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Industry News
Local company earns money saving ink adjusts, expands with market

San Antonio Business Journal - July 27, 2007
by Torence White
Brian Cheong is president of, which is experiencing a 30 percent increase in revenue this year as more people are seeking cost effective alternatives to refilling used ink cartridges.


Torence White
Brian Cheong is president of, which is experiencing a 30 percent increase in revenue this year as more people seek cheaper ink.
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While the cost of printers has been plummeting, the cost for replacement ink cartridges has been steadily going up leading more and more people to seek out discount options., a division of Acecom Inc., has been working to fulfill that need in the market by offering remanufactured and compatible cartridges for both inkjet and laser printers for sale online at discount prices.

Established in 1998, InkSell is today one of the largest independent online, retail and commercial suppliers of laser toner and ink printer cartridges in the nation. They provide ink products for many of the leading printer companies including Hewlett-Packard, Epson, Lexmark, Dell Canon, Brother, Xerox, Panasonic, Sharp, Okidata and more.

"Ink cartridges keep evolving, but we're adjusting ourselves," says Brian Cheong, president of "If we make it difficult for people to do business with us, we lose business. We have to make sure we can make it easy for people to do business with us."

One of the ways they have made things easy for customers is by giving them multiple options for purchasing ink cartridges, including ordering products online. A customer can go to any of their retail stores in San Antonio, Houston or Austin to purchase cartridges in person, or they can phone in an order and receive free delivery for purchases greater than $50.

InkSell is currently experiencing a 30 percent increase in its revenue growth this year. "The true cost of printing isn't just my cost to get the piece of equipment in my store," says Francis Holguin, vice president of sales at "It's how many pages am I printing, how much ink is going through; it's all about how much and how well we deliver day in and day out to meet their (customers) needs."

Use and reuse

InkSell is strongly committed to the ideals of refilling cartridges, Holguin says. The company believes in use and reuse as often and as long as the cartridge is capable of being refilled while still providing a quality print outcome. "Millions of tons of empty cartridges are being dumped in our landfills," says Holguin. "Printers will be long gone and we will still have their products like cartridges."

Some people aren't aware that ink cartridges can be refilled, but Holguin says InkSell is currently working on programs to bring awareness to consumers egarding reuse and recycling of their cartridges.

InkSell offers a huge selection of printer cartridges at discounts up to 70 percent off the retail price. They also offer customers an extensive line of products, including cartridges and refill kits for ink printers, toner for laser printers, fax machines and photo copiers as well as fax ribbons and specialty media products like photo and glossy Inkjet photo paper.

"The average savings a customer will see is 50 to 70 percent off the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) costs," Holguin says. "If a customer reuses the cartridge three times, the savings can be very large." For some people, finding the right cartridge can be difficult due to a lack of knowledge and training, but InkSell spends a lot of time and money training its employees so they can assist customers in picking the right cartridge, he says.

"People come for assistance," says Daniel Lopez, vice president of business development at "People don't just come in to buy, they're coming in for answers."

Beverly Combs, residency program coordinator at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), says she is impressed with how quickly the company can deliver its products and services. "They're always helpful and have good public service," Combs says. "They are very accommodating because they always make sure I get what I need. If they don't have what I need, they still find a way to get it."

InkSell's vision is to build an organization that provides quality to the consumer.

Cheong adds, "If I am a customer, I am asking myself if the product I'm purchasing is valuable to me. You have to see value in the product you sell."

Shelly Sheffield, executive secretary/collections specialist at SA Quality Fence Ltd., says she's impressed with InkSell's customer service. "I've never had a bad experience with them," Sheffield says. "They're real convenient and go out of their way for a customer."

Ink Inc.

The creation of came as the founders took note of the profits that printer manufacturers were making from the sale of their printer consumables. The company was originally only an e-commerce store, but the success of the online venture -- and customers seeking face-to-face interactions -- compelled the company to branch out and open their first brick and mortar store in 2004.

The success of the e-commerce venture compelled the company to branch out and open their first brick and mortar store in 2004. The first store was opened based on the response of local customers wanting to purchase their printing supplies from an organization that offers face-to-face support.

The success of the first store went beyond the company's expectations and InkSell now has 12 retail stores in San Antonio, four in Houston and three in the Austin area.

They are hoping to open more stores in Houston and Austin this year. They are currently planning for more growth in 2008-2010 which will include entering the Dallas/Fort Worth market.

Holguin says InkSell is positioned at the right place at the right time in the ink-refilling industry. "Ink refilling is just now starting to gain the respect and confidence of the users," he says. "Our emphasis is making sure our employees are the best trained and our quality is second to none."

Lessons Learned

An online store isn't enough for many customers.
Bending over backwards for customers yields repeat business.
Tout environmental benefits of your products.

Key employees: Brian Cheong, president; Francis Holguin, vice president of sales; Daniel Lopez, vice president of business development
Address: 14833 Bulverde Road
Tel. No.: 798-0087
Number of employees: 100
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