deliveries.
“Ink and toner is the most expensive office supply item,” says Giest. “In fact, ink is one of the most expensive liquids on earth, topping Chanel No. 5 perfume and Dom Perignon champagne on a per-ounce basis.”
We give the customer both the new and refurbished price to show the savings,” says Giest, which can range on average between 30 – 50 percent. He says he is proud that 90 percent of what Rapid Refill Ink sells is U.S.-made. Practically all original manufactured cartridges are produced outside of the U.S.
Giest says the Tampa franchise is currently ranked among the top-10 of the 100 Rapid Refill locations nationally in terms of customer service, and in the top-3 of having the most new customers.
Giest’s thousands of customers underscore the franchise’s emphasis on service.
“Bob has been so good to work with,” says Patrick Brogan of National Benefits Group of America, Tampa. “We settled on a brand of toner and he was able to get us a discounted price. Ours is a family business. Bob exhibits the same values we do here at NBG. He goes over and above.”
An additional aspect of the business that is very important to Giest is giving back to the community. Rapid Refill Ink has worked with a number of non-profit organizations to help raise funds through buy-back of used cartridges. A partial list of organizations includes The Salvation Army, YEA! (Youth Empowered to Achieve), The Sierra Club Tampa Bay Group, United Cerebral Palsy of Tampa Bay, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and numerous schools and churches.
That spirit will be evident in the celebration of Rapid Refill Ink’s 5th Anniversary, which will take place next week, November 12-17, 2012.
Rapid Refill Ink will join forces with Urban E Recycling to present “Electronics for a Cause,” a weeklong event offering free recycling of consumer electronics with a chance to win a computer, gift cards from area retailers and other valuable prizes. Recycling proceeds will benefit the Hillsborough Achievement and Resource Centers (HARC).
Items can be dropped off at Rapid Refill Ink Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Those wishing to donate large items can call Rapid Refill Ink, (813) 514-0680, to arrange for pick-up.
About Rapid Refill Ink
Rapid Refill Ink, www.rapidrefill338.com; www.facebook.com/RapidRefillTampa, offers a complete selection of quality Rapid Refill Brand inkjet and laser toner cartridges at significant savings, plus others supplies for all popular printer and copier brands.
About Urban E Recycling
Urban E Recycling, www.urbanerecycling.com, believes that business and environmental responsibility go hand in hand. The company not only collects and buys electronics, it also offers consulting services to set up offices in the best way so as to minimize their ecological footprint while maximizing profits.
Hillsborough Achievement And Resource Centers (HARC), www.hillsarc.com, is one of the oldest and most respected agencies serving people with disabilities in the Tampa Bay Region. HARC is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization founded in 1953 by parents of children with mental retardation. Since then, HARC has evolved into an organization providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities.