VIDEO: How to Refill Toner in the Brother Laser Printer 2270 2170

As many of you know, we rave about our Brother Laser Printer. It is a real workhorse when it comes to printing eBay shipping labels (these are the ones I love), invoices and thank you inserts. I've had mine for 3 years, printed 17,853 pages on it, and only refilled the toner about 5-6 times (at about $5 for each refill) rather than buy a $50 new cartridge each of those times. I just buy bulk refill powder on eBay for cheap and refill it when it gets low. So easy. So cheap. That's what we call digital scavenging!


  1. Great video! Thanks for posting this! I've seen similar videos on youtube where they vacuum out the inside of the cartridge before refilling it. Seems like that's an unnecessary step and extremely messy too. Ryanne, have you ever had to do that with your cartridge?

    PS...the cameo from your cats were fun to see!

    1. hi zoli
      yeah, i have seen that too and was doing that in the beginning, but i felt like i was getting rid of a lot of toner that way and it was very messy. so i stopped doing it after 2 times and have been fine. not sure what that step is for really, the toner doesn't go bad or anything so why vacuum the old stuff out first? i'm not sure.

    2. Since there are many types of generic toner formulations available for sale (different melting points, electrostatic properties, etc), it's best not to mix toners in the cartridge (poor print quality is often the result). Another overlooked part of the refill process is removing the excess toner from the waste hopper. And don't forget that the drum needs to be replaced after x number of pages.

      Refilling (or buying a refill) really is the way to go. My 10-year old Samsung ML-1450 tank of a printer is still chugging along, and all I have to do is throw a $25 refilled cartridge/drum combo into it every 6000 pages (Samsung charged $120+ per new cartridge). Canons also make great printers that are cheap to run ($11 for a knockoff 104-size cartridge/drum, when Canon charges $104 for their genuine version).

    3. yes, i replaced my drum after 12,000 printouts. it started showing a faint black line on one side and replacing the drum unit (the black casing that holds the toner cartridge) solved that problem. after that, i've had no problems just filling the toner with no vacuum out.

  2. Thanks Ryanne. I bought my Brother printer in June from Amazon (used the link from your website-hope you got credit) and love it, but hoped you would have time to film this video before I needed to refill the toner - great!!! Now I need to stop being a plain paper label weenie and advance to sticky... Debbie

    1. trust me, once you get the sticky labels, you'll never go back! i think i went 4 years of taping labels to boxes and then realized how insane that was.

    2. Can I ask where do you get your sticky paper from? I've bought some on ebay from several different sellers and the paper has always been crappy, hardly sticks.


    3. yep, i get it on amazon here i've had good luck with it being very sticky. i've had some in the past, like you say, that have easily peeled off and that's no good. once you find a good source, stick with it.

  3. I had to stop the video just so I could say I love the pinstripe pants! Thanks for all of the helpfulness of your blog!

    1. ha, thanks. thrift store find! of course.

  4. Dear Ryanne & Jay:
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your podcast. So refreshingly HONEST! Enjoy listening to your descriptions of how it really is selling on ebay. You so NAIL it. Especially about the listing drudgery! LOL!
    So ….. decided to try the global shipping program.
    My first buyer in the program was from Israel. She bought a $58 robe but her total paypal payment came over as $84.36. The weight of the item was 7 oz. So it looks like customs charges international fees taxes etc totaled approx. $26. (First off, let me just say YIKES). About 10 days later begins the following email exchange:
    Hello, I just received this item, thank you.
    However I have found it to be too tight on the arms and I cannot use it.
    I would like to return it for a refund.
    Please tell me how to go about it.
    Thank you very much
    Please return the item to me at

    The Speckled Goat, LLC

    Upon receipt of the item, I will issue you a refund via Paypal.
    Thank you,

    Hi, thanks.
    I have packed it back and tomorrow it go to the postoffice.
    I shall send you, then, the tracking number.
    Thank you. I will watch for it and be in touch when it arrives.
    Hello again
    I have just watched the robe again and thought that the sleeves may be OK . But the length of the gown is not AT ALL as you have written on your listing.
    You write that it is 42" and I measure it as only 38" which makes a great difference.
    In this case i will go on shipping it back to however you will have to refund me all I have paid for the gown and the shipping, this according to ebay regulation.
    I have paid all together for the gown plus the shipping $84.36 and I will expect a full refund according to the ebay regulations.
    Tomorrow I shall send you the tracking number.
    Thank you
    Seller did not respond to this
    Hello again
    I have just shipped you back this robe as agreed.
    The tracking number is RR4&%#&@3
    you can track it on USPS site. Sometime tracking is possible only when it arrives to your area.
    I would like to make it clear again: I am returning the robe bacause it is MUCH shorter than you said it is.
    Your listing says that the length is 42" and actually it is only 37.5". Therefor I am entitled to get the shipping as well/
    All together I have paid you plus global shipping $84.36 USD. (I also paid the shipping costs to ship it back to you but I am willing to take this part on myself.)
    Best regards
    End email exchange

    I admit I had a pretty emotional reaction at first, but I’m over it now. I plan to give her the refund she is asking for in that it is not worth “going to war” over $25. I have blocked her as well.
    My question is this. The robe was accurately listed (I have more in my inventory and have double checked) but isn’t this her word against mine? Will eBay stand behind me on this or am I SOL? And if SOL, the Global Shipping Program takes the shipping “hit” to a whole new level for sophisticated international buyers. ( I also sell on Amazon and sadly have grown accustomed to the “item not as described” scam to avoid paying the return shipping. There are even internet forums where this technique is taught, as well as how to also keep the item and still be refunded by Amazon. Its pitiful truly. The seller forums rage about it constantly.). sorry to get off on an amazon tangent . . .
    I plan to continue my Global Shipping experiment on eBay to give it a fair trial, but it is not impressing me so far! LOL.
    Again THANK YOU for the wonderful podcasts!

    1. If you look at our weekly numbers, we sell about 20% of our items on Global Shipping program. For the past 18 months, we haven't received any kind of returns like your example. I think this just might be a crappy buyer.

      For now, you can only "report buyer". It doesn't do anything other than alert eBay that this buyer did wrong by you. I guess they keep this info. If the buyer has too many "reports", then they might tale action.

      But if you read eBay's latest update to their Return Policy, you'll see this is changing. According to this page, seller's can "open a case" against a buyer. eBay will get involved and make decision if the buyer has acted in bad faith.

      In your case, it's good you've seen the big picture. It seems like eBay is pushing towards an Amazon-like return policy so there might be more of this. But for now, we have great experience with GSP.

      I would call eBay about this buyer if you think you really measured it correctly. If you did make a mistake, even a minor one, then it's just live and learn.

    2. Did the buyer write that they "just washed the robe again"? or "watched"? (which doesn't make sense to me). If they washed it perhaps it shrank, I think ebay would back you if that's the case.

    3. Thanks Jay for the reply. It felt good to tell the long sordid tale! We eBayers have a bit of a lonely existence and it's nice to share your experiences with folks who "get" what you're even talking about! And I suppose we need someone to know the full extent of the suffering!!!! Ha ha. But as you repeatedly point out, the big picture is definitely bright and hopeful, and that's ultimately what matters. I'm hoping I'll get another GSP order that goes well. I've been shipping internationally for about 7 years, with really very few problems. I mostly sell NWT stuff, but thanks to your podcast have been haunting thrift stores like a maniac. Have only bought about 10 things because 1) I don't know what I'm even looking at; 2) I haven't listed all my current NWT buys (some a few months old!); 3) I'm scared I'll become an episode of the Hoarders. LOL.

      Steven: in the email referred to above, the buyer wrote that she just "watched the robe again" I think there may be a bit of a language issue here, because I think she meant "looked at" the robe again. That was my guess anyway.

    4. Mistake #1 was choosing that country to ship to.

    5. Have you had trouble with Israel? I never have. Russia yes, Italy yes Brazil, yes, but not Israel.

    6. I think every seller has their "perceived problem" countries they hate shipping too. We've never had an issue shipping to Israel, but we have had problems shipping to Australia. Before the Global Shipping program, we had three packages over several years get lost in customs and cause us to eat the cost. But now GSP handles everything so we love it. Never had a lost package because of tracking.

      I've heard other sellers swear Russia is the worst. Or South American countries. Never had any issues in these places. So I think it's just a 'perceived' issue based on just a couple data points each of us has. In reality, we had lots of packages get to Australia perfectly fine. But one problem always feels like one too many.

      In Caren's case, she just has a grumpy buyer who happens to be half way across the world.

    7. I'm wondering why the bathrobe seller will have to refund the whole $25 shipping fee. With GSP seller's only receive enough to get it to Kentucky. Maybe $10? Ebay and Pitney Bowes received the rest of the money. Sellers can't do a refund for more than they originally received.

    8. This is a great point that I overlooked. Caren should definitely call eBay to figure out how pays what. The only shipping she should pay is what it cost to get to the eBay warehouse in KY. Another good thing about GSP. Every package is just a domestic package to the seller.

    9. I'm not sure GSP will be so great if we're going to be responsible for return shipping costs for alleged defective items. I read the recent Town Hall Meeting minutes and I think it said the Managed Returns will be for "domestic sellers with domestic transactions". I'm not sure they know what they're doing. The phrase "flying by the seat of their pants" comes to mind.

    10. Update on GSP issue: I spoke to eBay customer service who advises that the seller is only responsible to issue a refund to the buyer for the cost of the item plus the domestic shipping cost to KY. The buyer may be eligible for a refund from eBay/PB for the additional $26 she paid in import fees etc., but in order to receive this, she needs to "open a case". Since she is claiming NAD my guess is that eBay/PB will refund her. (Had she used the eBay return process, instead of just emailing me, she would have also been able to receive the cost of return shipping. But, as she said in her email, she is willing to eat that.) I asked if the fact she will open a case count against my seller ratings and I was told that it would. But I was also told that I should call back after the matter is concluded and eBay will "take care of that for me" (which sounds like they remove it and feedback etc., but I wonder about this, because of the NAD aspect. In the GSP rules they indicate they only remove feedback when the item is damaged in shipment or not received).
      *Sigh* I've poured over & over the GSP rules and there is nothing specified EXACTLY regarding this issue. I would think this scenario would occur with some regularity! They generically refer to NAD making the buyer eligible for the Buyer Protection Program, but the GSP & the customs import fees etc adds another layer of complexity that is not specifically addressed.
      I will update again when it's all said and done.

  5. Thanks for the video guys. I usually just forge ahead on something like this but it real juice to have a reference.
    How bout a weekly cat video too, those two are funny.

    1. Gotta love auto correct. ....really nice to have a reference.

  6. You mentioned in your podcast if anybody has successfully got a thermal printer to work on a mac to post.

    I have the Brother QL 570 working perfectly and reliably and it is not hard to set up but I went through hell to finally find a thermal solution for the mac.

    By the way I listen to religiously and has helped me so much, so I more than happy to contribute. I’m a long time Mac user and will write something up and post it here in the few couple days.

    1. i would love to know your process in setting up that brother thermal. can you just print from ebay labels like normal? what where the drivers you had to download? i want to know everything!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Running OS X Mavericks System 10.9.4 connected through USB.

    PART 1 of 2
    STEPS 1 - 5, THE SETUP

    First: Connect your QL-570 to your Mac with USB and power it on.

    1. Set Safari as Default Browser - While in Safari choose Safari > Preferences, click General, then choose Safari. (important to do before installing Java in step 2)

    2. Install Java Runtime 8: Download the installer here:

    Note: Java Runtime 8 requires a 64 bit browser such as Safari. Chrome is only 32 and will not work. Most links on the web direct you to Runtime 7 for the Mac. You want 8.

    Verify Java:
    When it asks click “Trust”

    3. Download and Install Brother Drivers - go to:
    Choose your System Click “Search” to get to the downloads

    You really only need the drivers but download everything it’s all useful.

    4. Make a New Custom Page Size
    a. launch any editing application Text Edit will do. Make a new blank doc. then choose File > Page Setup. Next to "Paper Size" choose “Manage Custom Sizes…"

    b. On the left click the + to add a new entry and set “Paper Size" to 7.24 width 2.44 height. Name it something like "My QL-570 7.24 inch"

    c. Where it says “Non-Printable area select Brother QL-570. this should set your margins to brothers default which is .12 top and bottom, .06 left and right. Then click “OK"

    d. Click “OK” again and quick out of the program

    This lets you create a page setup item that the system will recognize.

    5. Set System Printing Prefs
    a. While in the Finder Choose System Preferences under the Apple Menu. Open “Printers & Scanner”
    You should see the Brother QL-570 on the left (if not hit the + to add it.)

    b. Set “Default Printer:" to Brother QL-570, and set “Default paper size:” to you custom page size you made earlier.

    1. PART 2 of 2

      6. On the left side of your “My Ebay” page choose “Shipping Labels

      7. Where it mentions “bulk label printing” click on "Print up to 50 USPS shipping labels at one time,”

      Note: Ebay's bulk Printing area uses the Adobe Print Engine. This is the only way I can get labels to print successfully on a thermal printer on a Mac. This Bulk shipping method is so much better in many ways that their regular method anyways.

      8. Click on “Label Preferences” (top right menu) and make sure to choose Brother QL-570 as your printer. Hit “Save”

      IMPORTANT!!! Forgetting step 8 will mess it all up and once you have paid for the label there is no going back unless you void and pay for another. I double check it every time. This preference is saved on bay’s cloud meaning it can change if you selecting a different printer setting and even while printing from another computer while logged into your account.

      9. The rest is smooth sailing:
      a. Check your items Shipping Record using the Action Pull down. Print all at once if you want. It will only print what you have checked.

      b.Click the “Review and Pay” button.

      10. After it finishes processing, click the “Print" button

      11. Your label will appear.
      If you drag your mouse near the bottom of the page the Acrobat tools will appear. Click the Print icon

      12. in the window that pops up make sure Brother QL-570 is chosen. Under the “Paper Sizing & Handling > Size check the Box “Choose paper source by PDF page size” also choose the “Actual Size” radio button.

      If the preview looks correct hit “Print”!!!

      Hope this helps some Mac users out there. A bit wordy but once you go through the process ou will see it’s pretty easy. Once it is all set up you don’t have to do steps 1-5 any more. Although It doesn’t hurt to check step 5 every now and then to make sure your system sees the printer as the default especially after printing on another printer for 8.5 x 11.

      Note: Global shipping can’t be done thru Bulk Shipping and still has to be done the old way on your other printer.

      Enjoy : )

    2. Thanks for writing these steps Glen. We've experimented with the Zebra, but may try the BROTHER QL-570 if you say it works with these steps.

    3. thanks! now can you only print using the bulk shipper? or can you print one by one?

    4. You can still print one at a time. Just check mark and pay for only one then print ... and repeat. This is how I usually do it.

      When I got a little courage up one day I tried more than one at a time and in seconds I had multiple labels spitting out cut and ready to stick. I was impressed. It helps to print with an item ID though.

    5. Do you think if you installed Bootcamp or Parallels that would allow you to print with no problems?

    6. Very good question. I think we might have tried using Parallels, but there was also an issue. Ryanne would have to answer this one.

    7. yes i tried using parallels and still had a formatting issue. plus i personally hate windows, so having to boot windows just to print seemed insane to me. i use a mac and only want to use a mac. that was the point of getting the zebra to work with the mac. but i'm hearing good things about the Brother thermal printers with mac, so maybe i'll try that in the near future.

  8. The Brother QL-570 definitely works. I can help trouble shoot if anyone has problems.

    I also bought a Brother QL-1050 which from my research is supposed to work on a Mac but I could never get that one to work properly with Ebay shipping. After 2 weeks of bothering ebay tech support and persistent research and experimenting I finally had to give up on it. I have it and a bunch of it's label rolls up for sale in my store now. I'm sure someone with a PC can use it.

    In contrast the QL-570 only took a few days to figure out.

    All in all I put a lot of time and effort in getting a thermal solution to work on a Mac so if I can save anyone else some time it would be worth it.

  9. Excellent video Ryanne! Very detailed and super helpful. I will be doing a refill for sure rather than buying the new brother cartridge. Also the sticky labels you recommended work excellent, so thanks for providing that as well!