“All I wanted was a little bit of black dust for one of our monastery printers. In my search for a toner cartridge, I was suddenly struck with how incredibly expensive this black dust and a few squirts of ink were. “There must be a better way,” I said to myself.
And so began my foray into the world of imaging supplies. What I discovered was a revelation. Simply stated, the mark-up on ink supplies is sinfully high, reaching in some instances into the 1,000-2,000 % levels. I also discovered that there were many companies that manufactured either new compatible cartridges or remanufactured cartridges at a fraction of the cost of the big name brands. My thoughts starting racing. Imagine the money we could save schools, churches, and other organizations if we could negotiate some deals with the manufacturers directly and cut out the middlemen.
LaserMonks.com was born.
Our monastery is part of the 900-year-old Cistercian Order; our particular Abbey was founded over 75 years ago in the United States. Every monastery has a monk in charge of all the temporal needs and activities of the community. Among my duties as Steward of Temporal Affairs are developing and managing ways to support our life and charities.
The manufacturers were elated with the possibilities. They immediately said we should market not only to schools, churches, and other non-profits, but especially to businesses. “Look, you’re monks. You have an image and long tradition of being trustworthy and providing top quality products. You’re offering a great product at a great price. Once people hear about you, it’s an easy decision. Why would anyone pay more money, when they can have quality products for less, from monks who use the income to help others?”
Pretty cool idea if ya ask me. Their prices (plus shipping) seem to be what you’d have to pay if you went to your local faceless, souless Wally-World. But this way the cash goes to something more “productive”.