Louisville firm's InkSpot dish out printer cartridges

Two cartridges (one with black ink, one with c...
KIOSK Information Systems of Louisville has teamed up with Denver-based ink distribution company Legacy Imaging to launch a new automated retail kiosk.  The new kiosk, called InkSpot, offers consumers "convenience and savings" when it comes to buying ink cartridges for their printers, said Legacy Imaging Vice President Michael Frothingham. The system is installed at McGuckens in Boulder.
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Both consumers and retailers may be familiar with automated retail kiosks such as the RedBox DVD and Blu-ray rental service. These kiosks let retailers affordably and easily provide new products to customers in nontraditional settings, while also helping retailers tap into new markets.

"The biggest convenience of InkSpot is that it is there when you need it," Frothingham said. "There is no need to visit a brick-and-mortar store when you can pick up ink while doing your other shopping."

The InkSpot kiosk, which currently is being piloted at McGuckin Hardware in Boulder, allows consumers to purchase both brand new and remanufactured ink cartridges for all major printer brands directly from the machine. The kiosk uses a 22-inch touch-screen computer interface that helps guide consumers through the purchasing process, while at the same time provides product descriptions and information.

According to KIOSK Information Systems, the kiosk "provides consumers with brand selection that rivals an online ordering experience with the immediate delivery only available at a walk-in retailer."

"The majority of people aren't yet familiar with remanufactured (cartridges)," Frothingham said. "They are a great way to be green. They also offer the consumer savings of 20 to 50 percent. There is even a $2 savings if you bring back your used cartridges and recycle them."

Frothingham noted that while people may still be weary of remanufactured products, there is no need to worry about their quality.

"The remanufacturing industry is maturing," he said. "We have professionals test each cartridge three times before it leaves our factory. We want people to have peace of mind when purchasing a remanufactured product."

The pilot kiosk at McGuckin has been up and running for three weeks, netting four to five sales a day without the help of significant advertising, Frothingham said.

"We hope that soon enough we'll be seeing sales of 25 to 30 a week," he added

Frothingham said he realizes it may take consumers a bit of time to get used to the kiosks, but he believes that once they do, they will quickly discover the benefits the kiosks have to offer.

Frothingham is no stranger to the ink business. Legacy Imaging is one of the largest cartridge recycling businesses in North America.

"The big office supply companies control 70 to 80 percent of the ink market," Frothingham said. "We're trying to bring the product directly to the consumer, giving them the most convenience and savings, as well as the opportunity to be green."

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