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Cartridge collectors urged to beware dealing with brokers

February 13, 2014

cartridgesFinnish company Tones Oy told The Recycler about its bad experiences trading empties.

The company has told The Recycler of its dealings with a cartridge broker in Europe, to which it sent empty inkjet cartridges. It was told that 30 percent of its virgin cartridges were “rejects”, but when it requested the rejects to be sent back, it was instead sent cartridges in “terrible conditions” that “could never have been sent by us [to] anyone”, with the worst ones sent back to the broker with an invoice that was not paid.

The company’s CEO, Jukka Arkkila, stated that the market in Finland receives “much more virgin empties” than companies can remanufacture, due to the fact that “we have to do the job more or less by hand as “our automation project has [been] badly delayed”. As a consequence, with empties becoming “more and more important for the industry”, Finland’s 2.5 million households’ empties “have to be picked up” by companies like Arkkila’s, and when they sell them on, they do not get much recompense.

Arkkila notes that in the 1990s, he used to collect empty virgin laser cartridges in Holland, describing it as a “hard job”, and even then, when delivering four pallets worth of empties to a broker, he “never got a cent”. The broker that rejected Arkkila’s empties and sent back different cartridges had approached him telling of their success, and Arkkila feels that this “cheating seems to be [a] common problem” for the industry.

He added: “In broker companies’ ‘terms and conditions’ [it] is often written that the broker can destroy the rejects with low cost, or they can be returned on sellers’ costs. If one orders rejects back, often they are OK [after testing] by CBR’s tester, and very often they never have been sent by the seller. One problem is, when asking for an offer by the broker, one gets a list [showing] how much they pay. If the price is good, we start to put good ones together and on the pallet.

“When the pallet is ready to be picked up, the buyer sends a new list with lower prices! Changing rules during the game! What can we do: make this very public, so that sellers [have] to watch out whom they make business with. There are a lot of swindler[s] in our recycling business!”

If you collect and sell empties to brokers, and have experienced similar issues, get in touch with us at or comment below.

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One response to “Cartridge collectors urged to beware dealing with brokers”

  1. tradingconnection says:

    I feel that while what is described in this article may be true of some companies, it is not at all fair to label all cartridge brokers. There are many brokers out there that fight against these bad seeds, and go to great lengths to make sure that everybody is treated the correct way.

    Trading Connection, in Los Angeles, California, is one of those brokers that treats people fair. When a price is negotiated, we do not change them. We do not do a bait and switch on damaged cartridges.

    Are there a lot of “swindlers” in our recycling industry? Sure there are! Are there a lot of “swindlers” in any industry? Of Course!

    Yes, you should be careful with who you do business with (doesn’t matter if we are talking about freight, office supplies, box suppliers, lawyers, employees, etc etc etc), BUT it is not at all right to call out brokers as being the bad guys.

    If anybody is interested, and would like to know more information about Trading Connection, or has any other questions about the industry, please feel free to contact us at

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