I went to Costco earlier this week to buy new HP 56 inkjet cartridges. As usual, I was staggered by the price of a few ounces of ink. And, the package at Costco was a tri-pack. I really didn't want to buy three black ink cartridges because the printer isn't used that heavily. Then, I noticed a sign nearby saying that Costco has an inkjet cartridge refill service for HP and one or two other popular brands.
So, I returned today (Oct. 24) with a nearly empty HP 56 cartridge, walked over to the photo processing area and asked how to use the ink cartridge refill service. The Costco person handed me a 1 Hour Photo envelope. I was told to fill out my contact info and to write in the cartridge name (HP 56) in the "Special Instructions" box on the front of the envelope. The person then told me it would take about an hour and handed me the top receipt from the photo development envelope. I returned a bit over an hour later and paid $7.99 plus a local excise tax (total was $8.37).
I was handed the refilled ink cartridge and a small strip of paper with, presumably, a sample printout from newly refilled cartridge. After returning home, I placed the refilled HP 56 in an aging but functional HP 56 printer, turned it on, and placed the HP 56 back in the printer.
The printer complained that the cartridge only had 10% of fluid left. However, that is to be expected since it is unlikely anyone but HP has access to the information to reset whatever ink level sensor technology is used. I printed a couple of sample test pages to see what the output looks like and am happy to report that everything looks fine. I'm very satisfied with the refilled cartridge and Costco's service so far.
Costco.com lists a single HP 56 cartridge selling for $21.25 (plus shipping). So, the refill service is essentially 62% cheaper. That is quite a savings.
The sign about the service says that refill service for the HP 02 cartridges are coming soon. I'm looking forward to that since that ink system consists of 6 cartridges (5 color and 1 black). Certain colors burn through fast (yellow and magenta for me) and cost about $11 each for the color cartridges.