Cab‘oodles’ of opportunity

Cartridge re-manufacturer focuses on meeting businesses’ ink and toner needs

A printer out of ink can stop a business in its tracks. And desperate situations call for desperate measures, which may mean traveling long distances or paying premium prices to fire up the printer ASAP.

Caboodle Cartridge hopes to solve that problem. Clark County welcomed the first location of the franchise cartridge re-manufacturer in October 2005. Brothers Dave and Pete Bower and Dan Martin secured the franchise rights to the Clark County and Boise, Idaho-area markets. They opened their first location in Meridian, Idaho, where Pete Bower lives, in April 2005, followed by its Vancouver location last fall. Dave Bower and Martin are Clark County residents.

The partners were exploring a broad range of franchise opportunities before deciding on Caboodle Cartridge.
“The more we looked at it, the more we liked it,” said Dave Bower. “We saw a real need.”

Caboodle Cartridge offers re-manufactured printer cartridges. The company goes beyond refilling empty cartridges. Certain parts of the cartridges are replaced before they are refilled, with the goal of improving reliability. Cartridges are not re-manufactured on site and customers are not required to bring in old cartridges. The stores are stocked with hundreds of the most popular makes and models and special orders can be arranged. Customers who do bring in empty cartridges can receive store credit.

The Vancouver location posted the biggest first month of any of the approximately 35 Caboodle Cartridge locations across the country, mostly on the West Coast.

Bower said its Vancouver store is on target to meet projected goals for its first year. They are aiming to generate $270,000 in revenue the first year, and $600,000 annually by the third year. Pete Bower said the projections are attainable considering the size of the market. The Clark County cartridge market amounts to $30 million a year, and about $30 billion nationwide, he said. The partners plan to open two additional locations within two years.

Caboodle Cartridge competes with businesses that refill cartridges and other re-manufacturers, including large chains, such as Office Max.

On average, re-manufactured cartridges cost 40 percent less than new models.

Bower said the store has partnered with about 130 businesses so far to meet their individual needs. Caboodle Cartridge has two account representatives that visit businesses and inventory their printing needs to ensure the store will have the necessary cartridges stocked at all times to be delivered when needed.

“We want to be a phone call away,” said Bower, “so (an empty cartridge) doesn’t interrupt a businesses day at all.”

Caboodle Cartridge is creating relationships with area schools, as well. The company also supplies receptacles to organizations to collect spent cartridges. Participating organizations receive money for the cartridges they collect, giving Caboodle Cartridge a steady supply of inventory and providing money for local organizations.

While some are attracted to using re-manufactured cartridges, such as those concerned with recycling, others present a barrier. Some are scared off by re-manufacturing or have had a bad experience in the past, said Bower. Getting a business or individual to try the product can be challenging, but the product proves itself, said Bower.

Caboodle Cartridge occupies about 1,400 square feet near Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain Boulevard. Bower said the location was chosen for the high volume of traffic passing each day. The store’s neighbor, Trader Joe’s, also provides a well-known landmark to direct customers.

Caboodle Cartridge
Cascade Park Plaza
305 S.E. Chkalov Drive, Suite 111 in Vancouver
360-213-0366 |
www.caboodle.net
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday

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