Costco Discontinues Their Ink Refilling Services
Until just a few years ago, Costco was a reliable place to have your printer ink cartridges refilled. Unfortunately, times have changed.
Through the Costco Photo Center, customers could bring in their empty printer ink cartridges and have them refilled for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new cartridge. Not only does having your ink cartridges refilled save you money, but it also reduces waste and keeps usable materials in circulation.
The Costco Photo Center also provided other printing related services such as photo printing and passport photos.
However, in January 2021, Costco announced officially that they would be closing their in-store Photo Centers and ceasing to offer ink cartridge refills. The service officially ended on February 14th, 2021.
Costco cited a steep decline in photo printing as the reason for shutting down all of their in-store ink-related services. With the massive increase in digital photography through smartphones in recent years, far fewer people are paying to have their photos printed at places like Costco Photo Center. Without access to large quantities of printer ink for their photo printers, Costco decided it didn’t make sense to continue stocking ink for ink cartridge refills.
You can still order photo prints through Costco online, but the brick-and-mortar Costco Photo Center is a thing of the past.
Types of Ink Cartridges at Costco Stores
Even though you can no longer have your ink cartridges refilled at Costco, you can still purchase new cartridges anytime on Costco.com or at a Costco Warehouse location.
On Costco.com, you can buy printer ink cartridges from the following brands…
In the past, Costco also stocked cartridges from Innovera, Lexmark, and Xerox. However, they no longer sell cartridges from these companies as of February 2023.
To shop for printer ink cartridges on Costco.com, click here and select the brand of printer you’re shopping for.
At Costco, printer ink cartridges range in price from about $50 to more than $100. It’s possible that you may be able to find slightly cheaper prices by shopping for ink cartridges in person at a Costco Warehouse location, as prices tend to be a bit higher online.
Alternatives Places for Refilling Ink Cartridges
Unfortunately, the list of businesses that offer printer ink cartridge refilling in 2023 is very short. In fact, we were only able to confirm two major businesses that still offer this service–Walgreens and Cartridge World.
To learn more about having your ink cartridges refilled at Walgreens, check out our post about it here.
Regardless of where you go, ink cartridge refilling should only take about 15 minutes.
How Much Does Refilling an Ink Cartridge Cost?
How much you will pay to have your printer ink cartridge refilled depends on the cartridge and type of ink.
For example, if you have your ink cartridge refilled at Walgreens, you can expect to pay anywhere from about $10 to about $25 depending on the cartridge type. This can still save you tons of money though, considering the fact that new ink cartridges can cost around $50 at a minimum.
To save the most money you possibly can, try purchasing an ink refill kit and refilling your own printer ink at home. Just be very careful during the process and ensure that you do not spill your ink as this can easily stain whatever it touches. Always wear gloves and other protective gear when handling printer ink.
For some helpful guidance on how to refill your printer ink cartridges, check out this YouTube video from Printer Refresh Ltd.
Can you refill ink cartridges by yourself?
Yes. However, you will need to purchase a printer ink cartridge refill kit to do it properly. This one is available on Walmart.com for just $8.88. Unfortunately, Costco does not sell printer ink refill kits, but they do sell bottles of printer ink, which you will need as well.
How many times can an ink cartridge be refilled?
Up to five times. According to CartridgeWorld.com, your ink cartridge will start to break down if you attempt to refill it too many times.
Is it okay to buy remanufactured ink cartridges?
Yes. Most “remanufactured” (recycled and rebuilt) ink cartridges are seen as equivalent in quality to new ink cartridges.
Can you refill remanufactured ink cartridges?
Yes. The process of refilling a remanufactured cartridge is the same as refilling a previously unused cartridge.
Is there a shortage of HP ink cartridges?
Yes. Due to the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown, printer ink cartridges have been produced at a lower rate in the past few years than previously. As a result, many people are finding it difficult to purchase new ink cartridges. This has led to an uptick in people refilling their own cartridges at home using refill kits. However, Costco has many HP ink cartridges in stock on their website now.